Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao XueqinZhuangzi said that the desire for money is difficult to overcome, but the desire for fame is more difficult. Well, how about love?
Many believe that The Dream of the Red Chamber is emblematic of the climax of Chinese literature. I do think it is the best Chinese novel, but I wouldnt say it is the emblem because it departs greatly from the convention of Chinese literature and aims to reveal the hypocrisy of this convention which is its feigned integrity and disregard for love. It is through the lens of love that Cao Xueqin reveals to the readers the dilemma, tragedy, and general condition of human life.
It is hard to describe how much this book means to me. It not only defines how I understand my national identity, but also serves as a foundation for my cognition and interpretation of almost everything. Many times when life tosses me a certain peculiarity or uneasiness, I would remember and contemplate on a scene, a prose, a quotation, or a general idea about the fate of one of the character in this book, and suddenly I would feel easier and say to myself: this is life.
The Dream of the Red Chamber isnt very popular among Western readers, and most well-read people on GR have never heard of this book, and even those who appreciate Chinese literature ignore it, probably finding it too long, too difficult, too boring (someone even said its unaesthetic). Ive heard people comparing it to The Plum in the Golden Vase, or categorizing it as a book about teenage relationships. So, I find it necessary to clarify that The Dream of the Red Chamber is objectively the single most important literary work in the history of Chinese literature, or even one can say East Asian literature. It is more important to Chinese literature than Shakespeare is to English literature. It is ridiculous to think that you know Chinese literature/culture/philosophy without having read this book (even though I know that most people in China no longer read this). Hundreds and thousands of scholars have devoted their lives to the study of every single word of this work. For many admirers for Cao Xueqin, myself included, we would be willing to sacrifice many years of our lives if we could read the original ending of this work which has been unfortunately lost.
I consider it beyond my ability to review this book, especially in the language of English, so all I can do is an advertisement. This is the book to read if you want to encounter Chinese mentality at its most powerful, intricate, insightful, and sincere form.
[The Greatest Chinese Literature] The Dream of the Red Chamber Book I, Part 1 (by Xueqin C - 2017
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Dream of the Red Chamber , Chinese Pinyin Hongloumeng or Wade-Giles romanization Hung-lou-meng , novel written by Cao Zhan in the 18th century that is generally considered to be the greatest of all Chinese novels and among the greatest in world literature. In , almost 30 years after his death, the novel was published in a complete version of chapters prepared by Cheng Weiyuan and Gao E. Uncertainty remains about the final 40 chapters of the book; they may have been forged by Gao, substantially written by Cao Zhan and simply discovered and put into final form by Cheng and Gao, or perhaps composed by an unknown author. The Story of the Stone —86 is a complete five-volume English translation. The novel is a blend of realism and romance, psychological motivation and fate, daily life and supernatural occurrences.
Josh Stenberg does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. In our series, Guide to the classics , experts explain key works of literature. How to put it to friends, students or colleagues that the tiffs, the leisurely intrigues and frustrated aspirations of a fractious bunch of adolescents constitute one of the great efforts at plumbing human experience? Yet Dream of the Red Chamber, written in the midth century, is the fullest immersion one could hope for into late imperial China, the best access to the minds, hearts and habits of that period, complete in everything from cosmology to cosmetics. The episodic plot, sprawling over 2, pages in the standard Penguin translation, follows the infatuations and travails of a pubescent boy, Jia Baoyu.
His name was David Hawkes. A gifted linguist, he had directed Japanese codebreakers in his early 20s, during the second world war. Later, as a teacher, he had done a wonderful translation of the Songs of the South , part of a poetic tradition earlier than anything that has survived in the west. Hawkes eventually completed his great endeavour with the help of his son-in-law John Minford , who finished the last two volumes of the five, which were published by Penguin between and The novel is an 18th-century saga, the tale of a noble family that falls from grace. It is full of incredible detail of the social, cultural and spiritual life of the time.
References in periodicals archive? Although this is not the first time the lawmakers are accused of cornering the national resources at the detriment of economic development, the latest outburst from an insider who happened to be a senator has reaffirmed the belief of Nigerians that the red chamber is a money spinning machine. On legislators bumper allowances. After 18 months of debate in the Red Chamber , Lankin introduced a controversial motion in the Senate Tuesday evening that would effectively shut down debate and immediately move to a vote on the bill. Were a red state, and were a conservative, red chamber , and Im a conservative member, Kavanagh said. Some GOP lawmakers vote solid red, support caucus bills. Taking as its central concem what Ge calls the "rugged partnership" between the intellectual elite and the imperial power the "scholar" [phrase omitted] dr and the "state" shi [phrase omitted] of the title, respectively , the book revisits several landmark works of Ming and Qing vernacular fiction such as Three Kingdoms, The Scholars, and Dream of the Red Chamber , as well as a few lesser-known erotic works.