Between Noble and Humble: Cao Xueqin and the Dream of the Red Chamber

Between Noble and Humble: Cao Xueqin and the Dream of the Red Chamber

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Between Noble and Humble: Cao Xueqin and the Dream of the Red Chamber (曹雪芹新传, literally New Biography of Cao Xueqin) is a translation of a scholarly work by the famous mainland Chinese critic Zhou Ruchang. Written for the Western reader, it historicizes the life and times of the Chinese novelist Cao Xueqin (c. 1715-1763) and comprehensively introduces the origins of the novel Dream of the Red Chamber (Honglou meng). This translation is unique because it offers the first book-length biography of Cao Xueqin in English. Zhou carefully historicizes the decline of the once illustrious Cao clan, and he demonstrates how Cao Xueqin’s own childhood experiences in a wealthy bondservant family during the Qing dynasty profoundly informed the encyclopedic narrative that he would later write. In Between Noble and Humble, Zhou also offers intriguing and controversial theories about Honglou meng based on decades of careful research, for instance, that the famous commentator Red Inkstone was in fact a female relative of Cao Xueqin.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781433104077
Publisher: Peter Lang Inc., International Academic Publishers
Publication date: 10/16/2009
Series: Asian Thought and Culture Series , #62
Pages: 238
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

The Author: Zhou Ruchang (Chou Ju-ch’ang) is one of China’s foremost experts on the Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber (Honglou meng). Born in 1918 and educated at Yenching University, he has published over eighty-eight books, the majority of them dealing with the Dream of the Red Chamber. His first book, New Evidence on ‘Honglou meng’ (红楼梦新证), published in 1953, is considered a classic in Honglou meng studies.
The Editors: Ronald R. Gray holds degrees in philosophy from Brown University and the University of Colorado at Denver and has published papers on philosophical and Western approaches to Honglou meng. He lived in East Asia for twenty years and has taught at universities in Japan, South Korea, and China.
Mark S. Ferrara is Assistant Professor of English at the State University of New York, Oneonta. He is the former director of the Chinese Cultural Exchange Program at Drake University and has taught in South Korea, China, and on a Fulbright Scholarship in Turkey.

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