Jin Ping Mei
Jin Ping Mei (Chinese: 金瓶梅; pinyin: Jīn Píng Méi), translated into English as The Plum in the Golden Vase or The Golden Lotus, is a Chinese novel of manners composed in vernacular Chinese during the late Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). The author took the pseudonym Lanling Xiaoxiao Sheng (蘭陵笑笑生), "The Scoffing Scholar of Lanling," and his identity is otherwise unknown.
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- When a beautiful woman takes an idea firmly into her head, even if the walls are ten thousand feet high, she cannot be prevented from carrying it out. But if she rejects it, you may be sitting in the same room with her, yet it will be as though a thousand mountains kept you apart.
- The Golden Lotus, trans. Clement Egerton (New York: Grove Press, 1954), p. 255
- In the seclusion of the nuptial chamber the pillow and mat are cool;
The man of talent and woman of beauty approach the climax of their game.
No sooner have they embarked on "dipping the red candle upside down";
Than they suddenly switch to "punting the boat by night."
Rifling its fragrance, "the butterfly nibbles at the calyx of the flower";
Sporting with the water, "the dragonfly darts, now high, now low."
When pleasure reaches its height passions are intense, and feelings know no bounds;
As the mouth of the "divine turtle" disgorges its "silvery stream."
- The passions evoked by clouds and rain,
Joining their heads and twining their necks,
within the bed curtains. Truly:
When feelings converge, one is apt to forget
what happens to a brocade girdle.
- The Plum in the Golden Vase or, Chin P'ing Mei, Volume Two: The Rivals, trans. David Tod Roy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013), Ch. 21, p. 8
Quotations about Jin Ping Mei
- The greatest novel of physical love which China has produced.
- Pearl Buck, as quoted in The Reader's Adviser and Bookman's Manual (1960), p. 755
- An extraordinarily detailed description of a morally derelict and corrupt society.
- David Tod Roy, as quoted in "David Tod Roy Completes His Translation of ‘Chin P’ing Mei’" by Jennifer Schuessler, The New York Times (18 November 2013)