Maureen's Reviews > Monkey

Monkey by Wu Cheng'en
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Dec 08, 09

bookshelves: 2009
Read in December, 2009

i'm very sorry that i didn't like this more. many people seem to think this is a good translation, which disappoints me because i was quite willing to lay the blame at my inability to get into this book on arthur waley though it may be that they are lauding the book for its accuracy in translation rather than in its artistry. i'm not sure why i didn't enjoy it as much as i didn't: i love folklore, and monsters and fighting and adventures but despite all that, this book's take on those things kept making me want to pass out every time i read it. it's abridged but it still felt really long, and inconsistent, and repetitive. the only thing that really interested me was when the priest tripitaka lied to monkey with ease even though he was very pious about not eating meat, or doing other things that were contrary to what he had learned in buddhist monastery.

it may be that i just don't get it, i don't know. maybe i am just too ensconced in the traditions of western literature to really appreciate it. but it just fell flat.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Adrian (new)

Adrian Well, you'll just have to read the unabridged edition, perverse lover of that Teutonic dullard, Thomas Mann!

Journey to the West



Maureen hmmm. well there's a different translator so i might be up for it, though that first review has me worried that unless you can read chinese you're never going to enjoy it as much as you should. :)

p.s. was thinking about moving our conversation into a different thread about thomas mann, so i could quiz you about the cup, and also your feelings on mann's shorter fiction. i heard loud and clear what you thought of my perverse love, but wasn't sure if it applied to novels only. what do you think? should i move it out into a separate thread or are you going to reveal all the secrets to me here, on monkey's page? :)


message 3: by Brian (new)

Brian you know... this is a classic my wife has mentioned many times. though she read it in the original language. i may have to look for a good translation. there's also a cartoon series based on this story. probably more than one. it's big here.


Maureen Brian wrote: "you know... this is a classic my wife has mentioned many times. though she read it in the original language. i may have to look for a good translation. there's also a cartoon series based on this s..."

you know brian, any help from your wife in determining what a good translation would be for this would be invaluable. it had all of the parts of stories i love without any of the panache in the telling, this lacklustre abridged version i read. i sometimes worry that i'm just too picky, and then adrian comes along and reminds me that i'm just perverse instead. :)



message 5: by Adrian (new)

Adrian Maureen wrote: "p.s. was thinking about moving our conversation into a different thread about thomas mann, so i could quiz you about the cup..."

Re: the mysterious cup

Hey, I'm not doing your homework for you, Missy!






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