The Chinese Fairy Book  - Richard Wilhelm - E-Book

The Chinese Fairy Book E-Book

Richard Wilhelm

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Beschreibung

The fairy tales and legends of olden China have in common with the “Thousand and One Nights” an oriental glow and glitter of precious stones and gold and multicolored silks, an oriental wealth of fantastic and supernatural action. And yet they strike an exotic note distinct in itself. The seventy-three stories here presented after original sources, embracing “Nursery Fairy Tales,” “Legends of the Gods,” “Tales of Saints and Magicians,” “Nature and Animal Tales,” “Ghost Stories,” “Historic Fairy Tales,” and “Literary Fairy Tales,” probably represent the most comprehensive and varied collection of oriental fairy tales ever made available for American readers. There is no child who will not enjoy their novel color, their fantastic beauty, their infinite variety of subject. Yet, like the “Arabian Nights,” they will amply repay the attention of the older reader as well.

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Richard Wilhelm

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Table of contents

PREFACE

NURSERY FAIRY TALES

LEGENDS OF THE GODS

TALES OF SAINTS AND MAGICIANS

NATURE AND ANIMAL TALES

GHOST STORIES

HISTORIC LEGENDS

LITERARY FAIRY TALES

PREFACE

The fairy tales and legends of olden China have in common with the “Thousand and One Nights” an oriental glow and glitter of precious stones and gold and multicolored silks, an oriental wealth of fantastic and supernatural action. And yet they strike an exotic note distinct in itself. The seventy-three stories here presented after original sources, embracing “Nursery Fairy Tales,” “Legends of the Gods,” “Tales of Saints and Magicians,” “Nature and Animal Tales,” “Ghost Stories,” “Historic Fairy Tales,” and “Literary Fairy Tales,” probably represent the most comprehensive and varied collection of oriental fairy tales ever made available for American readers. There is no child who will not enjoy their novel color, their fantastic beauty, their infinite variety of subject. Yet, like the “Arabian Nights,” they will amply repay the attention of the older reader as well. Some are exquisitely poetic, such as “The Flower-Elves,” “The Lady of the Moon” or “The Herd Boy and the Weaving Maiden”; others like “How Three Heroes Came By Their Deaths Because Of Two Peaches,” carry us back dramatically and powerfully to the Chinese age of Chivalry. The summits of fantasy are scaled in the quasi-religious dramas of “The Ape Sun Wu Kung” and “Notscha,” or the weird sorceries unfolded in “The Kindly Magician.” Delightful ghost stories, with happy endings, such as “A Night on the Battlefield” and “The Ghost Who Was Foiled,” are paralleled with such idyllic love-tales as that of “Rose of Evening,” or such Lilliputian fancies as “The King of the Ants” and “The Little Hunting Dog.” It is quite safe to say that these Chinese fairy tales will give equal pleasure to the old as well as the young. They have been retold simply, with no changes in style or expression beyond such details of presentation which differences between oriental and occidental viewpoints at times compel. It is the writer’s hope that others may take as much pleasure in reading them as he did in their translation.Fredrick H. Martens.

NURSERY FAIRY TALES

IWOMEN’S WORDS PART FLESH AND BLOODONCE upon a time there were two brothers, who lived in the same house. And the big brother listened to his wife’s words, and because of them fell out with the little one. Summer had begun, and the time for sowing the high-growing millet had come. The little brother had no grain, and asked the big one to loan him some, and the big one ordered his wife to give it to him. But she took the grain, put it in a large pot and cooked it until it was done. Then she gave it to the little fellow. He knew nothing about it, and went and sowed his field with it. Yet, since the grain had been cooked, it did not sprout. Only a single grain of seed had not been cooked; so only a single sprout shot up. The little brother was hard-working and industrious by nature, and hence he watered and hoed the sprout all day long. And the sprout grew mightily, like a tree, and an ear of millet sprang up out of it like a canopy, large enough to shade half an acre of ground. In the fall the ear was ripe. Then the little brother took his ax and chopped it down. But no sooner had the ear fallen to the ground, than an enormous Roc came rushing down, took the ear in his beak and flew away. The little brother ran after him as far as the shore of the sea.Then the bird turned and spoke to him like a human being, as follows: “You should not seek to harm me! What is this one ear worth to you? East of the sea is the isle of gold and silver. I will carry you across. There you may take whatever you want, and become very rich.”The little brother was satisfied, and climbed on the bird’s back, and the latter told him to close his eyes. So he only heard the air whistling past his ears, as though he were driving through a strong wind, and beneath him the roar and surge of flood and waves. Suddenly the bird settled on a rock: “Here we are!” he said.Then the little brother opened his eyes and looked about him: and on all sides he saw nothing but the radiance and shimmer of all sorts of white and yellow objects. He took about a dozen of the little things and hid them in his breast. “Have you enough?” asked the Roc. “Yes, I have enough,” he replied. “That is well,” answered the bird. “Moderation protects one from harm.”Then he once more took him up, and carried him back again.When the little brother reached home, he bought himself a good piece of ground in the course of time, and became quite well to do.But his brother was jealous of him, and said to him, harshly: “Where did you manage to steal the money?”So the little one told him the whole truth of the matter. Then the big brother went home and took counsel with his wife. “Nothing easier,” said his wife. “I will just cook grain again and keep back one seedling so that it is not done. Then you shall sow it, and we will see what happens.”No sooner said than done. And sure enough, a single sprout shot up, and sure enough, the sprout bore a single ear of millet, and when harvest time came around, the Roc again appeared and carried it off in his beak. The big brother was pleased, and ran after him, and the Roc said the same thing he had said before, and carried the big brother to the island. There the big brother saw the gold and silver heaped up everywhere. The largest pieces were like hills, the small ones were like bricks, and the real tiny ones were like grains of sand. They blinded his eyes. He only regretted that he knew of no way by which he could move mountains. So he bent down and picked up as many pieces as possible. “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!