Many people who have read the novel "Dream of the Red Chamber" will know that it is the definitive Chinese classical novel. Another observer noted that the ability to discuss the commentaries of the Dream of the Red Chamber was an essential skill for a person who aspired to be an engaging conversationalist. The complicated relationship of the Cao family to the Qing emperor may in fact be the reason that the dynasty in which the novel takes place is never named, though numerous internal hints suggest that it is the Qing Dynasty. Dream of the Red Chamber is an 18th-century novel written by Cao Zhan that is generally considered to be the greatest novel of Chinese literature. The Cao family suffered a catastrophic fall, mirrored in the fall of the house of Jia in Dream of the Red Chamber. Imagine this: sometime around 1830 a young concubine named Zhou Qi, alone in her husband’s study and feeling unwell, finds a manuscript of the novel Dream of the Red Chamber lying on his desk. It is a meditation on the nature of reality and illusion, of the interconnectedness of the dream state and the waking world. The rediscovery of the author was critical in terms of the interpretation of the novel. The attacks on Yu and Hu prefigured the anti-rightist campaign of the mid-1950s. Its's so nostalgic for me to see these lovely figures of the classic 1987 TV version of the The Story of the Stone, or The Dream of the Red Chamber. The vagueness of the time frame of the novel—the novel announces to the reader that it will not tell us in what dynasty it is set—is perhaps one way of dealing with ethnic complexity. By the late nineteenth century, scholarship on the novel began to be called “Hongxue”— which is conventionally, if somewhat awkwardly, translated as “Redology.” Redology is still alive and well—several academic journals are devoted exclusively to the novel, and a number of lengthy television series produced in the last several years feature lectures on the novels by Redologists. as one such scholar put it: “Scattered throughout the novel are a million undiscovered meanings. But the first published edition provided readers with an ending, forty chapters which had not been included in the earlier manuscript versions. The ending is hurried—at least in this rendering into English. another strain of Redology prominent in the nineteenth century argued that the novel was about intrigues at the Qing court. Political readings of the novel continued in the mid-twentieth century. They are the virtues that distinguish Chinese civilization from Japanese — the virtues of a vaster humanity. There was no one to see to the publication of the book, and no one even to remember that he was the author. With the May Fourth Movement in the 1920s came criticism of these earlier schools of Redology, and a desire for more “scientific” scholarship. The rare good reader will find that understanding one detail leads indirectly to the perception of others that the reader had never thought of.”. Readers might return the novel with commentary, often written in the margins and sometimes even between the lines of the novel. Most scholars today dispute this version of events, and argue that Cheng and Gao E had a stronger hand in composing the final forty chapters than they admit. They trick him into believing he is marrying Dai Yu; the trick marriage is a tragedy for all three of the people involved. The preface to this edition tells us that a man named Cheng Weiyuan searched for missing bits of the novel everywhere “from antiquarian booksellers to piles of old discarded papers” and did indeed find drafts of much of the last forty chapters. The sequels which tame the story of the novel, making Bao Yu into a suitable patriarch and Dai Yu into a suitable wife, show just how subversive the novel is. This subversive aspect is one of the enduring sources of its appeal. A few years ago, I began writing a novel set in Shanghai. In 2010, a splendid new series was made with Tim Yip, who is production designer for this opera, as the artistic consultant and costume designer. The manuscript circulated primarily among the family and friends of the author. With Jie Deng, Fenqiang Ouyang, Xiaoxu Chen, Ting Li. Dream of the Red Chamber has multiple endings and it also has no ending. Inside is portrayed a world of reality and unreality, a human drama of husbands and wives, cousins, brothers and sisters, servants, retainers, actors and concubines. The Story of the Stone, also known as The Dream of the Red Chamber, is one of the Four Great Classical Novels of China.Cáo Xuěqín wrote the work sometime in the 18th century, during the Qing dynasty—the last volume in the five-volume sequence was compiled and published many years later by Gao-E, who added additional chapters to complete the … There are Dream of the Red Chamber video games and comics, and restaurants devoted to serving “Red Chamber” cuisine. No sooner had Cao been established as author than autobiographical interpretations of the novel took precedence over other interpretations. Early twentieth-century commentators were particularly interested in exploring the nationalist—that is to say, the anti-Manchu—aspects of the novel, which is hardly surprising given the growing anti-Manchu sentiment prior to the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty in 1911. But many Redologists point out that this ending is in conflict with Zhiyanzhai 's commentaries and with the foreshadowings in preceding chapters. In Gao E 's ending, Miaoyu is abducted by robbers, and Jia Xichun becomes her friend. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of Dream of the Red Chamber. Franz Kuhn’s abridged German translation of The Dream of the Red Chamber, which this abstract is based on, comprises 50 chapters, while in the Chinese original the total number is 120.The epic story is framed by a prologue and an epilogue (namely the background story of Shih-yin and Yu Tsun).At the closing of a chapter, the omniscient narrator often steps … Study Guide for Dream of the Red Chamber. The cosmic framing does not diminish the novel’s interest in daily life, particularly the question of whom Bao Yu will marry. This vignette suggests ways in which reading Dream of the Red Chamber could be an active process; the novel provoked responses which might be read by future readers as part of the story. In a dream, and under mythical circumstances, the main character of the novel, teen-age The narrative is frequently interrupted by accounts of poetrycontests, a literary devic… The elders in the Jia family decide that Bao Yu is to marry Bao Chai, despite the fact that he has made clear that he wants to marry Dai Yu. Elite status in the Qing Dynasty was conferred through success in the civil service examination system. Confucian, Daoist, and Buddhist Philosophy. Dream of the Red Chamber, 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. It details the decline of the Jia family as it blends realism and romance, psychological motivation and … A poster for the 2010 TV series. Hung Lou Meng, or, the Dream of the Red Chamber, a Chinese Novel, Book I Language: English: LoC Class: PL: Language and Literatures: Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania: Subject: Autobiographical fiction Subject: Domestic fiction Subject: China -- History -- Qing dynasty, 1644-1912 -- Fiction Subject And there is an even more serious problem: none of the extant versions of the manuscript extends beyond chapter 80. My own novel circles around a hand-copied manuscript with no author, a story with no beginning and no end. “Dream of the Red Chamber” is one of the best-loved Chinese works of fiction; some literary scholars have devoted their entire careers to its study. The commentaries were voluminous. The romance between star-crossed lovers Jia Baoyu (left) and Lin Daiyu, depicted here in a relief panel, meets a tragic end in the classic Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber. The novel has never been apart from the world in which it was read, not in the eighteenth century and not today. She reads the novel with delight, noting with great pleasure that it described life’s experiences from a woman’s point of view in a way that she had seen in no other work of fiction. NPR’s sites use cookies, similar tracking and storage technologies, and information about the device you use to access our sites (together, “cookies”) to enhance your viewing, listening and user experience, personalize content, personalize messages from NPR’s sponsors, provide social media features, and analyze NPR’s traffic. In 1922, Hu Shi (1891–1962) demonstrated that the author of the first eighty chapters of Dream of the Red Chamber was Cao Xueqin. Brigitte Lin Ching-hsia stars as the young prince Chiao Pao-yu who falls in love with his cousin Lin Tai-yu played by Sylvia Chang, but their love isn’t approved of by the royal family and palace treachery and broken hearts hit the … In more recent years, not only has publication of the novel flourished, but television series based on the novel have been immensely popular. A Buddhist priest presses his way in for a whispered word with the stricken Pao-yu, and the lost jade mysteriously reappears. When Bao Yu and Dai Yu are incarnated as man and woman, she owes him a debt of tears to repay him for the water. By the end he was sleeping in barns and working in wine shops; he clearly drank too much. You can adjust your cookie choices in those tools at any time. Waltner is the author of a free online course on Dream of the Red Chamber, accessible at z.umn.edu/redchamber. Lin Daiyu 林黛玉, in both the opera and the novel, is the earthly incarnation of the Crimson Pearl Flower. 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