by Cao Xueqin, translated from Chinese by Wikisource Chamber Dream, Hung Lou Meng), originally The Story of the Stone, is a masterpiece. The fifth part of Cao Xueqin’s magnificent saga, The Dreamer Awakes, was It continues the story of the changing fortunes of the Jia dynasty. The Story of the Stone, Volume IV by Cao Xueqin and Gao E The Story of the Stone, also known by the title of The Dream of the Red Chamber, is the great.

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Schonebaum, Andrew; Lu, Tina Having read passages from this volume, I had no trouble locating and reading the passages in my Chinese edition. I hesitate to give it too strong a recommendation given that I’ve still got four volumes left to go, but, this book is considered a classic for a reason, right?

The Story of the Stone

The first part of the story, The Golden Days, begins the tale of Bao-yu, a gentle young boy who prefers girls to Confucian studies, and his two cousins: Without either of those qualities, The Golden Age left me bored far more often than engaged, something that certainly could not be said of Proust. It is a fascinating story about the lives and even things beyond the earthly lives of the wealthy Jia family and those that serve them or interact with them in some form or other.

His deceased elder brother’s wife Li-wan is an ideal, if rather bland, Confucian widow, dedicated to raising her son. The translation reads very well and where there are significant ambiguities these are generally pointed out in the notes for example regarding the meaning or double-meaning of the names of some of the characters.

Dream of the Red Chamber – Wikipedia

And he is definitely in love with his friend Qin Zhong, though nothing comes of this because Qin Zhong eventually dies. It depicts it’s time and place well, sometimes with some extreme beauty, but the course of the narrative is more modern than I would have expected.

That Bao-yu, while proving useless in the word of symbols and men, is in a unique position to transcend the fundamental illusion of ‘world’. He set many of the novel’s classical verses to music, taking as long as four years to deliberate and complete his compositions. Dec 18, Hadrian rated it it was amazing Shelves: I don’t want to overstate its distance from “Western literature” — which xeqin all is a giant category that includes many disparate and odd things — or present it merely as some sort of ztory curiosity to be gawked at rather than a work to be judged on its merits like any other.


A Critical Introduction ; rpr. LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices. Lin Daiyu yu Bei Jingwang Chinese: We are experiencing technical difficulties.

Based on his own interpretation of the concepts of qi life force, energy and qing compassion, empathyhis psychology allowed for complex characters and his portrayal of women was quite a radical departure from earlier literature.

The final, and in some respects most important task, was to study the vocabulary and usage of Cao’s Beijing dialect as a basis for Modern Mandarin. Please try again later. Teams of scientists would be peering over this equipment armed with notes and calculations, trying to make sense of the complicated affair. It is a system which at first appears free from the basic gnawing demands of hunger and labor and daily monotony.

The romantic rivalry and friendship among the three characters against the backdrop of the family’s declining tne form the main story in the novel. Don’t worry though, lights will start blinking soon and there will be plenty of buttons for you to push.

Qin-shi posthumanously acquires the status of a Noble Dame; and Xi-feng takes on the management of a neighbouring establishment Chapter Among these, the novel is particularly notable for its grand use of poetry. Oxford Online Bibliographies Chinese Studies. Kangxi Tongbao Qianlong Tongbao. It is well worth the time spent flipping back to the list of characters provided in the appendix and the family trees until you know them well enough, otherwise I imagine this book being too confusing to read.

In both a self-indulgent man whiles away his days with these women, creating and surviving the petty jealousies this attitude creates. It’s a largely episodic account of the trials and triumphs of the primary members of the wealthy Jia family, who occupy two immense and adjacent compounds in Beijing. Nov 26, Matthias rated it it was amazing Recommended to Matthias by: View all 34 comments.

Though there are many characters getting a lot of attention, it’s safe to say that Bao-yu is the main one. There are entries for named characters. During Mao Zedong ‘s era, a Marxist interpretation of the novel was the focus of some Chinese critics, which deplores the feudal society’s corruption and emphasizes the clashes between the classes.


Bencraft Joly of the first fifty-six chapters in Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Penguin, Penguin s Classics Series, There is certainly a lot of politeness, concentration on status and formal ceremony, but then there are certainly some cruder moments than I would have expected.

The Story of the Stone is divided into five volumes in this translation for Penguin Classics.

Find other titles in Literary Fiction Fiction Classics. Still, if you’re up for something a little out of the ordinary, something epic and character-driven that will require a little bit of mental muscle stretching and an appreciation for fine prose and poetry like in ‘The Tale of Genji,’ the characters here really have a thing for communication via improvised allegorical poetryyou should consider picking this volume up.

At least ten television adaptations have been produced excluding numerous Chinese opera adaptationsand they include the renowned television serieswhich is regarded by many within China as being a near-definitive adaptation of the novel.

The two main characters, Bao-yu and Dai-yu, are set against a rich tapestry of humour, realistic detail and delicate poetry, which accurately reflects the ritualized hurly-burly of Chinese family life. He does, however, suffer his own hardships besides being bored from not having anything to do because of his melancholy and reflections about himself and the world and wanting to know where he belongs in it.

Questions of social justice hover about. Aside from this blah blah, the story has proven to be a fascinating look into high society in Qing Dynasty China.

Harvard University Press, Their ancestors had won the favour of the Emperor and risen in rank and stature because of this. The system is top-heavy and nearing economic collapse. Among the older generation, Bao-yu’s mother Lady Wang and aunt Lady Xing pf relative non-entities, but his grandmother Lady Jia is a fine portrait. Yet, this remains true only by passing through the initial illusion of the symbolic, fostering a strange and striking dependence.