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The Plum in the Golden Vase or, Chin P'ing Mei (Volume One: The Gathering)

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Introduction

Minimum monthly payments are required. Subject to credit approval. See terms - opens in a new window or tab. After Pan Jinlian secretly murders her husband, Ximen Qing takes her as one of his wives. The story follows the domestic sexual struggles of the women within his household as they clamor for prestige and influence amidst the gradual decline of the Ximen clan. The intervening sections, however, differ in almost every way from Water Margin. For centuries identified as pornographic and officially banned most of the time, the book has nevertheless been read surreptitiously by many of the educated class.

The early Qing dynasty critic Zhang Zhupo remarked that those who regard Jin Ping Mei as pornographic "read only the pornographic passages. Plaks ranks Jin Ping Mei as one of the "Four Masterworks of the Ming Novel" along with Romance of the Three Kingdoms , Water Margin , and Journey to the West , which collectively constitute a technical breakthrough and reflect new cultural values and intellectual concerns. The story contains a surprising number of descriptions of sexual objects and coital techniques that would be considered fetish today, as well as a large amount of bawdy jokes and oblique but still titillating sexual euphemisms.

Some critics have argued that the highly sexual descriptions are essential, and have exerted what has been termed a "liberating" influence on other Chinese novels that deal with sexuality, most notably the Dream of the Red Chamber. David Roy, the novel's most recent translator, sees an "uncompromising moral vision," which he associates with the philosophy of Xunzi , who held that human nature is evil and can be redeemed only through moral transformation.

The identity of the author has not yet been established, but the coherence of the style and the subtle symmetry of the narrative point to a single author. The "morphing" of the author from Xu Wei to Wang Shizhen would be explained by the practice of attributing "a popular work of literature to some well-known writer of the period".

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on Jin Ping Mei

An illustration of a fireworks display from a — edition of Jin Ping Mei from the Ming era. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses. Home FAQ Contact. Jin Ping Mei Wikipedia open wikipedia design. For other uses, see Golden Lotus.

get link Commentary Magazine. Berkeley; Oxford: University of California Press, , pp. Mair , ed. Translated by G. Yang and Yang Xianyi. Plaks, Four Masterworks of the Ming Novel. Ming Studies. Autumn