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The Dreamer Wakes (The Story of the Stone, #5)
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John Seymour The fifth part of Cao Xueqin's magnificent saga, "The Dreamer Awakes", was carefully edited and completed by Gao E some decades later. It continues the story of the changing fortunes of the Jia dynasty, focussing on Bao-yu, now married to Bao-chai, after the tragic death of his beloved Dai-yu. Against such worldly elements as death, financial ruin, marriage, decadence and corruption, his karmic journey unfolds. Like a sleepwalker through life, Bao-yu is finally awakened by a vision, which reveals to him that life itself is merely a dream, 'as moonlight mirrored in the water'.


John Seymour I have added only a few questions, most of which can be used to discuss either this last volume of Story of the Stone or the entire saga.

As with volume 3, in order to get credit for discussion of this last volume, you also need to create a question of your own. It can be a topic from The Dreamer Wakes or any earlier part of the saga, or the work as a whole. As with Volume 3, start your questioni n a new thread and title it: "[_____]'s Question." Enjoy.


message 3: by Pip (new) - rated it 5 stars

Pip | 1411 comments I have just watched the excellent BBC Two programme, The Story of China and it mentioned that Cao Yueqin's grandfather was the Han confidante of the first Manchu Emperor, Kangxi, probably because his mother was Kangxi's wetnurse. His name was Cao Yin, and he was a famous poet and calligrapher in his own right. His main claim to fame, apart from his role in consolidating the Manchu dynasty, was that he was responsible for the collating of all of the Sung dynasty lyric poetry - some 49,000 poems. No wonder Cao Yueqin was so keen on poetry! Of course his son (or nephew, no one is quite sure) was disgraced by the next Emperor, Yongcheng, possibly on trumped up charges, and Cao Xueqin was brought up in poverty. Fascinating stuff. And, another thing, Cao Xueqin was known to be a big drinker! Much explained.


John Seymour Pip wrote: "I have just watched the excellent BBC Two programme, The Story of China and it mentioned that Cao Yueqin's grandfather was the Han confidante of the first Manchu Emperor, Kangxi, probably because h..."

Interesting. Thanks for sharing.


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