Read The Journey to the West, Volume 2 by Wu Cheng'en Anthony C. Yu Online


The Journey to the West, volume 2, comprises the second twenty-five chapters of Anthony C. Yu's four-volume translation of Hsi-yu Chi, one of the most beloved classics of Chinese literature. The fantastic tale recounts the sixteen-year pilgrimage of the monk Hsüan-tsang (596-664), one of China's most illustrious religious heroes, who journeyed to India with four animal disThe Journey to the West, volume 2, comprises the second twenty-five chapters of Anthony C. Yu's four-volume translation of Hsi-yu Chi, one of the most beloved classics of Chinese literature. The fantastic tale recounts the sixteen-year pilgrimage of the monk Hsüan-tsang (596-664), one of China's most illustrious religious heroes, who journeyed to India with four animal disciples in quest of Buddhist scriptures. For nearly a thousand years, his exploits were celebrated and embellished in various accounts, culminating in the hundred-chapter Journey to the West, which combines religious allegory with romance, fantasy, humor, and satire....

Title : The Journey to the West, Volume 2
Author :
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ISBN : 9780226971513
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 448 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Journey to the West, Volume 2 Reviews

  • Greg Kerestan
    2019-02-11 22:18

    By this point, Cheng'en's novel has found its groove and sticks pretty closely to it. We're over the initial exposition and into the more procedural portion of the story. Weak but wise Sanzang, brave but cocky Monkey, strong but greedy Pig and... the somewhat extraneous fourth wheel Friar Sand are on their journey to the West, subduing demons and rescuing their mortal human master left and right. There's a certain sameness to some of their adventures, and not a lot of character development, as this is more a collection of intertwined folk tales than a novel with modern literary structure. Still, a good read, almost a stylistic fusion of the Old Testament's literary structure with a comic book's genre and style.

  • Mary Soon Lee
    2019-02-09 22:05

    This is the second volume of Anthony C. Yu's four-volume translation of the Chinese classic, "The Journey to the West." As with the first volume, it is quite different than I'd originally anticipated. Far from being a dry, difficult, worthy tome, it is filled with taunts, trickery, battles, monsters, and a generous helping of poetry. The narrative is episodic and repetitive, but connections between the various events help thread it together. I had intended to read a chapter a day, but was often tempted into more. Although there is a great deal of violence, the tone is very light. Suffice it to say, I didn't expect a Chinese classic to contain a scene where three of the heroes pass off their piss as holy water. A radical concept: literature is allowed to be fun.

  • BurgendyA
    2019-02-06 14:10

    The Journey to the West-Volume 2 was a excellent and Chinese classic, fantasy book. I enjoyed it so much and loved it from beginning to the end. In each task and action in this journey was thrilling and captivating that made me feel that I was going along with the pilgrims searching for the scriptures from Buddha's western heaven. The translation was great.I know that I have a third volume to go. Trust I'll read it once I get my hands on it. As for the volume # 2. I rate with 5 top stars. Even though it deserves 10 stars and I would recommend anyone to read this book. =)~

  • Robert Sheppard
    2019-02-08 20:02

    THE JOURNEY TO THE WEST, THE CHINESE WIZARD OF OZ, THREE MUSKETEERS, DON QUIXOTE AND PILGRIM'S PROGRESS----FROM THE WORLD LITERATURE FORUM RECOMMENDED CLASSICS AND MASTERPIECES SERIES VIA GOODREADS—-ROBERT SHEPPARD, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF"The Journey to the West" (西遊記, Xi You Ji) is perhaps the most beloved book in China. It is once a great action, travel and adventure story, a mythic and phantasmagorical Odyssey and Quest, an epic of Buddhist pilgrimage and devotion, a comic classic, a tale of brotherhood and loyalty in the Musketeers tradition and a humanist allegory of the striving of disparate dimenbsions of the human condition, the organic-physical, the imaginative-intellectual, the quotidian-realistic and the aspirational-spiritual, towards human wholeness and unity. It is one of the four great classical novels of Chinese Literature, alongside the Dream of the Red Chamber, The Romance of the Three Kingdoms and the Water Margin, and is beloved in popular culture across East Asia outside of China, being the object of films, television, cartoons, video games and graphic novels from Japan to India. The Journey to the West, in broad outline, tells the story of the long,arduous and dangerous pilgrimage of the Buddhist monk Xuanzang, or Tripitaka of Tang Dynasty of China across the wastes and mountain barriers of Central Asia to obtain and translate the sacred scriptures of Buddhism (sutras) from India and bring them to enlighten the people of China and East Asia. This High Quest and Pilgrimage is joined by an extraordinary league of heroes, without whose aid the monk's mission would be doomed: The magical-mischievous Monkey-King Sun Wukong, the physically awesome and insatiable "Eight Precepts Pig" Zhu Bajie or Pigsy, the gritty and down-to-earth monk Sandy or Sha Wujing and the monk's faithful White Horse, Yujing, all recruited by Guanyin, the "Buddhist Virgin Mary" helping maternal spirit who overwatches them through their many trials and adventures. Together, this band of diverse heroes must overcome the perils of the arduous journey across the Himalayas, especially the demons, beasts and devils en route that wish to defeat their mission of bringing enlightenment to the peoples of China and the world. The most engaging and dominant of these questing heroes however, is the sly, mischievous and magically super-empowered Monkey-King Sun Wukong, who has become the immortal beloved central figure of the classic, such that many translations, such as Arthur Waley's early edition, was simply entitled: “Monkey."From our Western experience, then, how can we get an initial handle on and approach The Journey to the West? One of the first notional points of contact is to compare its characters with the group dynamics of the band of journeying fellows of Yellow Brick Road: the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion alongside Dorothy in Frank Baum's fantasy classic "The Wizard of Oz." Both classics of fantasy are beloved by children across the world. In the Wizard of Oz the Tin Man lacks a heart, the Scarecrow lacks a brain and the Cowardly Lion lacks courage, while Dorothy, although endowed with each in an immature form must grow and mature in each direction. In the Journey to the West, in contrast, each character is overindowed in one dimension----The Monkey-King has immensely precocious powers of intelligence and cunning, yet lacks the discipline, spiritual wisdom and maturity to make his intelligence and pluck more than a nuisance; Pigsy has immense physical strength accompanied by gargantuan appetites, both culinary and sexual, yet lacks the intelligence, self-control and either human or spiritual inslight to turn his lust for life towards a love and service of life; Sandy is practical, down to earth and even tempered, yet lacks the inspiration of either intelligence and imagination, carnal appetite or spiritual aspiration to make his life meaningful; Xuanzang the Tang Monk, has spirituality and humanity, yet they, like Dorothy are powerless and helpless in their brave new world, unable to cope with challenge unless aided by outside powers. The key point is that the four together, either as a group or as symbolic representatives of the internal "organs of human potential" of any human personality, may unite to constitute human wholeness and the capacity for transcendent growth and sustainability. We see other echoes of complementarity in other familiar works of our classical heritage: Don Quixote is a paragon of nobility and the spirituality of knightly aspiration, yet lacks any grasp of the real world or the perspective of reason that would make him more than a charicature of his aspirations; Sancho Panza, has the peasant's down-to-earth practicality and resourcefulness, yet lacks the aspirational nobility of soul and spirituality that would make his life meaningful. Together, however, they can aspire to whole human personality and potential. In the Three Musketeers saga of Dumas, Porthos, like Pigsy and Rabelais' Gargantuan * Pantagruel, is endowed with gigantic physical strength and appetite for life, Athos has a keen sense of honor and glory, Aramis has a religious and spiritual calling and the young D'Artagnan, like Dorothy has innate courage, uprightness, pluck and intelligence, but only in an immature and weak state that must benefit from greater experience, insight and growth to be capable of dealing with the challenges,complexity and evils of the real world. It is again, only working together that they may in full complementarity grow to human wholeness and the human potential for stregnth in life and capacity for positive transcendence. We could even find the same dynamics in the comic trio, the Three Stooges, with the physical excesses of Curly Joe, the practical worldliness of Larry and the overly sadistically over-repressive Moe, who yet still exhibits some fortitude and leadership potential. Though mere buffoons, they show the power to complement each other to grow towards greater wholeness of spirit, a potential fusion of a charicatured outline of Freud's id, ego and superego, that ultimately evokes our deeper affection. Similarly in the Chinese traditional spiritual cosmology, neither the female nor the male principle in isolation, the Yin and the Yang, can attain the wholeness and sustainability in life but by creative and fruitful interfusion with the other. In Volume I of this edition of the "Journey to the West" our story begins with an account of the origins and precocius life of that miraculous and beloved being, Sun Wukong, the Monkey-King. The Monkey-King is in effect half-human and half-simian, miraculously born from a stone nourished by the Five Elements, and like all homo sapiens chagrinned at the dilemma of his finding himself betwixt and between----too endowed with the intelligence and imaginative energies of the gods to be a mere animal, yet too flawed and immature in their development to take a fruitful place in the divine order of things. Sun Wukong thus quickly rises to become the King of the Monkeys by virtue of his innate abilities, yet leaves his kingdom behind to embark on a quest in search of enhanced powers and immortality. In doing so he studies with a Taoist Grand Master, or Patriarch who gives to him from his esoteric lore immense magical powers and abilities. Under the Taoist (Daoist) Sage he learns the Proteus-like shape-shifting power of "The 72 Transformations," the Secret of Immortality, invincible powers of combat through advanced Taoist Kung Fu and Martial Arts and the abiility of "Cloud-Hopping" which enables him in a single somersault to traverse one-hundred and eight thousand miles flying through the sky! He acquires a special weapon, an iron rod which is infinitely expandable and contractible, varying at his will from a chopstick carried behind his ear to an immense clubbing staff capable of subdoing giants and demons. He is the Great Sage's most adept student, finally attaining the status of Qitian Dasheng (齐天大圣)or "Great Sage Equal to Heaven." Yet for all these precocious powers, Sun Wukong remains an immature adolescent given to mischievous monkey-shines and without wisdom or enlightenment. Thus, the Taoist Patriarch, tired of his disorderly shenanigans, in the end banishes Wukong from the monestery telling he must seek his destiny elsewhere.Sun Wukong then journeys to the Celestial Court of the Emperor of Heaven. But to his immense irritation he is only appointed as a menial in the heirarchy of heaven. Thereupon ensues one of the most famous episodes of the novel "Making Havoc in Heaven" in which Sun Wukong rebels, steals the Divine Nectar and Peaches of Heaven and sets himself at war with all of the divine forces of the Celestial Order who attempt but fail to apprehend and control him. But much to the Emperor of Heaven's chagrin, they are unable to control the Monkey-King's unprecedented magical powers and he remains at mischief. Here the Monkey-King joins in the Archetype of the Rebel Against the Gods, and the Trickster, in common with others of the Western heritage such as Prometheus and Milton's Satan. Like Prometheus he has misappropriated divine powers and prerogatives, such as invincibility and immortality. Prometheus, hero of Aeschulus'and Shelley's dramas "Prometheus Bound" and "Prometheus Unbound" is also a prodigy of intelligence and creative ability, a Titan who had aided Zeus in his own celestial Civil-War against Chronos and the old celestial order to become the King of the Greek gods, then audaciously misappropriated the power of fire and conferred it as a benefactor on man, also having had the hubris, emulating the God of Genesis, to create man from clay and endow life upon him, for which transgresions he was condemned to have his liver torn out daily by an eagle on a rock in Hades. Milton's Satan also rebelled against the divine order, but in his case by refusing to serve man, God's beloved creation, and enviously attempting to supplant Him in heaven. Sun Wukong also demands that he should replace the Emperor of Heaven as ruler of the heavenly order, resolving to war against him until he resigned. Nonetheless, the Monkey-King has none of Satan's propensity for pure Evil, but is rather compelled by his innocent adolescent pride and exuberance, egotism and native mischievousness. His punishment thus, as a juvenile offender is commensurately less. Order is resatored when the Emperor of Heaven enlists an even higher authority and power in the Chinese pantheon, Buddha. Buddha intercedes in the celestial war by calling a parley with the Monkey-King, seeking to convince him or the error of his ways, proving to him the much higher merits of the Emperor to claim the Throne of Heaven. To resolve the impasse he proposes a wager to test Sun Wukong's powers. He extends his divine hand and bets the Monkey-King that with all his "Cloud-Hopping" magic he cannot even travel far enough to leave the palm of his hand, with the Throne of Heaven as the high stakes. Sun Wukong accepts the wager, confident he can travel to the ends of the Earth in a single somersault. He sets off flying through the sky until he comes to the end of the world where appear five pillars. To preserve the evidence of his feat he has the audacity to piss on the base of the central pillar and inscribe a graffiti: "The Great Sage Sun Wukong, Equal of Heaven, was here." Returning to Buddha he demands the throne. Buddha extends his hand and shows that the Monkey-King had never left its limits,showing how the graffiti was but inscribed on his middle finger and cursing the smell of the monkey-piss he had left between his fingers! Realizing his delusions of grandeur and his own smallness, Sun Wukong accepts defeat and departs. Later he is further punished for additional transgressions by having an iron band placed around his forehead and is sealed by Buddha beneath a great mountain for 500 years to contemplate his wrongdoing. It is at this point that Sun Wukong joins the Tang monk Xuanzang, as Guanyin, the "Buddhist Virgin Mary" in her mercy, arranges his release from confinement on condition that he do penance for his past errors by guiding and protecting Xuanzang on his mission to India to obtain the holy scriptures.Each of the Pilgrim brothers also is recruited to perform the pilgrimage and quest an Act of Penance through guiding and protecting the Holy Monk Xuanzang on his holy mission to India. Pigsy, or Zhu Bajie, was formally the Commander of the Heavenly Naval Forces, but was banished to mortal life for his transgression in attempting to seduce the Moon Goddess, Chang'e. A reliable fighter, he is characterised by his insatiable appetites for food and sex, and is constantly looking for a way out of his duties, which causes significant conflict with Sun Wukong. Sandy, or Sha Wujing, was formerly a Celestial Court retainer, but was banished to mortal life for breaking a priceless crystal goblet of the Queen Mother of the West. He is a quiet but generally dependable character, who serves as the "straight man" foil to the comic relief of Sun and Zhu. The White Horse was formerly a Prince, who was sentenced to death for setting fire to his father's great pearl, but saved by the mercy of Guanyin.The bulk of the novel is then the account of innumerable adventures of the pilgrim brothers, the Monkey-King, Pigsy, Sandy, Xuanzang and the White Horse on the high road to India. Each chapter or episode is generally a formulaic set-scene in which some shape-shifting demons, beasts or other opponents of the Pilgrims attempt to capture the Tang Monk. As devouring the Tang Monk can bring the demons immortality, they often seek to capture and eat him. His rescuer is generally the magically gifted Sun Wukong. The encounters are often grusome or action-packed with combat and Kung Fu, and many times humorous, as some demon-monster shape-shifts into the form of a beautiful seductress to entice the Tang Monk or Pigsy as part of their nefarious plot. It is generally the Monkey-King who sees through such disguises and adopts some hilarious counterstrategy. The episodes are always lively and entertaining, but as the novel progresses interest can flag as the formulaic situations repeat themselves. The repetition often comes from the original oral storytelling tradition of the saga, but also because Xuanzang must undergo the "81 Tribulations" which are requisite before one may attain Buddhahood. At the end of the saga after fourteen years the Pilgrims successfully return to the Tang Court in China and establish a monestery for translating and publishing the holy sutras. Xuanzang and Sun Wukong attain Buddhahood, and Sandy becomes an Arhat, while the White Horse is delivered from his sentence. Pigsy, Zhu Bajie, because even his good deeds have always been tainted by his ulterior motives of greed and sexual desire, fails to attain the high state of his brothers, but is made an altar cleaner, priviliged to eat the leftover offerings at the temple.The story of the Journey to the West is based on historical fact, albeit with considerable fantastic embellishment. In actual history the monk Xuanzang of the Tang Dynasty (596-664 AD) did in fact journey to India to obtain sutras, the Buddhist holy scripture, to translate them into Chinese, publish and popularize them. The Chinese invention of printing was most probably an evolution from the previous Buddhist woodblock printing of India, associated with the spread of Buddhism in China, and the historical Xuanzang made a considerable contribution to the spread of literacy and printing in Chinese civilization. Like many other works such as the Faust tales and the Iliad and Odyssey, for centuries they were the subject of oral storytelers before being rendered in classical written form. It is thought that Wu Cheng'en the probable author of the classic novel in 1592, thus a contemporary of Shakespeare and Cervantes, adapted these rough oral tales passed on by professional storytellers into a consummately crafted novel. The star character, the Monkey-King, was based on the character Hanuman, the Monkey-King magician of the Indian classic, The Ramayana, of Valmiki, which probably circulated in the oral tales of itinerant storytellers into China, but which Wu Cheng'sn crafted into a magnificantly original creation. Although a Buddhist classic, the Journey to the West is largely free of religious didacticism and presents itself a a vivid and exciting narrative of adventure and fantasy. The Journey to the West influenced the composition of my own latest work Spiritus Mundi, the contemporary and futurist epic of the modern world in several ways. First, in Book II, Spiritus Mundi, The Romance which is more mythically oriented, The Monkey-King appears as a character in aid of the Quest of the social activist heroes to save the world from WWIII by acquisition of the Sylmaril Crystal. Sun Wukong thus joins Goethe and the African God-Hero Ogun as counselors and aiders of the Quest on the journey through the Center of The Earth and their visit to the Temple of the Mothers on the Island of Omphalos where they may access the Cosmic Wormhole through Einsteinian Space-Time to visit the Council of the Immortals at the Black Hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Spiritus Mundi also shares the universal Archetype of the Quest with the Journey to the West, along with other works such as the Epic of Gilgmesh, The Divine Comedy of Dante, The Ramayana of Valmiki and the Aeneid of Vergil, as well as modern fantasy epics such as the Lord of the Rings by Tolkien. It thus addresses the powerful forces of the universal Collective Unconscious transcending and uniting all human cultures and civilizations as delineated by the famous spiritual psychologist C.G.Jung and other literary and cultural critics such as Joseph Campbell in his work "The Hero With a Thousand Faces."In conclusion, I would highly recommend that you take a look at The Journey to the West by Wu Chengen, as it is a work absolutely central to Chinese culture and to that of Southeast Asia. No educated person can live in and undersand the modern world, especially with the rise of China and Asia, without having some basic familiarity with this foundational Classic of Chinese and Asian culture. I also invite you to explore its themes and characters shared in the modern contemporary and futurist epic Spiritus Mundi, by Robert Sheppard. For a fuller discussion of the concept of World Literature you are invited to look into the extended discussion in the new book Spiritus Mundi, by Robert Sheppard, one of the principal themes of which is the emergence and evolution of World Literature:For Discussions on World Literature and Literary Criticism in Spiritus Mundi: http://worldliteratureandliterarycrit...Robert SheppardEditor-in-ChiefWorld Literature ForumAuthor, Spiritus Mundi NovelAuthor’s Blog: http://robertalexandersheppard.wordpr...Spiritus Mundi on Goodreads: Mundi on Amazon, Book I: Mundi, Book II: The Romance Robert Sheppard 2013 All Rights Reserved

  • Sherrill Watson
    2019-01-28 22:14

    See Greg's review. A lonnnng story, but then it encompasses years of travel (and travail!) by the three disciples and the Master. Further on the enlightenment of the beings. Some of the stories are longer in this Volume II. Monkey is still impatient, Pig coarse, and Friar Sand impetuous, and Master Sanzang seems along for the ride. As always, in dealing with the monsters they encounter, they display those characteristics. Important in Chinese history. Some nice poetry here and there."When many years ago from my emperor I was parted,on endless days and nights of travelling I started.In the mists upon the mountains my grass sandals were worn through;Many ridges have I climbed in my rain-hat of bamboo.How often have I sighed when the gibbons call at night?I cannot bear to listen to birds chirping in the moonlight. When will I achieve the three Samadhis, I implore,and obtain the Tathagaha's most wonderful Law?"How could such a handsome master have such hideous disciples? The Tang Priest answers: They may not be much to look at, but they certainly know how to clear paths across mountains, build bridges across rivers, subdue dragons, tigers and capture monsters and demons. Not without humor, when they visit a monastery, the monks are terrified of the disciples apppearance: " . . They crawl on the ground as they stumble and fall,and all of them trip getting out of that hall.One old monk's head with another one clashes,Just like the collapse of piled-up calabashes . . .The sight of the monks stumbling and crawling around made the three disciples clap their hands and laugh aloud, at which the monks were more terrified than ever. Colliding with each others heads they all fled for their lives and disappeared." Sanzang ultimately restores sanity. The monks bring in candles and prepare a vegetarian meal for the four men and their horse.

  • Melanie
    2019-02-11 18:23

    I don't know what to say about this book. Perhaps I should just copy/paste my thoughts regarding the first book here and just add the comment "it's as annoying as the first book". Perhaps even MORE annoying than the first book because, well, at least in the first book everything seems to be new, you are getting to know the characters a little bit better and the reason why things happen that way. This book seems to be the predecessor of all the fillers in the world and is basically... "Sanzang and his disciples are travelling. Sanzang is kidnapped. Disciples rescue him.". Repeat this throughout 500 pages. There you have it. Journey to the West volume 2.Frankly, I lost all my hopes that this story can get any better. I'm fed up with Sanzang's stupidity (because, seriously, I would find it acceptable for a person to commit the same mistakes twice or thrice in a book, but the stupid monk just keeps doing it all over again!!), with Pig's ill intentions and with Friar Sand's uselessness.Well, at least Wukong is evolving in terms of personality. In a VERY, VERY subtle way, but at least he is the only one that looks like he's at least TRYING to be a better being.

  • Indra
    2019-01-22 17:54

    lo admito, mi stamina ya está de bajada. Tuve que tomar una semana de descanso leyendo otras cosas, porque me empalagué un poco, por eso le puse 3 estrellas. La culpa no la tiene el libro, sino yo por leerlo maratónicamente. Tienes que leerlo con más tiempo. Obviamente se iba a volver tedioso después de 800 páginas, qué tanta variedad puede haber en las aventuras de un monje de 40 años? Las historias funcionan muy bien independientemente. Podrían ser buenos cuentos para niños para antes de dormir. Me sigue gustando mucho Sun Wukong, me da risa que Pig siempre sea mencionado como "the idiot", Friar Sand sigue siendo irrelevante y el monje sigue siendo chillón como Bulma.

  • Sarah
    2019-02-02 22:22

    My thoughts on this book are essentially the same as The Journey to the West, Volume 1, so I don't think an entirely new review is necessary. I'll make a fleshed-out review of the collective work once I'm all done with all of the volumes, which will take a while!

  • Liralen
    2019-02-15 19:07

    The translation is throughly, clear, and well annotated. The journey itself really reminded me a lot of old Taoist and Buddhist myth and legend and well... feel... that I got from my childhood. I'm reading this a few pages a night with my son, and the legendary aspects can be pretty violent at times, and the humor is often startling.

  • Chris
    2019-01-20 19:57

    Where the first volume was largely table-setting and worldbuilding, the second settles into a picaresque rhythm of demon-fighting and Bodhisattva intervention. Terrifically fun and inventive within its tight formal constraints.

  • Pedro Martinez
    2019-02-04 21:14

    The second of the three volumes of "Journey to the West" continues with the four pilgrims in their search of the scriptures from the Buddha's Thunder monastery in the western heaven... One volume more to go!

  • Jack Ziegler
    2019-01-31 17:03

    Since I decided to be a chaperone for Jenny's trip to China in the spring, I figure I should learn some more about the country. This is a recommendation from

  • Michiel Roelants
    2019-02-15 18:07

    Absolutely delightful. Fun characters, interesting philosophy, epic journey and humourous tone.

  • Andy
    2019-02-16 22:19

    It was slow to get through this in different parts, but it's amazing how the formulaic nature doesn't get TOO old. Any complaints are definitely not with the translation, which is stellar.

  • Andrew
    2019-01-26 22:17

    Red Boy and the competition with the Three Daoists and Guanyin! Some of my favorite mini-plots are in this volume.

  • G
    2019-01-23 20:18


  • Britt
    2019-01-31 20:09

    One of the best and most engrossing series I've ever read. Imaginative and fantastic.

  • Junius Fulcher
    2019-02-12 18:57

    See Review of vol. 1

  • Allansuperze
    2019-02-09 17:17

    Continuação da jornada do monge tripitaka e seus discípulos em busca dos "Buddhist Scriptures".