Fortress Besieged

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Translated by Jeanne Kelly and Nathan K. Mao

Author's Preface

In this book I intended to write about a certain segment of society and a certain kind of people in modern China. In writing about these people, I did not forget they are human beings, still human beings with the basic nature of hairless, two-legged animals. The characters are of course fictitious, so those with a fondness for history need not trouble themselves trying to trace them out.

The writing of this book took two years altogether. It was a time of great grief and disruption, during which I thought several times of giving up. Thanks to Madame Yang Chiang, who continuously urged me on while holding other matters at bay, I was able through the accumulation of many small moments to find the time to finish it. This book should be dedicated to her. But lately it seems to me that dedicating a book is like the fine rhetoric about offering one's life to one's country, or handing the reins of the government back to the people. This is but the vain and empty juggling of language. Despite all the talk about handing it over, the book remains like the flying knife of the magician—released without ever leaving the hand. And when he dedicates his work in whatever manner he chooses, the work is still the author's own. Since my book is a mere trifle, it does not call for such ingenious disingenuousness. I therefore have not bothered myself about the dedication.
December i~, 1946 CH'IEN CHUNG-SHU

Translators' Preface

Ch'ien Chung-shu ranks among the foremost twentieth-century Chinese novelists, and his novel Wei-ch'eng (Fortress Besieged) is one of the greatest twentieth-century Chinese novels. After receiving extensive treatment of his works in C. T. Hsia's A History of Modern Chinese Fiction in 1961, Ch'ien was largely neglected until recently. The present translation of Wei-ch'eng reflects that renewed interest, and it is hoped that it will generate even greater interest in Ch'ien Chung-shu and his works.

This translation is the cooperative effort of Jeanne Kelly and Nathan K. Mao. Whereas Jeanne Kelly did the first draft of the translation, Nathan K. Mao revised it; in addition, Mao wrote the introduction, refined the footnotes, and prepared the manuscript for publication. Despite our divided tasks, this book is our joint responsibility.
We wish to thank Professor Joseph S. M. Lau of the University of Wisconsin and Professor Leo Ou-fan Lee of Indiana University for their expert editing assistance, patience, and encouragement; Chang Hsu-peng for help in the first draft of the translation; James C. T. Shu of the University of Wisconsin and Professor Mark A. Givler of Shippensburg State College for reading the entire manuscript and offering their advice; Mr. George Kao of the Chinese University of Hong Kong for permission to reprint chapter one, published in Renditions (No. 2, Spring 1974); and lastly Professor C. T. Hsia of Columbia University for supplying us with biographical and bibliographical information on Ch'ien Chung-shu.
We also wish to express our gratitude to Mr. Ch'ien Chung-shu himself for reading the biographical part of the Translators' Introduction as well as the Author's Preface during his visit to the United States in April-May of 1979. He clarified several items of biographical detail and made some corrections. We are deeply honored that this translation has the author's full endorsement and support.


  • New Paperback 15*23 cm, 418 pp.

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Condition: New
ISBN: 756003733X
Shipping Weight: 1.2lbs
Publisher: 外语教学
Published: 2004
ISBN-13: 9787560037332


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