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Dream Story

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Baochai has a round face, fair skin, large eyes, and, some would say, a more voluptuous figure in contrast to Daiyu's slender willowy daintiness. The novel provides a detailed, episodic record of life in the two branches of the wealthy, aristocratic Jia ( 賈) clan—the Rongguo House ( 榮國府) and the Ningguo House ( 寧國府)—who reside in large, adjacent family compounds in the capital.

Xiangling ( 香菱; Xiāng Líng; 'Fragrant Water caltrop'; Hawkes/Minford translation: Caltrop) – the Xues' maid, born Zhen Yinglian ( 甄英蓮, a homophone with "deserving pity"), the kidnapped and lost daughter of Zhen Shiyin ( 甄士隱, a homophone with "Hiding the truth"), the country gentleman in Chapter 1. Yingchun's most famous trait, it seems, is her unwillingness to meddle in the affairs of her family. Plaks, Archetype and Allegory in the "Dream of the Red Chamber" (Princeton, NJ Princeton University Press, 1976). The names of the characters present a challenge to the translator, since many of them convey meaning.He goes to a coffee house where he meets Nachtigall, his former classmate from medical school who is now a musician. Grandmother to both Baoyu and Daiyu, she is the highest living authority in the Rongguo house and the oldest and most respected of the entire clan, yet also a doting person. She is asked to accompany the veiled bride Baochai to trick Baoyu into believing that he is marrying Daiyu.

Untying the Knot : On Riddles and Other Enigmatic Modes (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), p. The novel describes the Jias' wealth and influence in great naturalistic detail, and charts the Jias' fall from the height of their prestige, following some thirty main characters and over four hundred minor ones. Second female family member of the generation of the Jia household after Yuanchun, Yingchun is the daughter of Jia She, Baoyu's uncle and therefore his elder first cousin.

Taking the question of authorship seriously reflected a new respect for fiction, since the lesser forms of literature had not been traditionally ascribed to particular individuals.

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