But to be a completist in English translations I did, and I see why Penguin keeps it in print. Liu Jung-en was a poet and novelist, and writes a valuable introduction to zaju in general and each of the plays. Regardless I did enjoy this book quite a bit, even if the culterutal differences were there.
Since Professor Zheng is concerned centrally with my work on this topic, it seemed appropriate that I make a few comments. However, I am not convinced that it shows us a difference between Chinese and Western drama.
First, I should say that I did not initially conceive of my comments on tragedy and tragi-comedy as involving terribly substantive claims. I had analyzed story sequences in terms of goal pursuit, with goals defined by imagined happiness.
Achievement of the goal is the basic condition of comedy. This left the obvious issue of what constitutes tragedy, since heroes do not typically pursue objects they do not believe will make them happy. My claim was simply that tragedy is not a problem because the tragic hero pursues a happiness goal in the usual way; what marks off tragedy from comedy is that the hero cannot achieve the goal.
For example, Romeo and Juliet desire union. Their deaths prevent this. I went on to argue that prototypical comedies intensify their outcome emotion of joy by developing the middle of the story into an apparent loss of the happiness goal.
But it is more engaging and ultimately enjoyable if John and Jane are married after they have been separated by parental disapproval, with one of them apparently dying and the other being engaged to a wicked rival.
In comedy, that intensification in the middle is, so to speak, temporarily tragic. The lovers are not dead; the conflict with the parents can be overcome. In tragedy, that middle is permanent. They do have some independent consequences. The first consequence that I should note is terminological.
In keeping with the latter usage, some writers refer to a work as a tragi-comedy if sorrowful elements disturb our response to the joyful elements, rendering the predominant mood unclear.
However, that brings me to the second consequence, which is not merely terminological. I have stressed the broad extent of ambivalence in other work see How. Specifically, Professor Zheng presents a suggestive argument that both Chinese and Western narratives involve shortening comedy into tragedy.
However, in my terms, he indicates that Chinese tragedies are more ambivalent thus have more joy in their outcomes. However, if true, it could only be shown by broad survey. I also pointed out that many heroic stories involve the original leader being killed and replaced by his heir.
Given these points, The Great Revenge of the Orphan of Chao seems to conform relatively well to the general structure of heroic tragi-comedy—or, more properly, it seems to approximate the prototype since we are not dealing with necessary and sufficient conditions here, but with roughly average tendencies.
King Lear turns out to be a difficult case. But his favorite child Cordelia has been killed—partially due to conflict with that son-in-law. Even while being more complex in its outcome, King Lear seems clearly to be varying the prototypical, tragi-comic case.
But its complexity—narrative, thematic, and above all emotional—is important and consequential. The key point for present purposes is that all these heroic works—Chinese and Western—betray degrees of ambivalence, whether we judge them ultimately tragic or comic in outcome.
The same point applies to romantic works. Both involve the permanent, tragic separation of the lovers. But both also involve social reconciliation at the end—reconciliation of the Montagues and Capulets in the former case and reconciliation between Emperor Yuan and Emperor Huhanya in the latter.
In sum, it is not clear that there is a systematic difference between Chinese and Western drama in the nature of shortening tragi-comedy into tragedy. Rather, Professor Zheng seems to me to have drawn our attention, very valuably, to variation in the degree of such shortening in both traditions.
This in turn sensitizes us to the extent of ambivalence in both tragedy and comedy. Finally, it suggests that there is not a sharp comedy-tragedy division, but a continuum, with ambiguous cases—rather as we might have expected from the idea of tragi-comedy to begin with.
Future Research The preceding points suggest that the ambivalence of both comedy and tragedy should be studied more systematically across a range of traditions. Another part of this research may involve explaining why different traditions apparently develop comic and tragic outcomes in different proportions, both within and across works.
Finally, further study of the way tragi-comedy operates in the different universal-prototypical genres such as the heroic and romantic stories might advance our understanding of why some genres appear more prone to ambivalence than others.About Six Yuan Plays.
Although their Mongol overlords (beginning with the founding of the Yuan dynasty by Kublai Khan in ) tyrannized the Chinese in nearly every area of life, the arts enjoyed a . LibraryThing Review User Review - xuebi - LibraryThing. In this edition, Jung presents translations of six plays from the Yuan Dynasty by a varied selection of playwrights including the well-known The Injustice Done to Tou Ngo, The Orphan of Chao, and 4/5(2).
From a print illustration of zaju plays by Yuan writers; Ming Dynasty, Wanli reign (–). On one hand, the zaju theater represents a long process of Chinese art, music, and poetry; on the other hand, the zaju appears as a phenomenon resulting from a combination of cultures over a long period of time.
The plays called Yuan Songs combine all the theatrical elements of drama, comedy, song, dance, acrobatics, and mime. Men and boys might play female roles, and in . The collection features seven of the twenty-six available untranslated zaju published in the fourteenth century, with a substantial introduction preceding each play and extensive annotations throughout. The editors also include translations of the Ming versions of four of the included plays and an essay that synthesizes recent Chinese and. The skits and vaudeville acts, the puppet shows and shadow plays of previous ages had laid the foundation for a full-fledged drama, but the availability of Indian and Iranian models during the Yuan dynasty may have been a more immediate cause for its accelerated growth.
In this edition, Jung presents translations of six plays from the Yuan Dynasty by a varied selection of playwrights including the well-known The Injustice Done to Tou Ngo, The Orphan of Chao, and Autumn in the Han Palace.
An interesting introduction to the background of the plays is also included/5. In this edition, Jung presents translations of six plays from the Yuan Dynasty by a varied selection of playwrights including the well-known The Injustice Done to Tou Ngo, The Orphan of Chao, and Autumn in the Han Palace.
An interesting introduction to the background of the plays is also included/5. Get this from a library! The Orphan of Zhao and Other Yuan Plays: the Earliest Known Versions. [Wilt L Idema; Stephen H West;] -- This is the first anthology of Yuan-dynasty zaju (miscellaneous comedies) to introduce the genre to English-speaking readers exclusively through .