Whether the story about the Ch'ên Kuang-jui, the father of Tripitaka, belongs to the “original” version of the Hsi-yu chi (chapter 9 in modern editions of the novel) is a problem which has occupied the attention of scholars and editors for at least two and a half centuries. If we accept the conclusions of Professor Glen Dudbridge, who has done in recent years the most intensive and impressive examination of the novel's textual history, it would appear that the best textual support is lacking for this segment of the Hsi-yu chi to be considered authentic, as it is not found in the earliest known version of the hundred-chapter novel: the edition published by Shih-tê-t'ang of Chin-ling in 1592. The numerous clashes of details between this version and later ones, most notably the glaring inconsistency found in the later editions which put Ch‘ên Kuang-jui’s assumption of his public career in the thirteenth year of the reign of the T'ang Emperor, T'ai-tsung, the same year when Ch‘ên’s son, Hsiian-tsang, was to have been commissioned to begin his westward journey, further evidence editorial changes and faulty re-arrangements. In the judgment of Dudbridge, chapter nine of the novel may well have been introduced by the late Ming compilerfrom Canton, Chu Ting-ch'ên.

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