Also Known As the Dream of the Red Chamber - The Crab-Flower Club

by Unknown
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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1977-09-29
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics
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'The Story of the Stone' (c. 1760), also known as 'The Dream of the Red Chamber', is one of the greatest novels of Chinese literature. The fifth part of Cao Xueqin's magnificent saga, 'The Dreamer Awakes', was carefully edited and completed by Gao E some decades later. It continues the story of the changing fortunes of the Jia dynasty, focussing on Bao-yu, now married to Bao-chai, after the tragic death of his beloved Dai-yu. Against such worldly elements as death, financial ruin, marriage, decadence and corruption, his karmic journey unfolds. Like a sleepwalker through life, Bao-yu is finally awakened by a vision, which reveals to him that life itself is merely a dream, 'as moonlight mirrored in the water'.

Table of Contents

Note on Spelling 13(4)
Preface 17(6)
Beauty Perspiring sports with butterflies by the Raindrop Pavilion; And Beauty Suspiring weeps for fallen blossoms by the Flowers' Grave
A crimson cummerbund becomes a pledge of friendship; And a chaplet of medicine-beads becomes a source of embarrassment
In which the greatly blessed pray for yet greater blessings; And the highly strung rise to new beights of passion
Bao-chai speaks of a fan and castigates her deriders; Charmante scratches a `qiang' and mystifies a beholder
A torn fan is the price of silver laughter; And a lost kylin is the clue to a happy marriage
Bao-yu demonstrates confusion of mind by making his declaration to the wrong person; And Golden shows an unconquerable spirit by ending her bumiliation in death
An envious younger brother puts in a malicious word or two; And a scapegrace elder brother receives a terrible chastisement
A wordless message meets with silent understanding; And a groundless imputation leads to undeserved rebukes
Sulky Silver tastes some lotus-leaf soup; And Golden Oriole knots a flower-patterned fringe
Bao-chai visits Green Delights and hears strange words from a sleeper; Bao-yu visits Pear-tree Court and learns hard facts from a performer
A happy inspiration prompts Tan-chun to found the Crab-flower Club; And an ingenious arrangement enables Bao-chai to settle the chrysanthemum poem titles
River Queen triumphs in her treatment of chrysanthemum themes; And Lady Allspice is satirical on the subject of crabs
An inventive old countrywoman tells a story of somewhat questionable veracity; And an impressionable young listener insists on getting to the bottom of the matter
Lady Jia holds two feasts in one day in the Prospect Garden; And Faithful makes four calls on three dominoes in the Painted Chamber
Jia Bao-yu tastes some superior tea at Green Bower Hermitage; And Grannie Liu samples the sleeping accommodation at Green Delights
Lady Allspice wins over a suspicious nature with some well-intentioned advice; And River Queen enhances her reputation as a wit with some amusing sarcasms
An old woman's whim is the occasion of a birthday collection; And a young man's remorse finds solace in a simple ceremony
Xi-feng's jealousy is the object of an unexpected provocation; And Patience's toilet is a source of unexpected delight
Sisterly understanding finds expression in words of sisterly frankness; And autumnal pluviousness is celebrated in verses of autumnal melancholy
An awkward person is given an awkward mission; And a faithful maid vows faithfulness unto death
In pursuit of love the Oaf King takes a fearful beating; And from fear of reprisal the Reluctant Playboy makes a hasty getaway
The Love-Deluded One turns his thoughts to trade and travel; And the Poetry Enthusiast applies herself to making verses
Red flowers bloom brighter in dazzling snow; And venison reeks strangely on rosebud lips
Linked verses in Snowy Rushes Retreat; And lantern riddles in the Spring In Winter Room
A clever cousin composes some ingenious riddles; And an unskilful physician prescribes a barbarous remedy
Kind Patience conceals the theft of a Shrimp Whisker bracelet; And brave Skybright repairs the hole in a Peacock Gold snow-cape
Ning-guo House sacrifices to the ancestors on New Year's Eve; And Rong-guo House entertains the whole family on Fifteenth Night
Appendix I Regulated Verse 583(3)
Appendix II Threesomes with the Dominoes 586(2)
Appendix III Unsolved Riddles 588(7)
Characters in Volume 2 595(7)
Genealogical Tables 602

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