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The Peach Blossom Fan is a poetic drama about national cataclysm. More than 300 years ago, the last native Chinese imperial house fell before rebel onslaughts, made a short-lived attempt at restoration in the south, then yielded finally to the invading Manchus. Writing in the 1690s, Kng Shang-jen gathered the recollections of survivors. Out of these and a multitude of documentary accounts, he constructed a great historical play in the elegant Southern Chinese style. With compelling vividness he recreates confrontations between loyalists and those who would sell out to the newest master; nostalgic scenes of dalliance in riverside pavilions, with wine and poetry and beautiful girls; desperate stands on battlements of beleaguered cities; and more. Sir Harold Acton, who collaborated with the late S. H. Chen and Cyril Birch in making this translation, has captured in his lively English the spirit and nuances of the original. Prefatory materials and notes provide both historical and dramaturgical background for the reader full enjoyment of this masterpiece.The Peach Blossom Fan is a poetic drama about national cataclysm.

Author:Shangren Kong
Publisher:Univ of California Press - 1976-01


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