Ts'ao Hsüeh-ch'in

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Ts'ao Hsüeh-ch'in

(tsou` shyĕ`chĭn`), 1715–63, Chinese novelist. He is the author of Story of the Stone (or A Dream of Red Mansions), which is considered China's greatest novel. After his wealthy and prominent family fell victim to an imperial purge in 1728, Ts'ao's father managed to avoid enslavement and resettled them in Beijing. There Ts'ao, poverty-stricken, worked on his semiautobiographical novel, which remained unfinished at his death. Edited and completed by Kao E (1740–c.1815), it is a masterful chronicle of the decline of a distinguished family, focusing on a triangular romance among the three main characters. The witty narrative, rich in naturalistic detail, emphasizes metaphysical themes of transience and the risks of passionate desire.


See translations by D. Hawkes and J. Minford (5 vol., 1973–82); studies by L. Miller (1975) and A. H. Plaks (1976).

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References in periodicals archive ?
So does the 16th Century Journey to the West about Chinese Buddhist monk Xuanzang's pilgrimage to India to study Buddhism and obtain accurate copies of religious texts and the exploits of his three supernatural co-travellers and protectors, especially 'The Monkey King', while Cao Xueqin's 18th century Dream of the Red Chamber, about the decline of a noble family is shorter -- at only 1,800-odd pages.
Wandering Between Two Worlds: The Formative Years of Cao Xueqin 1715-1745
Wu Jingzi wrote the brilliant satire The Unofficial History of the Scholars and Cao Xueqin produced The Dream of the Red Chamber.
One novel that deserves "close and interactive reading" perhaps more than any other work in the xiaoshuo [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (fiction) tradition is Cao Xueqin's [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (1724-63) Honglou meng [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Dream of the Red Chamber).
Actually, it is Elvin who then writes that Cao Xueqin A Dream of the Young Ladies ' Apartment "is one of the four or five greatest novels ever written"!?
It's hard to overstate the importance of Cao Xueqin's novel in the Chinese psyche--study of the novel is called "Redology."
Between noble and humble; Cao Xueqin and The dream of the red chamber.
The paired texts are Charlotte Lennox's Female Quixote with Chen Duansheng's Zaisheng yuan (Destiny After Rebirth); Sarah Scott's Description of Millennium Hall with Cao Xueqin's Honglou meng (A Dream of the Red Mansion); and Cao Xueqin's Honglou meng (A Dream of the Red Mansion) with Samuel Richardson's Clarissa.
In Cao Xueqin's Story of the Stone, (4) we can find a concentrated expression of this idea.
Cao Xueqin's Hong Lou Meng (Dream of the Red Chamber) represents the highest achievement of the classical narrative during the Ming-Qing period of China.
Yu, who earlier provided us with a complete rendition of the Journey to the West and published a number of articles devoted to Dream of the Red Chamber, now puts before us the summation of his reading of Cao Xueqin's masterwork.