The Journey to the West, Revised Edition, Volume 1, Volume 1

Front Cover
Anthony C. Yu
University of Chicago Press, Apr 5, 2013 - Fiction - 576 pages
Anthony C. Yu’s translation of The Journey to the West,initially published in 1983, introduced English-speaking audiences to the classic Chinese novel in its entirety for the first time. Written in the sixteenth century, The Journey to the West tells the story of the fourteen-year pilgrimage of the monk Xuanzang, one of China’s most famous religious heroes, and his three supernatural disciples, in search of Buddhist scriptures. Throughout his journey, Xuanzang fights demons who wish to eat him, communes with spirits, and traverses a land riddled with a multitude of obstacles, both real and fantastical. An adventure rich with danger and excitement, this seminal work of the Chinese literary canonis by turns allegory, satire, and fantasy.
With over a hundred chapters written in both prose and poetry, The Journey to the West has always been a complicated and difficult text to render in English while preserving the lyricism of its language and the content of its plot. But Yu has successfully taken on the task, and in this new edition he has made his translations even more accurate and accessible. The explanatory notes are updated and augmented, and Yu has added new material to his introduction, based on his original research as well as on the newest literary criticism and scholarship on Chinese religious traditions. He has also modernized the transliterations included in each volume, using the now-standard Hanyu Pinyin romanization system. Perhaps most important, Yu has made changes to the translation itself in order to make it as precise as possible.

One of the great works of Chinese literature, The Journey to the West is not only invaluable to scholars of Eastern religion and literature, but, in Yu’s elegant rendering, also a delight for any reader.


1 The divine root conceives its source revealed Mind and nature nurtured the Great Dao is born
2 Fully awoke to Bodhis wondrous truths He cuts off Māra returns to the root and joins Primal Spirit
3 Four Seas and a Thousand Mountains all bow to submit From Ninefold Darkness ten species names are removed
4 Appointed a BanHorse could he be content? Named Equal to Heaven hes still not appeased
5 Disrupting the Peach Festival the Great Sage steals elixir With revolt in Heaven many gods would seize the fiend
6 Guanyin attending the banquet inquires into the cause The Little Sage exerting his power subdues the Great Sage
7 From the Eight Trigrams Brazier the Great Sage escapes Beneath the Five Phases Mountain Mind Monkey is still
15 At Serpent Coil Mountain the gods give secret protection At Eagle Grief Stream the Horse of the Will is reined
16 At Guanyin Hall the monks plot for the treasure At Black Wind Mountain a monster steals the cassock
17 Pilgrim Sun greatly disturbs the Black Wind Mountain Guanshiyin brings to submission the bear monster
18 At Guanyin Hall the Tang Monk leaves his ordeal At Gao Village the Great Sage casts out the monster
19 At Cloudy Paths Cave Wukong takes in Eight Rules At Pagoda Mountain Tripitaka receives the Heart Sūtra
20 At Yellow Wind Ridge the Tang Monk meets adversity In midmountain Eight Rules strives to be first
21 The Vihārapālas prepare lodging for the Great Sage Lingji of Sumeru crushes the wind demon
22 Eight Rules fights fiercely at the Flowing Sand River Mokṣa by order receives Wujings submission

8 Our Buddha makes scriptures to impart ultimate bliss Guanyin receives the decree to go up to Changan
9 Chen Guangrui going to his post meets disaster Monk River Float avenging his parents repays his roots
10 The Old Dragon Kings foolish schemes transgress Heavens decrees Prime Minister Weis letter seeks help from an official of the dead
11 Having toured the Underworld Taizong returns to life Having presented melons and fruits Liu Quan marries again
12 The Tang emperor firmly sincere convenes a Grand Mass Guanyin in epiphany converts Gold Cicada
13 In the den of tigers the Gold Star brings deliverance At Double Fork Ridge Boqin detains the monk
14 Mind Monkey returns to the Right The Six Robbers vanish from sight
23 Tripitaka does not forget his origin The Four Sages test the priestly mind
24 At Long Life Mountain the Great Immortal detains his old friend At Five Villages Abbey Pilgrim steals the ginseng fruit
25 The Zhenyuan Immortal gives chase to catch the scripture monk Pilgrim Sun greatly disturbs Five Villages Abbey

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About the author (2013)

Anthony C. Yu is the Carl Darling Buck Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago.

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