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The Story of the Stone, or The Dream of the Red Chamber, Vol. 5: The Dreamer Wakes
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Archives > 5. What passages strike you as insightful, even profound?

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John Seymour 5. What passages strike you as insightful, even profound? Perhaps a bit of dialog that's funny or poignant or that encapsulates a character? Maybe there's a particular comment that states the book's thematic concerns?


Book Wormy | 2029 comments Mod
"Dai-Yu was 'no ordinary mortal and no ordinary shade, but a visitor from some immortal realm"

"To be parted in life is in truth more painful than to be parted in death"

"afterwards it descended into the world of men to repay its debts with the tears of a lifetime, and now that this has been done it has returned to its true abode."

"It is preordained that prosperity comes with virtue and calamity with evil"


Diane  | 2051 comments “What is truth, and what fiction? You must understand that truth is fiction, and fiction truth.”


message 4: by Pip (new) - rated it 5 stars

Pip | 1435 comments And then the final verse:
When grief for fiction's idle words
More real than human life appears
reflect that life itself's a dream
And do not mock the reader's tears


Perhaps my fellow humans whom the dream of life has ensnared may find in this tale an echo, may be summoned back by it to their true home; while free spirits of the high hills may find in the record of Brother Stone's transformations, as in that older tale of the Migration of the Magic Mountain, a reflected light to quicken their own aspirations.

You in your insistence on ferreting out facts are like the man who dropped his sword in the water and thought to find it again by making a mark on the side of the boat...

The constellations in the heavens, the hermits in the hills, the spirits in their caves. each has a particular configuration, a unique temperament.

And, finally
Bao-Yu, replied the old man, is the Stone, the Precious Jade. Before the mansions of Rong and Ning were searched and their woldly goods impounded, on the very day when Bao-Chai and Dai-Yu were separated, the Stone had already quit the world. This was in part to avoid the impending calamity, in part to permit the consummation of the union. From that moment the Stone's worldly karma was complete. Its substance had returned to the Great Unity. All that remained was for it to demonstrate some small fraction of ths spiritual powers by achieving academic distinction and by leaving behind an heir to bring honour to the family name.


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