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The White Snake and Her Son: A Translation of The Precious Scroll of Thunder Peak with Related Texts

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0872209954
ISBN-10: 0872209954
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Editorial Reviews


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.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872209954
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872209954
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #718,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I discovered this book after a mythological journey that lead me down the path to the white snake myth. It is fundamental as it is the translations of the scrolls of thunder which are the oldest known written works of white snake, though the oral and operatic tradition go back even farther. The story is written with all the moral commentary of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism, but the essential essence of the story is there and it is interesting to see how China's major religious thoughts have integrated this ancient passion play.
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