Monkey: The Journey to the West
Probably the most popular book in the history of the Far East, this classic sixteenth century novel is a combination of picaresque novel and folk epic that mixes satire, allegory, and history into a rollicking adventure. It is the story of the roguish Monkey and his encounters with major and minor spirits, gods, demigods, demons, ogres, monsters, and fairies. This translat...more
Why regret it when I enjoyed it? I could have enjoyed MORE of it. You see, I found out much later that Monkey is an abridged version of Journey to the West. This is one of the four classic Chinese novels. I've read (and generally loved) the other three: Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Outlaws of the Marsh, and Dream of Red Mansions. Now I've r...more
Monkey is first introduced as a playful, unruly handful via birth from a stone egg by the Jade Emperor. He becomes monkey kin...more
Here are a few things I was able to glean from this abridged translation:
1. Break a crystal dish in Heaven and you've had it, Laddie.
2. The Goddess of Mercy is fine with torture.
3. Lao Tzu has a short fuse, but he's a whiz with the party favours.
4. Monkeys might not be very refined, but they still throw less poo than self-righteous monks.
5. Even Buddhas still enjoy a good scam.
I quite enjoyed the first part of the story with untamed Monkey and his...more
Copying directly from Wendy - sorry, Wendy, it's just that it was really interesting:
'The most popular, though much-abridged version (in translation anyway?) is Monkey: The Journey to the West. I did some research and have decided on this non-abridged version instead: The Journey to the West, Volume 1 and just take it on one volume at a time.
There's a great video with Anthony Yu, the translator of the above Journey to t...more
1) The monk warns Monkey against something
2) Greedy Monkey does whatever is prohibited
3) the Monkey suffers and everyone must have an unexpec...more
The supernatural and heavenly elements of the book seem to be set up in a rather bureaucratic fashion. There are still clearly defined ranks and in many cases, wealth, spiritual...more
READ IT! Your lif...more
The first part shows how Monkey became a king, learnt his magic powers, got his staff and ended up imprisoned in a mountain by Buddha.
Then the priest Tripitaka comes along on his mission to get scriptures from India and releases Monkey after 500 years.
Meeting up with Pigsy and Sandy along the way, they then have more adventures along the way.
A good translation of the original source makes...more
The book is a picaresque with the main story being that a Buddhist priest is travelling to India to bring back to China some religious texts. He is accompanied by the titular character Monkey who is a kind of trickster god and two other creatures Sandy and Pigsy.
The story moves effortlessly between straight ahead fairy tale and satire. The two main target...more
Wu layers this earnest, grueling undertaking, with legend, gossip, superstition, religion, and concocts a rollicking bit of satire. The central irony of the...more
The monkey king is to help monk on his quest and actually he is the main...more
Attribuito tradizionalmente allo scrittore Wu Cheng’en, vissuto fra il 1500 e il 1582 circa, questo classico costituisce un vero e proprio salto nel regno della fantasia e dell’intrattenimento ma con importanti finalità moraleggianti, tanto da essere stato paragonato al nostrano Pinocchio.
There is no surprise that Wu Cheng en's 16th century literary classic Journey to the west along with the romance of the three kingdoms, dream of the red chamber and water margin make up the four great classical novels of Chinese literature. This novel is actually the fictionalized tale of Xuanzang's journey to India (which took place from 629-645) in order to seek buddhist scriptures and bri...more
I realize that this is the super abreviated eddition, with only 30 of the original 100 chapters, but I think this was the perfect way to start reading this book. Like reading "The Once and Future King" before reading "Le Morte de'Arthur"...It doesn't give you the orignal story, but will help the reader understand the original sooooo much more.
There is a great introduction and Arthur Waley does an amazing job of translating; making it a story even children could enjoy...more
At first, I was not overly impressed. I read it in fits and starts. And would put it away for days on end, which is unusual for me. A monkey, born of stone, becomes a king. Learns wizardry. Because of his precocious trickery gets in trouble with the King of Heaven. And was imprisoned in a mountain.
I read it. Shrugged. It was okay... Sort of like Epi...more
1. Sum It Up: Wu Cheng'en's historical Chinese folktale, Monkey: The Journey to the West, takes place in ancient China, where one of the main characters, Monkey, after a long, gruesome and mischievous past of ruling as the 'monkey king' and seeking the path to Enlightenment and immortality; is freed from 500 years of prison set upon him by the Heavens. The man who unleashes Monkey goes by the name of Hsuan-Tsang,...more