Sunday, January 27, 2008

Looking for a good book to read?

Ah! This has been a busy week. Scheduling responsibilities is normally a challenge for many people, but for a few of us, scheduling spare time is sometimes more challenging. In this case, I think that I've done the right choice about how to spend my free times in the last few weeks: It is always worth to dedicate some time to high quality literature to have some fun and to learn new things.
It is precisely a high-quality novel what I have been reading lately, which I widely recommend to people who enjoy reading masterworks: Journey to the West is an anonymous Chinese novel (although some experts claim that it was written by Wu Cheng'en) from the 16th century. The story is inspired in the true story of Tang Sanzang, a monk who travelled from China to India during the 7th century to fetch some Buddhist scriptures. However, Journey to the West takes such story into a fantastic tale in which Tang Sanzang is escorted during his trip by his disciples Sun Wukong (Monkey), Zhu Bajie (Pig) and Sha Wujing (Friar Sand), who have to go through several challenges and life-threatening situations that may avoid them of reaching the West to fetch the scriptures.
The novel is more than just a fantastic story. It also contains philosophical teachings and lots of Buddhist and Taoist elements that sometimes makes it difficult for a non-Buddhist or Taoist (such as myself) to wholly understand the very substance of the events in the story, nonetheless it is a very informative tale that helps the reader understand more about Buddhist and Taoist cultures and ideologies.
Needless to say, I highly recommend to read this masterpiece of classic Chinese literature. After all, the best opinion of a book is the one that you get by yourself.


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