Biography of Wu Cheng-en | a Great Chinese Writer

Descended from a family of educated small merchants, and endowed with a lively intelligence, he devoted himself to study and was impregnated with popular literature and fantastic stories. He failed in the entrance exams to the official races, and had to accept smaller positions.

He retired to the countryside and is believed to have written his famous novel The Pilgrimage to the West , inspired by the journey of the monk Hsüan Tsang (602-664) to India in search of buddha sutras and in the rich popular tradition , Theatrical and fiction). He was also a prolific poet and prose writer, but most of his work was lost.

Biography of Wu Cheng-en | a Great Chinese Writer

Written in Peking dialect, The West Pilgrimage , also translated as Journey to the West or Memoirs of a Journey to the West , is a fantastic and witty spoof of the Hsi Yü Chi by Hsüan Tsang, a Buddhist bonzo and one of the earliest writers in the language Sanskrit of the T’ang dynasty (618-907), who traveled through India seeking Buddhist texts; But very little of this historical journey has remained in the fantastic story that embraces a hundred chapters.

The first seven chapters of The Pilgrimage to the WestDescribe the disorders provoked in the world by Sun Wu-K’ung, a monkey born of a stone egg capable of appearing under seventy-two forms and endowed with singular powers. Afterwards, Hsüan Tsang is presented and described the visit of Emperor T’ai Tsung (of the T’ang dynasty) to hell, where he understands the need to spread the Buddhist religion and invites Hsüan Tsang to seek Buddhist texts in the “Hsi- T’ien “, the Western Sky.

In his journey, Hsuan Tsang takes the monastic Wu-K’ung as a disciple, and with his help he converts two other disciples, Wu Neng and Wu Chin, both sorcerers. In his company, the sage traverses by eighty-one dangers, constituted by all sorts of enchantments, and, having surpassed them, he obtains from the Buddha a great number of Buddhist texts.

The characteristic of this work lies in its extraordinary waste of fantasy; The eighty-one evidence held by Hsüan Tsang is a varied repertoire to the incredible of sorceries, transformations and struggles, whose absurdity sometimes amounts to a decorative lyricism. In this unreal world, however, there remains a certain coherence: even in the midst of the external transformations, which present us to the various characters converted as soon as tiny insects and monsters of several meters high, remains an inner personality that always Allows you to recognize them.

Considered one of the greatest Chinese classic novels, The Pilgrimage to the West Is perhaps the closest to Western taste: the group formed by Hsüan Tsang, Wu-K’ung, Wu Neng and Wu Chin can at some point remind a European reader of the famous Baldo and his cheerful companions. To learn more about the biographies of famous people, please visit Biography Desk. Biography Desk is all about the biographies of famous people in all over the entire world.