Strange Tales from Liaozhai - Vol. 2
The weird and whimsical short stories in Strange Tales from Liaozhai show their author, Pu Songling (1640-1715), to be both an explorer of the macabre, like Edgar Allan Poe, and a moralist, like Aesop. In this first complete translation of the collection's 494 stories into English, readers will encounter supernatural creatures, natural disasters, magical aspects of Buddhist and Daoist spirituality, and a wide range of Chinese folklore. Annotations are provided to clarify unfamiliar references or cultural allusions, and introductory essays have been included to explain facets of Pu Songling's work and to provide context for some of the unique qualities of his uncanny tales.
This is the second of 6 volumes.
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For all the many reasons that he wrote these tales, from reflecting his love of the
otherworldly to providing a natural extension of his work as a teacher, Pu
Songling composed them most importantly to be enjoyed by a broad audience,
not just ...
This kind of modesty, the self-effacement that points to a sincere personal
reverence, is also typical of Pu Songling (1640-1715), regarding the almost five
hundred short stories that comprise his Strange Tales from Liaozhai (liaozhai
Pu Songling. But his stories also admonish readers to work more consciously to
understand other people and their motives, possibly prompted by his own
feelings of being misapprehended by others.2 People continually try to suggest
This may also explain why Pu prefaces the long harangue at the conclusion of “
Huang the Ninth” (huangjiu lang) with the comment that “I'll be a 'judge in jest'
and render this judgment”: it is a reaction to the protagonist He Zixiao's
Notes 1 Pu's preface appears in volume one of this translation (1:1-4). All
subsequent citations of stories and essays from this volume will appear in
parentheses, with the volume number preceding page references. 2 For Pu