The Story of the Stone: Golden Days Volume 1

The Story of the Stone: Golden Days Volume 1

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Description

`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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Product details

  • Paperback | 544 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 23mm | 372g
  • Penguin Classics
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • geneal tables
  • 0140442936
  • 9780140442939
  • 13,240

Table of contents

The Story of the Stone Volume 1Note on Spelling
Introduction
Chapter 1:
Zhen Shi-yin makes the Stone's acquaintance in a dream; and Jia Yu-cun finds that poverty is not incompatible with romantic feelings


Chapter 2:
A daughter of the Jias ends her days in Yangchow city; and Leng Zi-xing discourses on the Jias of Rong-guo House


Chapter 3:
Lin Ru-hai recommends a private tutor to his brother-in-law; and old lady Jia extends a compassionate welcome to the motherless child


Chapter 4:
The Bottle-gourd girl meets and unfortunate young man; and the Bottle-gourd monk settles a protracted lawsuit


Chapter 5:
Jia Bao-yu visits the Land of Illusion; and the fairy Disenchantment performs the 'Dream of Golden Days'


Chapter 6:
Jia Bao-yu conducts his first experiment in the Art of Love; and Grannie Liu makes her first entry into the Rong-guo mansion


Chapter 7:
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 collquy with Qin-shi's brother


Chapter 8:
Jia Bao-yu is allowed to see the strangely corresponding golden locket; and Xue Bao-chai has a predestined encounter with the Magic Jade


Chapter 9:
A son is admonished and Li Gui recieves an alarming warning; a pupil is abused and Tealeaf throws the classroom in an uproar


Chapter 10:
Widow Jin's self-interest gets the better of her righteous indignation; and Doctor Zhang's dianosis reveals the orgin of a puzzling disease


Chapter 11:
Ning-guo House celebrates the birthday of an absent member; and Jia Rui conceives an illicit passion for his attractive cousin


Chapter 12:
Wang Xi-feng sets a trap for her admirer; and Jia Rui looks into the wrong side of the mirror


Chapter 13:
Qin-shi posthumanously acquires the status of a Noble Dame; and Xi-feng takes on the management of a neighbouring establishment


Chapter 14:
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


Chapter 15:
At Water-moon piory 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 sunder cover of darkness


Chapter 16:
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


Chapter 17:
The inspection of the new garden becomes a test of talent; and Rong-guo House makes itself ready for an important visitor


Chapter 18:
A brief family reunion is permitted by the magnanimity of a gracious Emperor; and an Imperial Concubine takes pleasure in the literacy progress of a younger brother


Chapter 19:
A very earnest young woman offers counsel by night; and a very endearing one is found to be a source of fragrance by day


Chapter 20:
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


Chapter 21:
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


Chapter 22:
Bao-yu finds Zen enlightenment in an operatic aria; and Jia Zheng sees portents of doom in lantern riddles


Chapter 23:
Words for the 'Western Chamber' supply a joke that offends; and songs from the 'Soul's Return' move a tender heart to anguish


Chapter 24:
The Drunken Diamond shows nobility of character in handling his money; and the Quiet-voiced Girl provides material for fantasy by losing her handkerchief


Chapter 25:
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


Chapter 26:
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
Characters in Volume I
Genealogical Tables
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Review quote

"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)
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About Xueqin Cao

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. He now lives in retirement in Wales.
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Rating details

1,739 ratings
4.22 out of 5 stars
5 50% (862)
4 30% (514)
3 15% (266)
2 4% (69)
1 2% (28)
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