Read Green Mountain, White Cloud: A Novel of Love in the Ming Dynasty by François Cheng Online


In a medieval abbey near Paris, in a room piled high with old Chinese texts, lies a manuscript gathering dust. Though ordinary in appearance, it first captures the eye of the narrator of François Cheng's novel. Then, once he begins to read, it captures his imagination and his heart. The book dates from the mid-seventeenth century, during the twilight of the Ming Dynasty. BIn a medieval abbey near Paris, in a room piled high with old Chinese texts, lies a manuscript gathering dust. Though ordinary in appearance, it first captures the eye of the narrator of François Cheng's novel. Then, once he begins to read, it captures his imagination and his heart. The book dates from the mid-seventeenth century, during the twilight of the Ming Dynasty. Barbarian armies are massing along the Empire's Northern borders, and a vast and sophisticated civilization-during whose heyday China had begun to emerge from its long isolation and undergone an explosion in the arts equal in its way to Europe's Renaissance-teeters on the brink of monumental and perhaps catastrophic change. Yet rather than filled with lore of military heroism, or with tales of palace intrigue, or with nostalgic memories of better days, the book tells a simple and very powerful love story.It opens to a spring day, when a middle-aged doctor named Dao-sheng leaves the mountaintop Taoist monastery where he has been living and sets out for the Region of the South, to the city he had once visited thirty years earlier and where his life had been irrevocably changed. He had then been a strapping but poor young musician traveling with theater troupe. One evening, during a performance, he caught the eye of well-born young woman named Lan-ying. Their contact lasted but a minute, but to them it felt like an eternity. For this act of audacity he was banished to hard labor by the girl's jealous fiancée, the dissipated scion of a powerful family, who had witnessed their exchange and grasped its significance. Across the decades of a life spent either on the run or hiding out in monasteries, where he mastered medicine and divination, Dao-sheng never forgot Lan-ying. One exchange of glances had sealed something forever, something whose enduring power would decide their fates.Written with radiant simplicity and wisdom, simultaneously heartbreaking and heart-warming, Green Mountain, White Cloud is a suspenseful tale of passion and revenge set against the backdrop of a great empire's last days. François Cheng gives us star-crossed lovers whose rekindled passion makes the pages of this novel glow. More than a love story, it takes us on a quest as much spiritual as physical, exploring the very essence of love's ageless and transformative power....

Title : Green Mountain, White Cloud: A Novel of Love in the Ming Dynasty
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780312315740
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Green Mountain, White Cloud: A Novel of Love in the Ming Dynasty Reviews

  • AnaVlădescu
    2019-05-05 11:23

    i will write a full review at some point, but i'm really at a loss of time and can only scramble up a few words: i generally dislike love stories. not because of their cheesy value, but because the ones that appear in books are not realistic. now, i know that some could argue with me that based on that reason, i shouldn't read fantasy anymore, but that's not how i see it. love stories are 60% wrongly depicted in literature, in my opinion. the best ones that i have seen are the dramatic kind, the sacrifice type of love that adorned the 19th and 20th centuries, because love was somewhat of an illegal subject .nonetheless, this wasn't one of those works. i genuinely liked the characters, their love story seemed plausible and the writing itself was worth three stars to say the least.once again, i was pleased with the translation done on it, as it was especially expressive in dialogue and you rarely find that anymore.a pleasant surprise, really, and i'm glad i was given it.

  • Mel
    2019-05-04 11:50

    I picked up the French version of this in Paris. Written by a Chinese man who was a member of l'academie Francais about love in Ming China it sounded lovely. I got about half way through the French book and then stopped reading it as I had to do uni prep, and then discovered that SOAS had the English translation. I thought I'd read the first half of the English translation to remind myself what happened and then go back to the French and read the rest. What actually happened was I sat down last night and read the whole thing cover to cover!!! Everything was so lovely! I was already appreciating the story from the French version, but it was so touching and so beautiful. It's like a novel set in Chinese poetry. There are unpleasant things, like rape, kidnappings, and being sold into prostitution but it is such a beautiful portrayal of love and longing. I absolutely devoured it. The only part I wasn't sure about was the Jesuits showing up and their discussion of christian love linking in with the true love of Dao Sheng but even that was ok. A wonderful read, the English translation is very good, though if you can read the French I'd of course recommend that. I'm now going back and reading the rest in French

  • Mel
    2019-04-29 13:21

    Sigh I wish my French were better!!! I can read wonderfully scholarly books on Taoism but struggle so much with novels! I tried to read this several years ago and gave up and read the English translation. (Which was WONDERFUL) I thought as I'd been reading lots more French this years I'd have an easier time with this now but still couldn't manage it! The was a beautiful story and lovely prose, even in translation but I'd much prefer to be able to read the original. Having to rethink my French reading again to actually start improving.

  • Berneen
    2019-04-30 14:49

    Je ne serais certainement pas partie chercher ce roman toute seule. On me l'a conseillé, je l'ai lu.Certes, lire François Cheng, c'est se laisser porter par les mots, par des descriptions si poétiques qu'on voit les mots dessiner les images entre les pages. Je suis admirative de son travail avec la langue, de la puissance qui se dessine alors que le tout forme un roman d'une délicatesse presque aérienne.Pourtant, cette histoire d'amour m'a ennuyée. J'ai savouré le texte mais j'ai vite délaissé l'histoire.

  • Justine
    2019-04-23 11:24

    Arghhhh.... I hate saying this, but reading this book wasn't a pleasure at all.I did not get into the story, i tried... hell yeah i tried !! But nothing... So the storyline is great, the characters are really interesting, but I still wait for the spark...I recommend it anyway !

  • Isabelle
    2019-04-30 17:31

    This is a very beautiful and delicate novel about the enduring power of love, in all its forms. A mature healer monk gets to finally live the love of his life, now a forlorn wife, when he is called upon to take care of her health. They had met once and had felt the immediate burn of love in that one defining moment of their youth. Their love will unfold and bloom in eternity, which will be their time and place.While Cheng celebrates the couple's mystical union, he creates a counterpoint to the story that declines the very same mystical union, this time of a man and his god, as depicted through the arrival of Jesuits in China.This is a masterfully crafted novel, full of a profound understanding of man's relationship to loving as an active principle and a path to fullfilment. Francois Cheng is a master craftsman who excels in his nuanced approach to the depiction of the human heart.

  • Manatee
    2019-05-09 14:40

    This is one of the few times that I actually went out of the way to find a NoveList recommendation. The book did deliver at first. I was looking for a love story set during the Ming dynasty with concubines and courts and a stratified society. The love story was delightful as a set up between a high born lady and a musician who catch glimpses of one another at a wedding. The musician falls instantly in love and this love changes the course of his whole life. So far, things are perfect and romantic. But at the end the story just stopped without any conclusion. It just kind of faded away as if the author did not know how to pull everything together. It was weak.

  • Agnes Fontana
    2019-05-13 14:31

    Un contraste curieux entre l'exotisme du décor (la Chine, ses montagnes embrumées en forme de pain de sucre, ses monastères, ses routes peuplées d'artistes ambulants, ses vastes maisons ou s'ennuient les concubines) et en même temps un vague sentiment de déjà vu (amour impossible, fossé social entre les amants, que l'amant, le mec bien entendu, va combler à force de talent)... Tristan, Iseut, Roméo, Juliette et tant d'autres ont déménagé en Chine...

  • Rebecca
    2019-05-15 18:44

    After finishing this book I researched Buddhism and Taoism and found it added a whole new realm of understanding and interest in the book. When I also understood the authors background (also researched) I found the writing to be the most interesting part of the book. The actual story was not my favorite, but it did make for a good discussion in our book club.

  • H Gibson
    2019-04-30 12:46

    I expected more from an author as highly lauded as Francois Cheng. The writing didn't match the era in which the story took place; it was too new in voice and feel. Perhaps this is due to the translation. Otherwise, the story was decent.

  • David
    2019-04-22 11:50

    A lovely romantic novel set during the Ming Dynasty's last days....beautifully written.

  • Joyce
    2019-05-02 15:23

    story seems nice, but after 1/4 it became a little hard to read, because all the (philosophical) thoughts, and it couldn't put me to reading it til the end.

  • voyvoline
    2019-05-15 15:26

    Mitigée. Du beau, du très beau, du mmm. A relire plus tard - impression d'être à moitié passée à côté.

  • Nesrine Aouinti
    2019-05-08 16:21

    Un roman qui embrasse l'âme, tout en subtilité et en douceur, l'histoire d'amour de Dao-Sheng et de Dame Ying se dévoile par touches. Une belle ode à l'amour.

  • Fin
    2019-05-07 18:46

    Gute Geschichten brauchen nicht immer viele Worte

  • Ann
    2019-04-21 14:47

    A poem more than a novel. Beautiful.

  • Sidonie
    2019-05-18 15:33

    Une belle histoire d'amour impossible dans la Chine de la dynastie Ming.Plus que l'histoire c'est le style et l'écriture de l'auteur qui m'ont marqué, quelle minutie !

  • Bailat BailatJones
    2019-04-30 14:49

    Very moving romantic and deeply philosophical story