The Sea of Regret: Two Turn-of-the-Century Chinese Romantic Novels

Paperback: $24.00
ISBN-13: 9780824817091
Published: July 1995
Hardback: $75.00
ISBN-13: 9780824816667
Published: July 1995

Additional Information

216 pages
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  • About the Book
  • Published within a few months of each other in 1906, “Stones in the Sea” by Fu Lin and “The Sea of Regret” by Wu Jianren take opposite sides in the heated turn-of-the-century debate over the place of romantic and sexual love and passion in Chinese life. “The Sea of Regret”, which came to be the most popular short novel of this period, is a response to the less well-known but equally significant “Stones in the Sea”. Taken together, this pair of novels provides a fascinating portrait of early twentieth-century China's struggle with its own cultural, ethical, and sexual redefinition. Patrick Hanan's masterful translation brings together these novels — neither of which has before been available in any foreign language — in a single volume, with a valuable introduction and notes. | “A tour de force in the art of translation. 'The Sea of Regret' is not only accurate, but, in the typical Hanan fashion, it is succinct and elegant as well. Impeccable work from an eminent scholar of Chinese fiction and a master of prose.” –Lee Ou-fan Lee, UCLA | “These two short novels are especially interesting for their insights into the debate in educated circles concerning marriage, family, and the status of women. The chaos in China caused by the Boxer Rebellion of 1900 is also vividly rendered in both works. Readers will find not only intrinsic interest but also historical relevance in these early modern novels.” –Michael S. Duke, University of British Columbia | Patrick Hanan is Victor S. Thomas Professor of Chinese Literature at Harvard University. He is the author of “The Chinese Vernacular Story” and “The Invention of Li Yu” and the translator of “The Carnal Prayer Mat” and “A Tower for the Summer Heat”.

  • About the Author(s)
    • Patrick Hanan, Translator

    • Wu Jianren, Author

    • Fu Lin, Author

    • Patrick Hanan, Translator

  • Reviews and Endorsements
    • In addition to offering insights on turn-of-the-century Chinese debates over freedom in marriage, these novels also vividly describe the pain and suffering of common people caught in the wake of the Boxer rebellion, I know of no other works of fiction that reflect in such detail what life was like for many Chinese whose lives were ruined by the Boxer turmoil. In this book the Chinese original texts are rendered accurately into beautiful, idiomatic, and lively English prose and Hanan is to be congratulated for his accomplishments as a translator.
      Journal of Asian Studies