The Nine Cloud Dream - Kim Man-Jung
A Buddhist journey reminscent of Dante's Inferno exploring the illusions of human life, published here in the first new translation in forty years
Often considered the greatest work of classic Korean fiction, The Nine Cloud Dream poses the question: will the life we dream of truly make us happy? A historical novel set in 9th-century Tang China, its wondrous story begins when a young monk living on a sacred Lotus Peak succumbs to the temptation of eight fairy maidens. As punishment for disobeying his master and doubting his Buddhist teachings, the monk is reincarnated as the most ideal of men. On his journey he encounters the eight fairies in human form, each one furthering his journey towards understanding the fleeting value of his good fortune. As his successes build, he comes closer and closer to finally comprehending a fundamental truth of the Buddha's wisdom: that reality and dreams are ultimately indistinguishable.
Penguin Classics. 2019. 288 pages. Paperback.