In accordance with our meta agreement to have topic challenges, and since the list of suggestions has a single highest-voted entry at the start of this month (+8, -3), it is time to announce the next topic challenge! Throughout July 2019, our topic challenge, proposed by Christophe Strobbe, will be

Journey to the West or 西游记

What's a topic challenge?

See the meta posts linked above, and also this main meta post. In short, during July we should all try to read Journey to the West or its sequel A Supplement to the Journey to the West.

Participation is not obligatory in any sense, but those who participate will be forever remembered in the annals of our history. And of course it goes without saying that questions on other works are more than welcome during June too; they just won't count as part of this topic challenge.

How can I take part?

By getting hold of Journey to the West or A Supplement to the Journey to the West and asking good questions about these works. These questions should be tagged with or (and ) and other tags if applicable. We'll keep a list of all such questions in an answer to this meta post.

Below is the original presentation of this topic challenge, which contains several reading suggestions:

Journey to the West is one of the great classics of Chinese literature but not very well known in ... the West. The novel was published in the 16th century and is one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature.

The journey mentioned in the title is a journey to India (the "West" from the title), where the monk Xuanzang wants to search for Buddhist scriptures. He is accompanied by Sun Wu-Kong (the monkey from Arthur Waley's translation, Monkey) and a few other unusual characters.

In China, everyone is familiar with the book's story through many adaptation as film, TV series, comics, etc. In the West, it took some time before translations made the work accessible to non-sinologists. See Wikipedia for notable English-language translations (all from the 20th century), German translations (the first German translation, published in 2016, was awarded the Preis der Leipziger Buchmesse 2017) and French translations (especially the Pléiade edition).

In English, there are (at least) two abridged versions: one by Arthur Waley (Monkey; see above) and The Monkey and the Monk by Anthony C. Yu, based on his own 4-volume translation.

Wikipedia also has an article about the "sequel" A Supplement to the Journey to the West, which I would add to the scope of this challenge.

What's next?

  • Vote here for the next topic challenge, or propose your own!

1 Answer 1


The highest-voted of these is Why did Arthur Waley change the title in his translation of Journey to the West?, with a score of 3 at the end of the month.

The most viewed is Why did Arthur Waley change the title in his translation of Journey to the West?, with approximately 38 views during the month.

One answer was submitted during the topic challenge.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .