I would like to thank Professor Joseph S. M. Lau for his initial suggestion that I undertake this project as a part of the Indiana translation series. He has been very supportive through the years during which the manuscript was being prepared.
To the friends, colleagues, and former and current students of mine who have taken the time to do the translations, some under pressure of meeting their own deadlines, I owe a debt of gratitude. Their names are given here with their past or present affiliations: Pedro Acosta (Yale University), Michael Broschat (University of Washington), Chris Connery (Princeton University), Kenneth J. DeWoskin (University of Michigan), Rick Harrington (Yale University), George Lytle (Yale University), William H. Nienhauser, Jr. (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Perng Ching-hsi (National Taiwan University), Laurie Scheffler (Yale University), Simon Schuchat (Harvard University), Madeline Spring (University of Colorado), Paula Varsano (Princeton University), Douglas Wilkerson (Yale University), and Cordell D. K. Yee (University of Wisconsin, Madison). I have checked all the translations against the originals and have taken the liberty of making emendations when there were slips and errors. I am responsible for any remaining editorial oversights.
Special thanks are due to Jean Kelly, Rick Harrington, Douglas Wilkerson, Michael Fuller, and Pedro Acosta for going over the manuscript at the various stages of its preparation and making suggestions for stylistic improvements; especially to Douglas who also did the typing of the entire draft manuscript. Susan Cherniack’s scholarship and editorial skills saved me from many errors and inconsistencies in the style of documentation and reference. I am most grateful for her asssistance. My thanks, too, to Professors Kenneth J. DeWoskin and Anthony C. Yu for their suggestions regarding the entry selection and the arrangement of the anthology; to Professors Hans Frankel, Stephen Owen, and Hugh Stimson for their advice on various aspects of the introduction; and to Debbie O’Connor Harvey for her help with the maps.
While working on this project I received two grants from the A. Whitney Griswold Faculty Research Fund of Yale University which have helped support the research and defray the costs of secretarial services.
The pieces translated by Professor DeWoskin have all been published before. They are reprinted by permission from Renditions: A Chinese-English Translation Magazine No. 7, Spring 1977, published by the Comparative Literature and Translation Center, The Chinese University of Hongkong. I wish to thank the editors for granting this permission. Except for “Father and the Fox,” the titles of these translations have been changed to conform with the standards of this anthology. For purposes of easy identification, the original titles are listed below, with the new titles following in parentheses: “Three Who Would Be Mated” (“The Temple at Mount Chiang”), “A Boat Companion” (“The Turtle Woman”), “A Filial Girl” (“The Filial Girl of Tung-hai”), “The Fire Messenger” (“Mi Chu and the Fire Messenger”), and “The Girl-Eating Serpent” (“Li Chi, the Serpent Slayer”).