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Wilt L. Idema - Author

About the Author

Books by Wilt L. Idema

Two Centuries of Manchu Women Poets An Anthology

Two Centuries of Manchu Women Poets An Anthology

Author: Wilt L. Idema Format: Hardback Release Date: 24/02/2017

This anthology presents substantial selections from the work of twenty Manchu women poets of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The poems, inspired by their daily life and reflections, provide fascinating insights into the experiences and emotions of these women, most of whom belonged to the elite families of Manchu society. Each selection is accompanied by biographical material that illuminates the life stories of the poets. The volume's introduction describes the printing history of the collections from which these poems are drawn, the authors' practice of poetry writing, ethnic and gender issues, and comparisons with the poetry of women in South China and of male authors of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911).

Records of the Three Kingdoms in Plain Language

Records of the Three Kingdoms in Plain Language

Author: Wilt L. Idema Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/09/2016

The saga of the Three Kingdoms-which recounts the dramatic story of the civil wars (ca. 180--220 CE) that divided the old Han Empire into the Shu, Wei, and Wu states-remains as popular as ever in China, having served as the basis of not only traditional operas and ballads, but also, in more recent years, of movies, television dramas, and video games. Translated into English for the first time here, the Sanguozhi pinghua (thirteenth century CE) provides a complete and fast-paced narrative account of the events of the period, from the beginning of the civil wars to the demise of the Three Kingdoms and the short-lived reunification of the realm by the Jin dynasty. Shorter, clearer, and more accessible to Western audiences than Luo Guanzhong's later, greatly expanded Romance ( Sanguo yanyi )-and beautifully rendered in this edition by two modern-day masters of the art of Chinese literary translation-the Records of the Three Kingdoms in Plain Language provides an ideal introduction to one of the foundational Chinese epic traditions. Tables of major Chinese dynasties and reigns, a guide to understanding formal Chinese naming conventions, a glossary of Chinese names and terms, and reproductions of some woodcuts from the original edition of the text are included.

Records of the Three Kingdoms in Plain Language

Records of the Three Kingdoms in Plain Language

Author: Wilt L. Idema Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/2016

The saga of the Three Kingdoms-which recounts the dramatic story of the civil wars (ca. 180--220 CE) that divided the old Han Empire into the Shu, Wei, and Wu states-remains as popular as ever in China, having served as the basis of not only traditional operas and ballads, but also, in more recent years, of movies, television dramas, and video games. Translated into English for the first time here, the Sanguozhi pinghua (thirteenth century CE) provides a complete and fast-paced narrative account of the events of the period, from the beginning of the civil wars to the demise of the Three Kingdoms and the short-lived reunification of the realm by the Jin dynasty. Shorter, clearer, and more accessible to Western audiences than Luo Guanzhong's later, greatly expanded Romance ( Sanguo yanyi )-and beautifully rendered in this edition by two modern-day masters of the art of Chinese literary translation-the Records of the Three Kingdoms in Plain Language provides an ideal introduction to one of the foundational Chinese epic traditions. Tables of major Chinese dynasties and reigns, a guide to understanding formal Chinese naming conventions, a glossary of Chinese names and terms, and reproductions of some woodcuts from the original edition of the text are included.

Passion, Poverty And Travel: Traditional Hakka Songs And Ballads

Passion, Poverty And Travel: Traditional Hakka Songs And Ballads

Author: Wilt L. Idema Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/07/2015

Translations from Chinese popular literature of the late-imperial and early republican periods are still very rare, and selections that are devoted to a specific genre or dialect rarer still. These translations of traditional Hakka popular literature are not only a contribution to a broader knowledge of traditional Chinese folk literature, but also contribute to the study of Hakka culture as reflected in these racy songs and exciting narratives.This book is the first extensive selection in English of traditional Hakka mountain songs (shange) and long narrative ballads in various genres. One chapter is devoted to songs and ballads on Hakka migration to Taiwan and Southeast Asia in 18th to 20th centuries. The selection of mountain songs is primarily based on a collection compiled before 1949. The ballads selected focus on texts that were widely popular in late-Qing and early Republican times, but post-Liberation performances and new compositions have been included for contrast. All translations are provided with an introduction and annotations.

Passion, Poverty And Travel: Traditional Hakka Songs And Ballads

Passion, Poverty And Travel: Traditional Hakka Songs And Ballads

Author: Wilt L. Idema Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/07/2015

Translations from Chinese popular literature of the late-imperial and early republican periods are still very rare, and selections that are devoted to a specific genre or dialect rarer still. These translations of traditional Hakka popular literature are not only a contribution to a broader knowledge of traditional Chinese folk literature, but also contribute to the study of Hakka culture as reflected in these racy songs and exciting narratives.This book is the first extensive selection in English of traditional Hakka mountain songs (shange) and long narrative ballads in various genres. One chapter is devoted to songs and ballads on Hakka migration to Taiwan and Southeast Asia in 18th to 20th centuries. The selection of mountain songs is primarily based on a collection compiled before 1949. The ballads selected focus on texts that were widely popular in late-Qing and early Republican times, but post-Liberation performances and new compositions have been included for contrast. All translations are provided with an introduction and annotations.

Generals Of The Yang Family, The: Four Early Plays

Generals Of The Yang Family, The: Four Early Plays

Author: Wilt L. Idema, Stephen H. West Format: Hardback Release Date: 18/09/2013

This book offers a complete translation of four early plays of the Yang Family Generals. The story of the Yang Family Generals, particularly its female generals, was a perennial favorite on the Chinese stage in the 19th and 20th centuries. In detailing the role of this military family in the Song-Khitan wars of the late 10th and early 11th centuries, these four plays are all in the form of zaju, a type of play that originated in the 13th century. These plays are from the 15th and 16th centuries and allow a glimpse into earlier renditions of the Yang Family saga, which is a decidedly more male-centered tradition than that performed in the Qing dynasty.This volume offers the only complete English-language translation of these early plays. These plays allow access to the earliest phase in the development of the Yang Family saga. The plays provide information on the staging of large battle scenes on the stage and have considerable literary and cultural value.

Battles, Betrayals, and Brotherhood Early Chinese Plays on the Three Kingdoms

Battles, Betrayals, and Brotherhood Early Chinese Plays on the Three Kingdoms

Author: Wilt L. Idema Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/09/2012

No cycle of historical legends has enjoyed greater or more enduring popularity in China than that of the Three Kingdoms, which recounts the dramatic story of the civil wars (c. AD 180a220) that divided the old Han empire into the Shu-Han, Wei, and Wu states, and the eventual reunification of the realm under the Western Jin in AD 280.

Battles, Betrayals, and Brotherhood Early Chinese Plays on the Three Kingdoms

Battles, Betrayals, and Brotherhood Early Chinese Plays on the Three Kingdoms

Author: Wilt L. Idema Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/09/2012

No cycle of historical legends has enjoyed greater or more enduring popularity in China than that of the Three Kingdoms, which recounts the dramatic story of the civil wars (c. AD 180a220) that divided the old Han empire into the Shu-Han, Wei, and Wu states, and the eventual reunification of the realm under the Western Jin in AD 280.

The Butterfly Lovers The Legend of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai: Four Versions with Related Texts

The Butterfly Lovers The Legend of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai: Four Versions with Related Texts

Author: Wilt L. Idema Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/03/2010

The late-imperial legend of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, the Butterfly Lovers--a story as central to Chinese culture as Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is to Western culture--also relates a tale of two lovers help apart by social strictures. To audiences of the many Chinese ballads, plays, and films based on the story, the tragic ending offers proof that equality and happiness can only be achieved in a China freed from the traditional family system. This volume offers translations of the earliest versions of the popular ballad along with later literary reinventions of the tale; a variety of related documents reveal the historical and cultural origins of the legend. In his Introduction, Wilt L. Idema provides essential contextual information and discusses how the story of the Butterfly Lovers fits into modern Chinese concepts of gender roles and sexual freedom.

The Butterfly Lovers The Legend of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai: Four Versions with Related Texts

The Butterfly Lovers The Legend of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai: Four Versions with Related Texts

Author: Wilt L. Idema Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/03/2010

The late-imperial legend of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, the Butterfly Lovers--a story as central to Chinese culture as Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is to Western culture--also relates a tale of two lovers help apart by social strictures. To audiences of the many Chinese ballads, plays, and films based on the story, the tragic ending offers proof that equality and happiness can only be achieved in a China freed from the traditional family system. This volume offers translations of the earliest versions of the popular ballad along with later literary reinventions of the tale; a variety of related documents reveal the historical and cultural origins of the legend. In his Introduction, Wilt L. Idema provides essential contextual information and discusses how the story of the Butterfly Lovers fits into modern Chinese concepts of gender roles and sexual freedom.

Judge Bao And The Rule Of Law: Eight Ballad-stories From The Period 1250-1450

Judge Bao And The Rule Of Law: Eight Ballad-stories From The Period 1250-1450

Author: Wilt L. Idema Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/12/2009

Pure, orthodox and incorruptible, Judge Bao has been serving as the preeminent embodiment of justice in China for almost a thousand years, so much so his court cases have been adapted as stories, novels and plays over the centuries. Now, for the very first time a series of eight ballad-stories on Judge Bao, dating from the period 1250-1450, are offered in a complete and annotated translation. These texts will provide the reader a reflection of the legend of Judge Bao in its earliest phase of development, with an extended introduction placing the ballad-stories in context with the development of the Judge Bao legend. These ballad-stories, in contrast to past plays dating from the same period, present abuse of power and corruption as endemic in the courts and bureaucratic service, and show Judge Bao imposing the rule of law even on the emperor.

Filial Piety and Its Divine Rewards The Legend of Dong Yong and Weaving Maiden with Related Texts

Filial Piety and Its Divine Rewards The Legend of Dong Yong and Weaving Maiden with Related Texts

Author: Wilt L. Idema Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/09/2009

Of the many ballads, tales, and plays extolling filial piety ( xiao )--the foundational virtue of imperial China--none was more popular in that era than the legend of Dong Yong and his heavenly helpmate, Weaving Maiden. Continually revised and embellished over a millennium, the tale's popularity remains, finding new expression in Chinese film and opera in the twentieth century. The five versions of the legend presented here, alongside a selection of related texts, illustrate changing perceptions of xiao from the tenth century through the first part of the twentieth in a variety of genres. An appendix traces the development of the related legend of Weaving Maiden and Buffalo Boy from myth to folktale. Wilt L. Idema's Introduction traces the evolution of the central legend and its significance in the history of Chinese popular culture. Annotations explaining terms and references that may be unfamiliar to Western readers, a glossary, and a comprehensive bibliography further enhance the value of this book for both scholars and students.

Filial Piety and Its Divine Rewards The Legend of Dong Yong and Weaving Maiden with Related Texts

Filial Piety and Its Divine Rewards The Legend of Dong Yong and Weaving Maiden with Related Texts

Author: Wilt L. Idema Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/09/2009

Of the many ballads, tales, and plays extolling filial piety ( xiao )--the foundational virtue of imperial China--none was more popular in that era than the legend of Dong Yong and his heavenly helpmate, Weaving Maiden. Continually revised and embellished over a millennium, the tale's popularity remains, finding new expression in Chinese film and opera in the twentieth century. The five versions of the legend presented here, alongside a selection of related texts, illustrate changing perceptions of xiao from the tenth century through the first part of the twentieth in a variety of genres. An appendix traces the development of the related legend of Weaving Maiden and Buffalo Boy from myth to folktale. Wilt L. Idema's Introduction traces the evolution of the central legend and its significance in the history of Chinese popular culture. Annotations explaining terms and references that may be unfamiliar to Western readers, a glossary, and a comprehensive bibliography further enhance the value of this book for both scholars and students.

The White Snake and Her Son A Translation of the Precious Scroll of Thunder Peak

The White Snake and Her Son A Translation of the Precious Scroll of Thunder Peak

Author: Wilt L. Idema Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/2009

A cornerstone of Chinese popular culture, the legend of the White Snake--the admirable demon who loves her victim--has been continually rewritten, reinterpreted, and readapted for over five hundred years. The Precious Scroll of Thunder Peak was one of the most popular nineteenth-century versions of the legend. In bringing together translations of the Scroll , four anonymous youth books, and other texts related to the development of the White Snake legend, this volume opens a window into the richness and variety of premodern Chinese popular literature. It also illustrates the ways in which traditional and modern Chinese societies have treated a host of vital cultural issues, including the role of women in society, perceptions of sexuality, and folk religion. Wilt L. Idema's Introduction traces the evolution of the legend and places the translated texts in the history of Chinese popular literature and culture. Annotations explaining terms and references that may be unfamiliar to Western readers, a glossary, and a thorough bibliography further enhance the value of this book for both scholars and students.

The White Snake and Her Son A Translation of the Precious Scroll of Thunder Peak

The White Snake and Her Son A Translation of the Precious Scroll of Thunder Peak

Author: Wilt L. Idema Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/09/2009

A cornerstone of Chinese popular culture, the legend of the White Snake--the admirable demon who loves her victim--has been continually rewritten, reinterpreted, and readapted for over five hundred years. The Precious Scroll of Thunder Peak was one of the most popular nineteenth-century versions of the legend. In bringing together translations of the Scroll , four anonymous youth books, and other texts related to the development of the White Snake legend, this volume opens a window into the richness and variety of premodern Chinese popular literature. It also illustrates the ways in which traditional and modern Chinese societies have treated a host of vital cultural issues, including the role of women in society, perceptions of sexuality, and folk religion. Wilt L. Idema's Introduction traces the evolution of the legend and places the translated texts in the history of Chinese popular literature and culture. Annotations explaining terms and references that may be unfamiliar to Western readers, a glossary, and a thorough bibliography further enhance the value of this book for both scholars and students.

Judge Bao And The Rule Of Law: Eight Ballad-stories From The Period 1250-1450

Judge Bao And The Rule Of Law: Eight Ballad-stories From The Period 1250-1450

Author: Wilt L. Idema Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/07/2009

Pure, orthodox and incorruptible, Judge Bao has been serving as the preeminent embodiment of justice in China for almost a thousand years, so much so his court cases have been adapted as stories, novels and plays over the centuries. Now, for the very first time a series of eight ballad-stories on Judge Bao, dating from the period 1250-1450, are offered in a complete and annotated translation. These texts will provide the reader a reflection of the legend of Judge Bao in its earliest phase of development, with an extended introduction placing the ballad-stories in context with the development of the Judge Bao legend. These ballad-stories, in contrast to past plays dating from the same period, present abuse of power and corruption as endemic in the courts and bureaucratic service, and show Judge Bao imposing the rule of law even on the emperor.

Heroines of Jiangyong Chinese Narrative Ballads in Women's Script

Heroines of Jiangyong Chinese Narrative Ballads in Women's Script

Author: Wilt L. Idema Format: Hardback Release Date: 16/02/2009

Heroines of Jiangyong is the first English translation of a set of verse narratives recorded in the unique women's script (nushu) of rural Jiangyong County, Hunan, in southern China. This selection of Chinese folk literature provides a rare window into the everyday life of rural daughters, wives, and mothers, as they transmit valuable lessons about surviving in a patriarchal society that is often harsh and unforgiving. Featuring strong female protagonists, the ballads deal with moral issues, dangers women face outside the family home, and the difficulties of childbirth. The women's script, which represents units of sound in the local Chinese dialect, was discovered by scholars in the late twentieth century, creating a stir in China and abroad. This volume offers a full translation of all the longer ballads in women's script, providing an exceptional opportunity to observe which specific narratives appealed to rural women in traditional China. The translations are preceded by a brief introduction to women's script and its scholarship, and a discussion of each of the twelve selections.

Heroines of Jiangyong Chinese Narrative Ballads in Women's Script

Heroines of Jiangyong Chinese Narrative Ballads in Women's Script

Author: Wilt L. Idema Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/12/2008

Heroines of Jiangyong is the first English translation of a set of verse narratives recorded in the unique women's script (nushu) of rural Jiangyong County, Hunan, in southern China. This selection of Chinese folk literature provides a rare window into the everyday life of rural daughters, wives, and mothers, as they transmit valuable lessons about surviving in a patriarchal society that is often harsh and unforgiving. Featuring strong female protagonists, the ballads deal with moral issues, dangers women face outside the family home, and the difficulties of childbirth. The women's script, which represents units of sound in the local Chinese dialect, was discovered by scholars in the late twentieth century, creating a stir in China and abroad. This volume offers a full translation of all the longer ballads in women's script, providing an exceptional opportunity to observe which specific narratives appealed to rural women in traditional China. The translations are preceded by a brief introduction to women's script and its scholarship, and a discussion of each of the twelve selections.

Personal Salvation and Filial Piety Two Precious Scroll Narratives of Guanyin and Her Acolytes

Personal Salvation and Filial Piety Two Precious Scroll Narratives of Guanyin and Her Acolytes

Author: Wilt L. Idema Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/05/2008

The Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara was a handsome prince when he entered China. As Guanyin, the bodhisattva was venerated from the eleventh century onward in the shape of a beautiful woman who became a universal savior. Throughout the last millennium, the female Guanyin has enjoyed wide and fervid veneration throughout East Asia and has appeared as a major character in literature and legend.In one tale, Guanyin (as the princess Miaoshan) returns from the dead after being executed by the king, her father, for refusing to marry. The most popular version of this legend is The Precious Scroll of Incense Mountain (Xiangshan baojuan), a long narrative in prose and verse and a work of considerable literary merit. It emphasizes the conflict between father and daughter, in the course of which all conventional arguments against a religious lifestyle are paraded and rebutted. A lengthy description of Guanyin's visit to the underworld, which focuses on the conflict between grace and justice, is also included. Personal Salvation and Filial Piety offers a complete and fully annotated translation of The Precious Scroll , based on a nineteenth-century edition. The translation is preceded by a substantial introduction that discusses the origin of the text and the genre to which it belongs and highlights the similarities and differences between the scroll and female saints' lives from medieval Europe. There follows a translation of the much-shorter Precious Scroll of Good-in-Talent and Dragon Daughter, which provides a humorous account of how Guanyin acquired the three acolytes - Sudhana, Nagakanya, and a white parrot - who are often shown surrounding her in popular prints.

Meng Jiangnu Brings Down the Great Wall Ten Versions of a Chinese Legend

Meng Jiangnu Brings Down the Great Wall Ten Versions of a Chinese Legend

Author: Wilt L. Idema Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/03/2008

Meng Jiangnu Brings Down the Great Wall brings together ten versions of a popular Chinese legend that has intrigued readers and listeners for hundreds of years. Elements of the story date back to the early centuries B.C.E. and are an intrinsic part of Chinese literary history. Major themes and subtle nuances of the legend are illuminated here by Wilt L. Idema's new translations and pairings. In this classic story, a young woman named Meng Jiang makes a long, solitary journey to deliver winter clothes to her husband, a drafted laborer on the grandiose Great Wall construction project of the notorious First Emperor of the Qin dynasty (BCE 221-208). But her travels end in tragedy when, upon arrival, she learns that her husband has died under the harsh working conditions and been entombed in the wall. Her tears of grief cause the wall to collapse and expose his bones, which she collects for proper burial. In some versions, she tricks the lecherous emperor, who wants to marry her, into providing a stately funeral for her husband and then takes her own life. The versions presented here are ballads and chantefables (alternating chanted verse and recited prose), five from urban printed texts from the late Imperial and early Republican periods, and five from oral performances and partially reconstructed texts collected in rural areas in recent decades. They represent a wide range of genres, regional styles, dates, and content. From one version to another, different elements of the story--the circumstances of Meng Jiangnu's marriage, her relationship with her parents-in-law, the journey to the wall, her grief, her defiance of the emperor--are elaborated upon, downplayed, or left out altogether depending on the particular moral lessons that tale authors wished to impart. Idema brings together his considerable translation skills and broad knowledge of Chinese literature to present an assortment of tales and insightful commentary that will be a gold mine of information for scholars in a number of disciplines. Haiyan Lee's essay discusses the appeal of the Meng Jiangnu story to twentieth-century literary reformers, and the interpretations they imposed on the material they collected.

Meng Jiangnu Brings Down the Great Wall Ten Versions of a Chinese Legend

Meng Jiangnu Brings Down the Great Wall Ten Versions of a Chinese Legend

Author: Wilt L. Idema Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/03/2008

Meng Jiangnu Brings Down the Great Wall brings together ten versions of a popular Chinese legend that has intrigued readers and listeners for hundreds of years. Elements of the story date back to the early centuries B.C.E. and are an intrinsic part of Chinese literary history. Major themes and subtle nuances of the legend are illuminated here by Wilt L. Idema's new translations and pairings. In this classic story, a young woman named Meng Jiang makes a long, solitary journey to deliver winter clothes to her husband, a drafted laborer on the grandiose Great Wall construction project of the notorious First Emperor of the Qin dynasty (BCE 221-208). But her travels end in tragedy when, upon arrival, she learns that her husband has died under the harsh working conditions and been entombed in the wall. Her tears of grief cause the wall to collapse and expose his bones, which she collects for proper burial. In some versions, she tricks the lecherous emperor, who wants to marry her, into providing a stately funeral for her husband and then takes her own life. The versions presented here are ballads and chantefables (alternating chanted verse and recited prose), five from urban printed texts from the late Imperial and early Republican periods, and five from oral performances and partially reconstructed texts collected in rural areas in recent decades. They represent a wide range of genres, regional styles, dates, and content. From one version to another, different elements of the story--the circumstances of Meng Jiangnu's marriage, her relationship with her parents-in-law, the journey to the wall, her grief, her defiance of the emperor--are elaborated upon, downplayed, or left out altogether depending on the particular moral lessons that tale authors wished to impart. Idema brings together his considerable translation skills and broad knowledge of Chinese literature to present an assortment of tales and insightful commentary that will be a gold mine of information for scholars in a number of disciplines. Haiyan Lee's essay discusses the appeal of the Meng Jiangnu story to twentieth-century literary reformers, and the interpretations they imposed on the material they collected.

Books in Numbers

Books in Numbers

Author: Wilt L. Idema Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/02/2008

This collection of papers is a result of an academic conference entitled Books in Numbers held in celebration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Harvard-Yenching Library. The aim of this conference was to celebrate the book culture of East Asia by comparing and contrasting the development of manuscript and print culture in each of the separate cultural areas of the region: China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam and Central Asia.The papers in this volume do not in any way attempt to offer a complete picture of the history of writing and the book in East Asia, but rather they hope to make a modest contribution by highlighting the differential developments in each of the cultural regions, as they were influenced by political, economic, social, and cultural factors.

Trauma and Transcendence in Early Qing Literature

Trauma and Transcendence in Early Qing Literature

Author: Wilt L. Idema Format: Hardback Release Date: 12/05/2006

The collapse of the Ming dynasty and the Manchu conquest of China were traumatic experiences for Chinese intellectuals, not only because of the many decades of destructive warfare but also because of the adjustments necessary to life under a foreign regime. History became a defining subject in their writings, and it went on shaping literary production in succeeding generations as the Ming continued to be remembered, re-imagined, and refigured on new terms. The twelve chapters in this volume and the introductory essays on early Qing poetry, prose, and drama understand the writings of this era wholly or in part as attempts to recover from or transcend the trauma of the transition years. By the end of the seventeenth century, the sense of trauma had diminished, and a mood of accommodation had taken hold. Varying shades of lament or reconciliation, critical or nostalgic retrospection on the Ming, and rejection or acceptance of the new order distinguish the many voices in these writings.