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Ideal and Actual in The Story of the Stone - Dore J. Levy

Ideal and Actual in The Story of the Stone

Paperback Published: 1st April 1999
ISBN: 9780231114073
Number Of Pages: 256
For Ages: 22+ years old

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"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 of dynastic Chinese society; and the use of poetry as a vehicle for spiritual liberation

Though intended as an introduction for first-time readers of the masterpiece, Levy's book also offers some insights of use to specialists. A readable contribution to English studies of Honglou meng. -- Y. Wu Choice

Acknowledgmentsp. IX
Introductionp. I
Ideal and Actual, Real and Not-Realp. 7
"Family Togetherness": Patterns of Authority and the Subversion of Family Structurep. 27
Preexisting Conditions: Retributory Illness and the Limits of Medicinep. 67
A World Arart: Poetry and Society in the Garden of Total Visionp. 103
The Chiming of the Void: Poetry as a Vehicle to Enlightenmentp. 139
Notesp. 157
Glossaryp. 183
Bibliographyp. 191
Indexp. 207
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780231114073
ISBN-10: 0231114079
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 22+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 1st April 1999
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.61 x 15.19  x 1.25
Weight (kg): 0.31