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Basically Evil

Brad Leithauser, 12 May 1994

The Plum in the Golden Vase or Chin P’ing Mei. Vol I: The Gathering 
translated by David TodRoy.
Princeton, 610 pp., £24.95, December 1993, 0 691 06932 8
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... From the outset, ambiguity enfolds The Plum in the Golden Vase, David TodRoy’s translation of the first volume of the monumental 16th-century Chinese novel Chin P’ing Mei. The title, as he explains in his Introduction, is a ‘multiple pun’ composed of one ideogram each from the names of the three principal female protagonists ...

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