Author: Translated by Yang Hsien-Yi And Gladys Yang
About: The ten stories in this collection can be divided into three main
categories: stories of the supernatural, stories with a political theme
or adventure stories, and love stories.
Supernatural events form the theme of most of the earliest stories.
China had always been rich in mythology, and, after the introduction of
Buddhism into the country, tales of ghosts and spirits became even more
popular, so that during the Six Dynasties we find a great number of
such tales. The earliest Tang story, An Ancient Mirror, is made
up of a number of supernatural tales about an old bronze mirror. Ren
the Fox Fairy, The Dragon King's Daughter and The Spendthrift
and the Alchemist all belong to this category. They differ,
however, from earlier stories of the same type in having more closely
knit plots and more colourful detail, being, in fact, consummate works
of art imbued with all the vitality of their age.