Author(s): Arthur Waley
Wu Ch??ng-?n wrote Monkey in the middle of the sixteenth century, adding to an ancient Chinese legend his own touches of delicacy and humour. The result is an attractive jumble of the absurd and the profound, of religion and history, of anti-bureaucratic satire and pure poetry. While the story tells of Tripitaka?s journey to India and what happens on the way, its true theme is man?s pilgrimage through life, with Monkey, Pigsy and Sandy symbolizing the diverse elements of human nature. Entertaining and highly readable, Monkey is a unique blend of charm, wisdom and imagination.
Very little is known about Wu Ch-eng-en (c. 1505-80) although he is believed to have held the post of District Magistrate for a time. He had a reputation as a good poet but only a few rather commonplace verses of his survive in an anthology of Ming poetry and in a local gazetteer. Arthur Waley CBE, FBS, was a distinguished authority on Chinese language and literature. He was born in 1889 and graduated from the Universities of Cambridge and Aberdeen. He died in 1966. His many publications include 170 Chinese Poems, Japanese Poetry, The Tale of Genji (6 vols), The Way and its Power, The Real Tripitaka and Yuam Mei.