Both by introducing the legend in such artfully rendered translations and showing its evolution over time, Idema has opened an extraordinary window on traditional Chinese popular culture.
In keeping with his record, Idema's scholarship is outstanding. His ability to translate popular texts into comparably idiomatic English is an outstanding achievement. An extremely valuable text for teaching. --Hugh R. Clark, Ursinus College
These are very readable translations . . . [this] book would serve well as a textbook in Chinese folklore or religion classes as well as a sourcebook for the comparativist who knows little or no Chinese. --David Elton Gay, Indiana University, in the Journal of Folklore Research
This slim volume actually contains a microcosm of premodern Chinese literature in which we see the growth and transformations of a core theme through several genres. We thereby learn much about the story of White Snake, of course, but this approach also has much to teach us about the nature and dynamics of Chinese popular literature in general--and about the methodology of its study.--Philip Clart, University of Leipzig
About the Author
Wilt L. Idema is Professor of Chinese Literature, Harvard University.