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The Elder Of The Eastern Hall Reforms A Prodigal Son: A Play By Qin Jianfu

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents a translation of a comic farce by Qin Jianfu, &t;Dongtang Lao quan pojia zidi zaju&t; which translates to &t;The Elder of the Eastern Hall Reforms a Prodigal Son&t;. The storyline brings a happy ending to the perennial tale of the spendthrift son who squanders his inheritance: here he gets it all back! Its characters are wooden, its situations approach absurdity; language play enhances its entertaining qualities, as does the outrageous obtuseness of "Rascal," for whom there is no other name. Playwright Qin Jianfu was a native of Dadu (Beijing) toward the end of the Yuan dynasty (1260-1368). This translation is limited to the play's Prologue, Act I, and Act III. The author has added a &t;translator's note&t; at the end to form a connection between Act III of the play and succinctly summarizes Act IV in a few lines to form the conclusion of the play.

Keywords: Dongtang Lao quan pojia zidi zaju; play; Qin Jianfu; Rascal; translation



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