One of the Greatest Chinese Novels

[From the Preface, Index, & beginning of text]: Xi you zhen quan; [from the title-page]: Hui xiang Jin sheng tan jia ping Xi you zhen quan [The Monkey King [or] Complete Narratives of the Travels to the West of China].

Commentary by Shibin Chen (or Wuyizi). 20 full-page illus. in Vol. I. 100 parts in 24 vols. Small 8vo, orig. wrappers, new stitching. [China]: Jie zi yuan, Preface dated 1696.

A rare Qing dynasty edition published by Jie zi yuan of this famous book, one of the “Four Great Classical Novels of China,” and one of the world’s longest and oldest novels. First published in the late 16th century, it is a mythological novel based on the true journey taken in the 7th century by the monk Xuanzang (“Tripitaka”), to retrieve Buddhist scriptures from India and bring them back to China. Along the way, he is joined by an invincible Sun Wukong ( “Monkey King”), a voracious pig-man Zhu Bajie (“Pigsy”), and a marsh-dwelling sand monster named Sha Wujing (“Sandy”), all of whom protect the monk during his journey.

As a comic adventure story, the novel resembles Don Quixote and is a humorous satire of Chinese bureaucracy. It has inspired numerous television series, musical works, video games, and comic books.

The first volume contains 20 fine full-page woodcut illustrations. The first four depict the four main characters and the remaining, quite dramatic illustrations show important scenes from the novel.

All copies of this edition listed in WorldCat consist of 20 volumes, while our set has been bound in 24 volumes.

Nice set, uncommonly fresh, preserved in two chitsu. Minor worming to a few volumes. The title-page in Vol. I is a little defective and torn.

Price: $12,500.00

Item ID: 6941

See all items in China, Chinese, Literature
See all items by