Books: Wind & Moon Play

FLOWER SHADOWS BEHIND THE CURTAIN (432 pp.)—Translated from the Chinese by Franz Kuhn and from the German by Vladimir Kean—Pantheon ($6).

In the 12th century, according to the bawdy Chinese classic. Chin P'ing Mei, there lived a rich and lustful man named Hsi Men. When this libertine wished to indulge in what is delicately called wind and moon play,

No maid of high or low degree Was safe from his unbridled lechery. Within his house, upon his maids And servants' wives he preyed. Until he fell into the error Of thinking that his mortal shell would last forever.

Hsi Men's mortal shell finally cracked...

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