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A scene from Dream of the Red Chamber (also known as The Story of the Stone). A Dream of Red Mansions is the title by which the book isperhaps most commonly known.Twelve Young Ladies of Jinling is also a titlesuggested in chapter one. As David Hawkes explains, 'hong lou', red mansion, has the more specialisedmeaning of the residences of the daughters of rich men and thus, the youngladies themselves.In the Mao period, a revolutionary class-struggle analysis dominated in mainland China.
I am less interested at this point in your appreciation of the novel as a "literary work" than I am in the book as a reflection of Chinese culture (world view, aesthetics, values, life-styles, etc.). Over 75 printed Chinese editions; over 15 foreign translations C.
About thirty major characters; over 400 minor characters D.
The most recent, and by far the most instructive, book-size introduction to the novel is Schonebaum and Lu 2012.
In Chinese, some very good book-size introductions to the novel also exist, such as Luo 2007, which builds on one scholar’s interpretation and follows the novel’s development section by section, and Zhu 2003, which collects essays by a number of scholars.
The rock is found by a Buddhist and a Taoistwho take it down to the mortal world where it lives out a human life, thatof Jia Bao-yu, before attaining Nirvana.