Wu ChEng-En

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Wu Ch’Eng-En


Born in 1500 in Kiangsu Province; died in 1582. Chinese writer.

Wu’s satirical fantasy A Journey to the West, also translated as Monkey (1592; Russian translation, vols. 1–4, 1959), was based on a folk tale about the journey to India of the monk Hsüan-Tsang and his miraculous helpers. The author castigates the iniquity of rulers and the extortion practiced by officials, while upholding the Buddhist concept of human equality. The novel’s fantastic situations, which had evident analogues in the real world, disguised the book’s accusatory intent. Although the novel is imbued with Buddhist ideas, the figure of the “righteous man” Hsüan-Tsang is dry and static. The more vivid figures of the king of the monkeys, the magician Sun Wu-k’ung, and the pious hog Chu Pa-chieh (who provides the comic element) were well known to everyone in China. The themes of Wu’s novel were used repeatedly in the traditional theater, in the popular lubok prints, or illustrated broadsides, and in the narrative song genre.


Voprosy kitaiskoi filologii. Moscow, 1963. Pages 95–113.
Fishman, O. L. Kitaiskii satiricheskii roman. Moscow, 1966. Pages 41–49.


References in periodicals archive ?
The 4-volume book set Journey of the West by Wu Cheng'en is considered one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature.
People are obsessive about the tale of a monk and his four disciples traveling to India to search of Buddhist scripts, written by Wu Cheng'en in the 16th century.
1) The four novels are: the Xiyou ji (Record of the Westward Journey), commonly attributed to Wu Cheng'en of the 16th century; the Xiyou bu (Supplement to the Westward Journey), by Dong Yue, written in the early seventeenth century; the Hou Xiyou ji (Later Record of the Westward Journey), by an anonymous author, probably of the late seventeenth century; and the Xu Xiyou ji (Sequel to the Westward Journey).
The Monkey King is the main character in "Journey to the West," a ribald Chinese folk tale by Wu Cheng'en, written more than 500 years ago during the Ming Dynasty and hugely popular ever since.
Journey to the West" is a rollicking, 500-year-old story by Wu Cheng'en detailing events that befall the Monkey King, armed with a magic staff, as he journeys with a monk, a pig spirit and a fish spirit to India to retrieve Buddha's scrolls to find enlightenment.
Also available on Cinar's stand is "Journey to the West, Legends of the Monkey King," a co-production with China Central Television based on the 400-year-old writings of Wu Cheng'en.
has inked a deal with China Central Television (CCTV), China's largest broadcaster, to co-produce a $14 million animated show based on a series of classic Chinese stories penned by Wu Cheng'en more than 400 years ago.