Twelve Towers

  • 乐和彩登录作   者:

    李渔[著],Nathan Mao[Retold],Weiting R. Mao[Retold]

  • 出版社:

    Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press

  • 语   言:


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Li Yü's stories celebrate consummate skill in all its forms, not least his own skill as a storyteller. His stories typically include at least one moment when “the magician reveals his trick,” drawing our attention to his own narrative ingenuity, either in his own voice or through that of a character. We hope every reader will find everything that matters in TWELVE TOWERS.


乐和彩登录Twelve Towers is a collection of a dozen vernacular Chinese short stories by the renowned seventeenth-century fiction writer, dramatist, and drama critic Li Yu, often identified by his tzu, Li Li-weng (1611-1680). It presents a vivid and realistic picture of Chinese society in the seventeenth century and a wide-ranging yet detailed study of characters with the traditional themes of Chinese fiction. These are stories of idyllic charm, bedroom farce and innocent romance. The plots are full of surprises and sexual crises. These features have made the collection immensely popular in China. Now Nathan K. Mao and Weiting R. Mao have rendered the twelve stories into modern English for the benefit of a larger audience.


Li Yü (1611-1680) was one of the outstanding literary personalities of late imperial China. An aestheticist and bon vivant, he cultivated an iconoclastic persona through a varied writing career in fiction, drama, and essays, flouting the narrative formulas and moral conventions of each. A man of wide-ranging enthusiasms and pursuits, Li took immense pleasure in his own creative capacities, and his writings exude an infectious sense of fun.

Nathan K. Mao was born in Kweiyang, Kweichou Province, China. He was educated at New Asia College (Hong Kong), Yale University and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has taught at the University of Wisconsin (Platteville) and The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He was a recipient of the 1978-1979 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Distinguished Faculty Awards. Dr. Mao has written Li Yu (Boston, 1977) and Pa Chin (Boston, 1978). He is an editor of Classical Chinese Fiction and Modern Chinese Fiction (Boston, 1978, 1981), as well as the translator of Li Yu's Twelve Towers (Hong Kong, 1975) and co-translator of Fortress Besieged (Bloomington, 1979). At present, Dr. Mao is Professor of English at Shippensburg State University, Pennsylvania.

If it is difficult to erect walls on the ground, imagine how more difficult it must be to erect one in deep water. Common sense indicates that a separation by water should be as good a barrier as the natural boundary created by the Yellow River,5 but this was not considered so by Mr. Kuan. Having a suspicious nature and unwilling to have any contact with his brother-in- law, he spared neither money nor effort in building a stone wall which projected high above the water. Thus the two families were completely separated from each other, and members of one had hardly any chance to meet members of the other.

  • Foreword

  • Preface

  • Introduction

  • 乐和彩登录The Reflections in the Water

  • The Jackpot

  • 乐和彩登录Buried Treasure

  • The Magic Mirror

  • 乐和彩登录The Swindler

  • 乐和彩登录The Elegant Eunuch

  • The Crafty Maid

  • 乐和彩登录Marital Frustrations

  • The Stoic Lover

  • The Male Heir

  • Father and Son

  • The Hermit

  • Bibliography

  • 乐和彩登录Wade-Giles to Pinyin Conversion Table

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