Journey to the West - Monkey

Journey to the West

Hsi-yu Chi - XiYou Ji


Journey to the West, commonly known to the western readers as Monkey, is a supernatural novel about a world of of fantastic invention, in which gods and demons loom large and vie for supremacy. The novel began with a series of oral and written versions, and eventually attained its most definitive version written by Wu Ch'eng-en (1500?-1582), a scholar-official in the Yantze region, and published in 1592.

The story of Journey to the West is divided into three parts: (1) an early history of the Monkey spirit; (2) pseudo-historical account of Tripitaka's family and life before his trip to to fetch the sutras in the Western Heaven; (3)the main story, consisting of 81 dangers and calamities encountered by Tripitaka and his three animal spirit disciples - Monkey, Pigsy, and Sandy (a fish spirit).