Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Dream of the Red Chamber

Photos of Lin Miaoke's portrayal of young Lin Daiyu in a new television remake of the "Dream of the Red Chamber"

Dream of the Red Chamber is a three-volume work, sometimes translated into English as A Dream of Red Mansions. It is China's best-known novel.

This massive, sprawling novel of China was written in the mid-eighteenth century, during the Ching Dynasty, and has been widely read during the past two hundred years. Recently, it was made into a miniseries in China.

Tsao Hsueh-chin, the author of A Dream of Red Mansions, was born and raised in an aristocratic family, but he died in misery and isolation. From his own bitter, personal experiences, Tsao created a tragic love story between a young man, Chia Pao-yu, and a young woman, Lin Tai-yu, and, along with their love story, he described in careful detail the ups and downs of four leading aristocratic families: Chia, Shih, Wang, and Hsueh. It is through his precise description of the decline of these four families that we are given a deep and careful analysis and criticism of the Ching Dynasty's economics, politics, culture, education, law, ethics, religion, and marriage, focusing in particular on the social superstructure of the Ching Dynasty, China's last feudal dynasty.

This novel is, like life itself, extraordinarily rich. It depicts with artistic appeal and succinctness the hidden crises and various kinds of intricate social conflicts of the declining feudal society, while offering us many different characteristics of many different kinds of people. The novel has profound social significance and a high historical value. It is generally regarded as China's greatest novel.

4 comments:

willow said...

This sounds like something I will love!

Renee said...

Now that looks like an epic novel and how beautiful is the little girl.

Love to you sweet Yoli.

Love Renee xoxo

The Things We Carried said...

I MUST read it. I wonder if it will be available on Netflix?

Hajar said...

Dearest Yoli, I've been trying to get a hardback copy of this along with the other 3 Great Classics. This portrayal should be a good one.