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16 books of Songling Pu

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Long considered a masterpiece of the eerie and fantastic, Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio is a collection of supernatural tales compiled by Songling Pu in the eighteenth century. Full of stories of ghosts, magic, vampirism and other things bizarre and fantastic, this classic of Chinese literature—and of supernatural tales in general—has been revised and updated, and includes pinyin for the first time. Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio is for anyone who loves hair-­raising stories best read with the lights turned low on a dark and stormy night.

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聊斋志异》(聊斋,是蒲松龄的书斋名;志异,有记录奇异事件的意思),简称《聊斋》, 俗名《鬼狐传》,是中国清代著名小说家蒲松龄创作的文言短篇小说集。This book is in simplified Chinese (原版简体中文)

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Long considered a masterpiece of the eerie and fantastic, Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio is a collection of supernatural tales compiled by Songling Pu in the eighteenth century. Full of stories of ghosts, magic, vampirism and other things bizarre and fantastic, this classic of Chinese literature—and of supernatural tales in general—has been revised and updated, and includes pinyin for the first time. Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio is for anyone who loves hair-­raising stories best read with the lights turned low on a dark and stormy night.

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I.­—Personal. —The public has, perhaps, a right to be made acquainted with the title under which I, an unknown writer, come forward as the translator of a difficult Chinese work. In the spring of 1867 I began the study of Chinese at H.­B.­M.­’s Legation, Peking, under an implied promise, in a despatch from the then Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, that successful efforts would be rewarded by proportionately rapid advancement in the service of which I was a member. Then followed a long novitiate of utterly uninteresting and, indeed, most repellent labour,­—inseparable, however, from the acquisition of this language, which throughout its early stages demands more from sheer memory than from the exercise of any other intellectual faculty. At length, in the spring of 1877, while acting as Vice-­Consul at Canton, I commenced the translation of the work here offered to the English reader. For such a task I had flattered myself into the belief that I possessed two of the requisite . . .

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The Strange Tales of Pu Songling (1640-­1715) are exquisite and amusing miniatures that are regarded as the pinnacle of classical Chinese fiction. With their elegant prose, witty wordplay and subtle charm, the 104 stories in this selection reveal a world in which nothing is as it seems. Here a Taoist monk conjures up a magical pear tree, a scholar recounts his previous incarnations, a woman out-­foxes the fox-­spirit that possesses her, a child bride gives birth to a thimble-­sized baby, a ghostly city appears out of nowhere and a heartless daughter-­in-­law is turned into a pig. In his tales of humans coupling with shape-­shifting spirits, bizarre phenomena, haunted buildings and enchanted objects, Pu Songling pushes back the boundaries of human experience and enlightens as he entertains.

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Books of Songling Pu