The Sixty Year Dream - based on Rip van Winkle by Washington Irving. Graded reader in simplified Chinese Level 1.
Zhou Xuefa (Rip Van Winkle) is well loved by everyone in his town, everyone except his nagging wife. With his faithful dog Blackie, Zhou Xuefa spends his time playing with kids, helping neighbors, and discussing politics in the teahouse. One day after a bad scolding from his wife, he goes for a walk into the mountains and meets a mysterious old man who appears to be from an ancient time. The man invites him into his mountain home for a meal and after drinking some wine, Zhou Xuefa falls into a deep sleep. He awakes to a time very different than what he once knew. Paperback, 86 pages.
This story is an adaptation of American author Washington Irving’s 1819 classic story, Rip Van Winkle. This Mandarin Companion graded reader has been adapted into a fully localized Chinese version of the original story. Although the English language classic has an official translation in Chinese, we’ve converted all character names to natural Chinese names. Therefore it was not possible to preserve the original story’s title since it uses the main character’s name.
The story of Rip Van Winkle is an interesting case for adaptation because Chinese folklore has a similar story called 烂柯人 (Làn Kē Rén), in which the main character is named 王质 (Wáng Zhì). In that story, the main character was away for over 100 years, while Rip Van Winkle slept for 20 years in the American story. This adaptation settled on the period of 60 years in order to span a specific time period in 20th century China for maximum dramatic effect.
The following is a list of the characters from this Chinese story followed by their corresponding English names from Irving’s original story. There are, of course, other characters in the story besides these, but many do not have exact correspondences to the original. The names below aren’t translations; they’re new Chinese names used for the Chinese versions of the original characters. Think of them as all-new characters in a Chinese story.
- 周学发 (Zhōu Xuéfā) – Rip Van Winkle
- 王小花 (Wáng Xiǎohuā) – Dame Van Winkle
- 周国平 (Zhōu Guópíng) – Rip Van Winkle, Jr.
- 周国英 (Zhōu Guóyīng) – Judith Gardenier