The Journey to the West, Volume 3 (Revised Edition)
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Anthony C. Yu’s translation of The Journey to the West, initially published in 1983, introduced English-speaking audiences to the classic Chinese novel in its entirety for the first time. Written in the sixteenth century, The Journey to the West tells the story of the fourteen-year pilgrimage of the monk Xuanzang, one of China’s most famous religious heroes, and his three supernatural disciples, in search of Buddhist scriptures. Throughout his journey, Xuanzang fights demons who wish to eat him, communes with spirits, and traverses a land riddled with a multitude of obstacles, both real and fantastical. An adventure rich with danger and excitement, this seminal work of the Chinese literary canonis by turns allegory, satire, and fantasy.
With over a hundred chapters written in both prose and poetry, The Journey to the West has always been a complicated and difficult text to render in English while preserving the lyricism of its language and the content of its plot. But Yu has successfully taken on the task, and in this new edition he has made his translations even more accurate and accessible. The explanatory notes are updated and augmented, and Yu has added new material to his introduction, based on his original research as well as on the newest literary criticism and scholarship on Chinese religious traditions. He has also modernized the transliterations included in each volume, using the now-standard Hanyu Pinyin romanization system. Perhaps most important, Yu has made changes to the translation itself in order to make it as precise as possible.
One of the great works of Chinese literature, The Journey to the West is not only invaluable to scholars of Eastern religion and literature, but, in Yu’s elegant rendering, also a delight for any reader.
snare, Laozi then used it to pierce the nostrils of the ﬁend. Next, he took oﬀ the sash around his waist and fastened one end of it to the snare while his hand held the other. Thus the custom of leading the buﬀalo with a ring in its nose was established, a custom in use even now. This is also what we call binlang.⁸ After he took leave of the various deities, Laozi climbed onto the back of his green buﬀalo. Mounting colored clouds, He went back to Tushita Palace; Having bound the ﬁend, He ascended
and ground his teeth together, so frightening all of them that they turned to ﬂee, stumbling all over. Pilgrim darted forward and caught the old woman, crying, “Boil some water quick and I’ll spare you!” “Sire!” said the old woman, shaking violently, “boiled water is useless to cure their stomachaches. Let me go, and I’ll tell you.” Pilgrim released her, and she said, “This is the Women State of Western Liang.⁵ Not even a single male but only women live in our state. That’s why we were amused
out the water.” Crying for Heaven and Earth to help him, the Daoist crawled slowly to the rear, while Sha Monk lowered the bucket into the well and ﬁlled it to the brim. He then walked out of the Abbey and mounted the cloud and fog before he shouted to Pilgrim, “Big Brother, I have gotten the water and I’m leaving. Spare him! Spare him!” When the Great Sage heard this, he stopped the hook with his iron rod and said, “I was about to exterminate you, but you have not committed a crime. Moreover, I
drink. How about it?” “Of course! Of course!” said the Grand Preceptor. “We’ll send you a feast at once.” In great delight, the Grand Preceptor left with the clerk of the post-house. We tell you now about our elder Tang, who caught hold of Pilgrim immediately and berated him, crying, “Monkey head! Your tricks are killing me! How could you say such things and ask me to get married here while you people go to the Western Heaven to see Buddha? Even if I were to die, I would not dare do this.”
will not destroy such goodly aﬃnity and allow him to pass through on the basis of this rescript. This is an imperial document promulgated on an auspicious day in the autumn of the thirteenth year in the Zhenguan reign period of the Great Tang. Since leaving my ⁵ noble nation, I have passed through several countries, and in midjourney, I have made three disciples: the eldest being Pilgrim Sun Wukong, the second being Zhu Wuneng Eight Rules, and the third being Sha Wujing Monk. After he read it