The Complete Dramatic Works of Tang Xianzu

Author(s): Tang Xianzu

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Tang Xianzu (1550-1616) is acclaimed as the `Shakespeare of the East' and widely regarded as China's greatest playwright, yet his work has not reached Western readers in its entirety. The Complete Dramatic Works of Tang Xianzu represents a literary landmark: this is the first English-language collection of the revered dramatist's most important works to be made available outside China. Translated over two decades, the collection showcases the playwright's major pieces, including The Purple Flute, The Purple Hairpins, The Nanke Dream, The Handan Dream - and The Peony Pavilion. The Peony Pavilion is the playwright's most celebrated work and has drawn comparisons to Homer's Odyssey, Virgil's Aeneid, Dante's Divine Comedy and John Milton's Paradise Lost. Known for his lyrical use of metaphor, Tang Xianzu weaves the beauty of nature with the tragedy of emotion. His plays offer an extensive exploration of love, and remain at the heart of Chinese culture. This important collection represents an opportunity for a wider audience to discover the profound and poetic works of this classic playwright.


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Tang Xianzu is acclaimed as the `Shakespeare of the East' and widely regarded as China's greatest playwright. This is the first time the dramatist's complete collected works have been translated into English and made available outside of China.

Tang Xianzu (1550-1616) is considered China's greatest playwright and is revered in a country of great literary and dramatic traditions. The writer's most famous works, known collectively as the Four Dreams, are still performed throughout China today on the Chinese Kun opera stage. Professor Wang Rongpei (1942-2017) was a prestigious Chinese translator, lexicologist and educator. His effort in translating the five dramas of Tang Xianzu over the past two decades culminated in the publication of his magnum opus The Complete Dramatic Works of Tang Xianzu. Zhang Ling (1975-) is an associate professor of Soochow University. She cooperated with her doctoral tutor Professor Wang Rongpei in the English translation and study of a number of Chinese literary classics, including Gems of Kunqu Opera, Gems of the Wu Ballads and Tang Xianzu's dramas.

Foreword The Purple Flute The Purple Hairpins The Peony Pavilion The Nanke Dream The Handan Dream

General Fields

  • : 9781912392018
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC.
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC.
  • : February 2018
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Tang Xianzu
  • : Hardback
  • : 1072