|Xinkan qimiao quanxiang zhushi Xixiangji 新刊奇妙全相註釋西廂記. [Xixiangji 西廂記]|
|Author||Wang Shifu 王實甫, fl. 1295-1307|
|Pub. Location||Shanghai 上海||Publisher||Shangwu yinshuguan 商務印書館|
|Date||1955||Phys. Desc.||2 v. (double leaves) in case : ill. ; 40 cm.|
|Location||Folio Cabinet 1||Call Number||PL2693.H75 1955|
|Xinkan qimiao quanxiang zhushi Xixiangji 新刊奇妙全相註釋西廂記 / [Wang Shifu zhuan 王實甫撰].|
Caption title: Xinkan dazi kuiben quanxiang canzeng qimiao zhushi Xixiangji 新刊大字魁本全相參增奇妙註釋西廂記.
Photo-offset: Beijing daxuecang Ming Hongzhi wuwu 北京大學藏明弘治戊午 .
Jintai Yuejia chongkanben 金臺岳家重刊本.
Xixiangji 西厢記 (The Romance of the Western Chamber).
Attributed to Wang Shifu 王實甫, fl. 1295-1307
Often called China's "Romeo and Juliet," the Xixiangji is a masterpiece of northern zaju 雜劇 drama. The story is a familiar one told with rare poetry. Student Zhang, on his way to the Capital for Imperial examinations, stops at a Buddhist monastery to visit a friend. He happens to encounter Widow Cui, temporarily lodging at the same monastery with her two children. Student Zhang immediately falls in love with Cui’s beautiful daughter, Yingying, who is betrothed to another man. After a local commander stages a rebellion and endangers the visitors at the monastery, Widow Cui promises her daughter to anyone who can protect them. Student Zhang and his friend, General Du Jue, succeed in suppressing the rebellion, but Widow Cui reneges on her promise of her daughter’s hand. After several digressions, and with the aid of the maidservant Hongniang, Student Zhang succeeds in the civil examinations and returns, and the lovers are finally united in marriage.
Vivid characterizations, most memorably the maidservant Hongniang, contribute to the superb plot construction, while the outstanding dramatic lyrics, written in the poetic meter called qu 曲, have delighted audiences for centuries. Based loosely on the Tang Dynasty tale Yingying zhuan by Yuan Zhen 元稹, and a 14th century play, Xixiangji zhugongdiao 西厢記諸宮調 by Dong Jieyuan 董解元, Wang Shifu fashioned a play with an evocative setting, atmospheric mood, a shrewd rendering of human sentiments and desires, and also, in a departure from the original story, a happy ending.
This edition, printed in 1955, is a facsimile of the Ming edition of 1498 held in the Beijing University collection.