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Journey to the West Lake
by Paul Cox
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Journey to the West is a classic Chinese mythological novel. It was written during the Ming Dynasty based on traditional folktales. Consisting of 100 chapters, this fantasy relates the adventures of a Tang Dynasty (618-907) priest Sanzang and his three disciples, Monkey, Pig and Friar Sand, as they travel west in search of Buddhist Sutra. The first seven chapters recount the birth of the Monkey King and his rebellion against Heaven. Then in chapters eight to twelve, we learn how Sanzang was born and why he is searching for the scriptures, as well as his preparations for the journey. The rest of the story describes how they vanquish demons and monsters, tramp over the Fiery Mountain, cross the Milky Way, and after overcoming many dangers, finally arrive at their destination - the Thunder Monastery in the Western Heaven - and find the Sutra.
Attached are a number of illustrations drawn during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
W.J.F (Bill) Jenner, born in 1940, is an English student of Chinese history and culture. His secondary education was mainly in the Greek and Latin classics. He began the study of Chinese at Oxford in 1958, where he graduated in Oriental Studies in 1962. He earned his Oxford D Phil for a thesis on the history of the great city of Luoyang in the 5th-6th centruy AD.
From 1963 to 1965 he was a translator at the Foreign Languages Press, for which he translated From Emperor to Citizen (volume 1, 1964; volume 2, 1965; laterreprints in two-volume and single-volume form, including one from Oxford University Press), the ghosted autobiography of Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi, the last emperor of China. He also began his translation of Journey to the West at that time. From 1979 to 1985 he returned to the FLP most summers to complete Journey to the West and to do other translations for the Press and its sister organization Panda Books.They included Lu Xun: Selected Poems, a bilingual edition with introduction and notes published by the FLP in 1982 and Miss Sophie's Diary and Other Stories by Ding Ling (Panda Books, 1985).
Since 1965 he has taught Chinese studies in universities, mainly the University of Leeds and also the Australian National University and the University of East Anglia.
His other books include Modern Chinese Stories, edited and translated with Gladys Yang (London: Oxford Univeristy Press, 1970); Memories of Loyang; Yang Hsuan-chih and the lost capital, 493-534 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981); and The Tyranny of History: the Roots of China's Crisis (London; Allen Lane, The Penguin Press, 1992; Penguin paperback with corrections and afterword, 1994).
In recent years his main project has been a major new two-volume history of China from the Neolithic the present for Penjuin Books.
He has two daughters and a son.
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