Story of the Stone Vol. 1

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 3/1/1974
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics

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The Story of the Stone (c.1760) is one of the greatest novels of Chinese literature. 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: Bao-chai, his parents' choice of a wife for him, and the ethereal beauty Dai-yu. Through the changing fortunes of the Jia family, this rich, magical work sets worldly events - love affairs, sibling rivalries, political intrigues, even murder - within the context of the Buddhist understanding that earthly existence is an illusion and karma determines the shape of our lives.

Table of Contents

Note on Spelling 11(4)
Introduction 15(32)
Zhen Shi-yin makes the Stone's acquaintance in a dream; and Jia Yu-cun finds that poverty is not incompatible with romantic feelings
A daughter of the Jias ends her days in Yangchow city; and Leng Zi-xing discourses on the Jias of Rong-guo House
Lin Ru-hai recommends a private tutor to his brother-in-law; and old Lady Jia extends a compassionate welcome to the motherless child
The Bottle-gourd girl meets an unfortunate young man; and the Bottle-gourd monk settles a protracted lawsuit
Jia Bao-yu visits the Land of Illusion; and the fairy Disenchantment performs the `Dream of Golden Days'
Jia Bao-yu conducts his first experiment in the Art of Love; and Grannie Liu makes her first entry into the Rong-guo mansion
Zhou Rui's wife delivers palace flowers and finds Jia Lian pursuing night sports by day; Jia Bao-yu visits the Ning-guo mansion and has an agreeable colloquy with Qin-shi's brother
Jia Bao-yu is allowed to see the strangely corresponding golden locket; and Xue Bao-chai has a predestined encounter with the Magic Jade
A son is admonished and Li Gui receives an alarming warning; a pupil is abused and Tealeaf throws the classroom in an uproar
Widow Jin's self-interest gets the better of her righteous indignation; and Doctor Zhang's diagnosis reveals the origin of a puzzling disease
Ning-guo House celebrates the birthday of an absent member; and Jia Rui conceives an illicit passion for his attractive cousin
Wang Xi-feng sets a trap for her admirer; and Jia Rui looks into the wrong side of the mirror
Qin-shi posthumously acquires the status of a Noble Dame; and Xi-feng takes on the management of a neighbouring establishment
Lin Ru-hai is conveyed to his last resting-place in Soochow; and Jia Bao-yu is presented to the Prince of Bei-jing at a roadside halt
At Water-moon Priory Xi-feng finds how much profit may be procured by the abuse of power; and Qin Zhong discovers the pleasures that are to be had under the cover of darkness
Jia Yuan-chun is selected for glorious promotion to the Imperial Bedchamber; and Qin Zhong is summoned for premature departure on the Journey into Night
The inspection of the new garden becomes a test of talent; and Rong-guo House makes itself ready for an important visitor
A brief family reunion is permitted by the magnanimity of a gracious Emperor; and an Imperial Concubine takes pleasure in the literary progress of a younger brother
A very earnest young woman offers counsel by night; and a very endearing one is found to be a source of fragrance by day
Wang Xi-feng castigates a jealous attitude with some forthright speaking; and Lin Dai-yu makes a not unattractive speech impediment the subject of a jest
Righteous Aroma discovers how to rebuke her master by saying nothing; and artful Patience is able to rescue hers by being somewhat less than truthful
Bao-yu finds Zen enlightenment in an operatic aria; and Jia Zheng sees portents of doom in lantern riddles
Words from the `Western Chamber' supply a joke that offends; and songs from the `Soul's Return' move a tender heart to anguish
The Drunken Diamond shows nobility of character in handling his money; and the Quiet-voiced Girl provides material for fantasy by losing her handkerchief
Two cousins are subjected by witchcraft to the assaults of demons; and the Magic Jade meets an old acquaintance while rather the worse for wear
A conversation on Wasp Waist Bridge is a cover for communication of a different kind; and a soliloquy overheard in the Naiad's House reveals unsuspected depths of feeling
Appendix 527(8)
Characters in Volume I 535(6)
Genealogical Tables 541

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