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Ideal and Actual in The Story of the Stone [Paperback]

Dore J. Levy

Price: CDN$ 30.00 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

April 1 1999

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


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Review

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)

About the Author

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.


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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
2 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best introduction to the best novel of the Eastern world Dec 10 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Dore Levy writes, "The Story of the Stone has the popular appeal of Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind, The critical praise of James Joyce's Ulysses and is twice the length of both combined." Read The Story of the Stone and read Levy's masterful and entertaining survey.

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