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The White Snake and Her Son

A Translation of The Precious Scroll of Thunder Peak, with Related Texts

The White Snake and Her Son
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A cornerstone of Chinese popular culture, the legend of the White Snake—the admirable demon who loves her victim—has been continually rewritten, reinterpreted, and readapted for over five hundred years. The Precious Scroll of Thunder Peak was one of the most popular nineteenth-century versions of the legend.

In bringing together translations of the Scroll, four anonymous "youth books," and other texts related to the development of the White Snake legend, this volume opens a window into the richness and variety of premodern Chinese popular literature. It also illustrates the ways in which traditional and modern Chinese societies have treated a host of vital cultural issues, including the role of women in society, perceptions of sexuality, and folk religion.

Wilt L. Idema's Introduction traces the evolution of the legend and places the translated texts in the history of Chinese popular literature and culture. Annotations explaining terms and references that may be unfamiliar to Western readers, a glossary, and a thorough bibliography further enhance the value of this book for both scholars and students.

Wilt L. Idema is Professor of Chinese Literature, Harvard University.

Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.; September 2009
202 pages; ISBN 9781603842143
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