The Story of the Stone: a Chinese Novel: Vol 1, The Golden Days (Penguin Classics)

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9780140442939: The Story of the Stone: a Chinese Novel: Vol 1, The Golden Days (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.

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Review:

"Filled with classical allusions, multilayered wordplay, and delightful poetry, Cao's novel is a testament to what Chinese literature was capable of. Readers of English are fortunate to have David Hawkes and John Minford's The Story of the Stone, which distills a lifetime of scholarship and reading into what is probably the finest work of Chinese-to-English literary translation yet produced. You will be rewarded every bit of attention you give it, many times over." --SupChina, "The 100 China Books You Have to Read, Ranked" (#1)

About the Author:

Cao Xueqin (?1715-63) was born into a family which for three generations held the office of Commissioner of Imperial Textiles in Nanking, a family so wealthy they were able to entertain the Emperor four times. However, calamity overtook them and their property was consfiscated. Cao Xueqin was living in poverty when he wrote his famous novel The Story of the Stone.

David Hawkes was Professor of Chinese at Oxford University from 1959 - 1971 and a Research Fellow of All Souls College from 1973-1983.

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