Cao and his dream of the red mansions

    Today I am going to introduce you the greatest novelist in Chinese literature history, Cao Xueqin, also known as Tsao Hsueh Chin , who lived in the Qing (ching) dynasty (1715–1763). He is the author of A Dream of the Red Mansions (or Story of the Stone; A Dream of the Red Chambers), which is considered China's greatest novel.
    After his wealthy and prominent family fell victim to an imperial purge in 1728, Cao's father managed to avoid enslavement and resettled them in Beijing. There Cao, poverty-stricken, worked on his semiautobiographical novel, which remained unfinished at his death. Edited and completed by Gao E (1740–1815), it is a masterful chronicle of  decline of four distinguished family, focusing on a triangular romance among the three main characters (Jia Baoyu, Lin Daiyu and Xue Baochai). The witty narrative, rich in naturalistic detail, emphasizes metaphysical themes of transience and the risks of passionate desire.
    The four great houses of Jia, Shi, Wang and Xue described in this novel were typical basic political units of feudal society. Such families were linked with the court above and the local officials below to form a network of control with the feudal autocratic state power as its center.
    This book has translated into dozens of languages worldwide and adapted for films and TV serials in China, and also in China, even a specialized study was established focusing on this book called Redology(the study of A Dream of the Red Mansions).

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