Ideal and Actual in the Story of the Stone

Front Cover
Columbia University Press, 1999 - Literary Collections - 213 pages
0 Reviews

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

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
7
famIly togetherness
27
PREEXISTING CONDITIONS
67
103
NOTES
157
191
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1999)

Dore J. Levy is associate professor of comparative literature and East Asian Studies and chair of East Asian Studies at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. She is the author of Chinese Narrative Poetry: The Late Han Through T'ang Dynasties.

Bibliographic information