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Ideal and Actual in the "Story of the Stone"
Author: Dore J. Levy

ISBN: 9780231114073
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 16 April 1999
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.9 x 1.2
Description:


"The Story of the Stone"(also known as "The Dream of the Red Chamber"), completed in the mid-eighteenth century by Cao Xuegin, is considered China's greatest novel -- but its length and narrative complexity have proven daunting to many modern readers. Now, esteemed scholar of Asian literature Dore J. Levy introduces this timeless work to first-time readers, while also presenting a new method of comparative interpretation for advanced students and scholars. Drawing from literary theory, sociology, religion, and medicine, Levy explores how the classic novel confronts the chasm between social, emotional, and spiritual ideals and their translation into day-to-day reality.

This illuminating work unpacks "The Story of the Stone" based on the interpretation of four major themes: the inversion of traditional family dynamics, which constitutes the novel's social framework; the function of illness and medicine in a society where Buddhist notions of karma and retribution exist alongside pragmatic notions of the human body that make up traditional Chinese medicine; the role of poetry in the social structure...

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