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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Travel
The Peony Pavilion
    2017-May-15  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    James Baquet

    jamesbaquet@gmail.com

    DACI’EN Temple in Xi’an has a lovely garden area which, in the right season, is filled with peonies. In the center of the area is a small pavilion. And although the sign reads Peony Garden in Chinese, the English translation says Peony Pavilion.

    Aficionados of Chinese literature will recognize this as the title of an opera by Tang Xianzu that is widely held to be the greatest of all Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) plays.

    Premiering in 1598, the play has 55 scenes; a single performance can last more than 22 hours. The main plot (there are many subplots) centers on the love affair between Du Liniang, an important official’s 26-year-old daughter, and Liu Mengmei, a young scholar.

    While strolling in the garden, Du takes a rest and falls asleep. There she dreams of young Liu, whom she has never met. In her dream, Liu “makes his move,” and the two enter into a romance more intense than that of “Romeo and Juliet.”

    Unfortunately, a peony petal falls on her and wakes her from her dream. Her feelings, however, continue unabated. At last she dies of lovesickness. However, the Judge of the Underworld determines that a marriage between the two was foreordained, and sends Du’s spirit back to fulfill her destiny.

    Liu, meanwhile, has been dozing in the same garden, where he dreams of Du. At her urging, he exhumes her body, and Lo! her spirit rejoins her body!

    Upon reporting her resurrection to Du’s father, Liu is arrested as a liar and a grave robber. Fortunately, his exam results arrive, and he is pardoned by the emperor due to his high scores.

 

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