When characters do have inner thoughts they are always of something established in the first 80 chapters Aroma wonders what will become of her as a concubine, Dai-yu feels like an outsider, etc.
- The Story of the Stone: The Debt of Tears (Volume IV)!
- Wordsworth's Poetical Works, Volume 3.
- Kant and Sartre: Re-discovering Critical Ethics;
- Thayer's Notes:;
- The Debt of Tears.
- The Shelf of Life.
- Walter Scott - Wikipedia.
And although I felt chapters were somewhat clunky, I settled into a groove and enjoyed the second half of this volume. We will never know. Despite my previous complaints, there is one relationship that continues to develop, that which is between Nightingale and Dai-yu.
- Four Little Chicks.
- Escaped - a novella (The Pierced Series Book 2).
- Cao Xueqin.
- MANOLO A Child in the Spanish Civil War;
Although chapters struck me as a bit flat, the chapters leading up to the wedding have been presented quite believably by presenting the complicated motivations and actions surrounding the grand substitution. Although I was never a huge Dai-yu fan, I appreciated her aesthetic and pitied her situation. However, I probably would have wanted my son to marry Bao-chai, and not for jade and gold reasons, but because she is very solid and sensible. My favorite character continues to be Tan-chun, who embodies the best qualities of Dai-yu and Bao-chai.
Dec 11, Mel rated it it was amazing Shelves: 18th-century-lit , chinese-literature , translation. They also have a different translator. The characters seem to act quite differently at times. There is also much less empahsis on the maids and much more emphasis on the men in the family. The basic plot of this volume involves Bai Yu loosing his jade and going insane so the family decide to marry him off to Baichai as a chance to regain his sanity.
This is largely due to a few chapters earlier Dai Yu attempting to starve herself to death when she hears Bai Yu is going to marry someone else. And it is this bout of ill health that finally convinces everyone she'd not make a good wife. I thought her dying scenes were some of the strongest parts of the book. It was also interesting to see my two new favorites, Tan Chun and Li Wan were the two of the women that were there for her death. The rest of the plots didn't seem to ammount to much. Xue Pan being arrested for murder again didn't seem quite as interesting as when this happened in the first volume.
Likewise Baoyu's return to school wasn't as in depth. Xifeng seemed to hardly be around at all, sick for no reason, and just joking rather than controlling anything. I did however find it interesting when they had the nun perform spirit writing mediumship to find out what was wrong with Baoyu. Apr 09, Joanna rated it liked it. The difference in authorship is clear to the informed. For me it manifested itself as a sudden feeling that I knew what was going to happen next. The Cao Xuequin-penned volumes are a voyage of discovery, whereas the Gao E-authored sections are more or less what an intelligent reader might expect to happen at least in terms of most of the major characters.
There seems to be little to no further character development, only plot, which has a strangely static feel. On to the next one! Jun 21, Andrew Fairweather rated it really liked it Shelves: asian-lit , eastern-classicism , fiction. From Void all comes; To Void must all return. One thing—the pace of the story has quickened slightly. There are less poetic stretches. Despite the warnings of a friend of mine, I did not find volume 4 lacking, even if it has been the shortest volume so far.
After all, a more fast paced tempo can also inform what we draw from the book.
The Editor's Notes:
These are no longer the golden days of contemplation and discovery! The dream's fissures are being revealed as the fourth volume becomes more and more bleak. Not only are the fortunes of the Jia family not what they used to be, but the very familial fabric is being torn apart. At first, it seems as if Bao-chai's marriage to Bao-yu "the gold to match the jade" is a sure thing which at this point it wasn't , so she decides to commit suicide by starvation, thus— "In her dreams she constantly heard people addressing the new 'Mrs.
Bao', and her mind grew totally obsessed wit the idea, like the proverbial drinker who, seeing a curved bow reflected in his cup, is convinced that he has swallowed a snake. In such a way Dai-yu's depressing mental meanderings become realized.
She becomes sick and dies. Dai-yu reminds me of many people I know, in fact, she reminds me of myself maybe a few years back—that is, I was the type of person who always expected the worst of things, maybe so that I'd be prepared for when the worst really came. But this becomes tiring—to always think the worst of people, the see people as either evil, stupid, or helpless victims—little did I know that this was a world I was creating!
To a certain extent we all love predictability, and will even choose the comfort of predictability over a more productive happiness. So Dai-yu's obsession with Chai's gold to match the jade eventually becomes her, she is nobody but the girl who hadn't the gold. A twisted fantasy come true! And Bao-yu had the most love for her the whole time! After Dai-yu's death, Bao-yu visits Hades.
Hesiod, The Homeric Hymns, and Homerica
Bao-yu is denied a meeting with Dai-yu— "An ordinary mortal has two souls which coalesce at birth to vitalize the physical frame, and disperse at death to rejoin the cosmic flux. If you consider the impossibility of tracing even such ordinary human entities in the Nether World, you will realize what a futile task it is to look for Lin Dai-yu. You had better return at once. And of course, this is the volume where Bao-yu's jade gets lost, I presume it travels on its own volition to Greensickness Peak.
The whole garden and house is turned over to look for the thing, to no avail. In a communication, the stone says that it is useless to go on looking for it Bao-yu becomes senile, hauntingly senile, at most bearing a empty smile whenever his name is mentioned. Even during his wedding to the lovely Bao-chai he can't seem to snap out of it. And when he finds out about Dai's death, the descriptions of his sorrow were truly gut-wrenching. In the middle of the book, Jia Zheng reflects on the nature of the pearl, and the unfaithfulness of fortune.
This recurring theme stays with us throughout volume four.
Looking forward to the last volume, volume five, "The Dreamer Wakes". Feb 28, David rated it really liked it. Man, things just go from worse to even worser in this one. The spiral downward is long and through. There are some ups, but they only serve to accentuate the downs. Honestly, though there are some beautiful moments, and those are perhaps some of the mosst beautiful so far, it is a much more depressing volume than the others.
I don't expect things to improve for them in the last volume. Dec 05, Adelaide Mcginnity rated it it was amazing.
I will admit that I was disappointed for the first couple of chapters, as I think the translator John Minford is not nearly as good as the one for the first three volumes David Hawkes. For my biggest complaint, he uses way too much Latin; I get that this is to illustrate where the characters are using antiquated classical Chinese that would be as obscure to the masses of Cao's time as Latin is to our own, but boy did it jar with the Eastern setting. But I excuse literally everything for th I will admit that I was disappointed for the first couple of chapters, as I think the translator John Minford is not nearly as good as the one for the first three volumes David Hawkes.
But I excuse literally everything for the sake of the book's climax, which I will never, ever spoil and I swear is worth reading all 97 chapters that proceed it. Because when it came, it was simply beyond beautiful; you can see the tragedy coming from a mile away, but you are powerless to stop it; even putting down the book could not save what fate has decreed must be so.
A certain friend of mine made a comment the other day that I find particularly apropos for this volume. Upon watching a particular animated movie that we both found highly original in spite of the fact that both of us could predict long in advance what ending was coming, she noted that sometimes something is simply so well written that it can only end in one particular way, and that reaching such a resolution represents the height of creativity, rather than its absence.
That is what I think about the climax of The Story of the Stone. Finally, I must also comment that Xi-Feng is a fantastic character, and definitely the most sublimely constructed female character I have encountered since Robert Graves's Livia. Apr 30, Rowan Sully Sully rated it it was amazing. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.
Table of contents
To view it, click here. Whilst the cracks start appearing in Vol 3, they spread dramatically in Vol 4. It starts with the introduction of Jin-Gui, Xue Pan's new wife who starts stirring up trouble as soon as she arrives. Xue Pan then gets thrown into jail, Dai Yu falls ill again, and as a result Bao Yu falls ill as well as losing his jade. It's the demise of the Jia's and there are desperate attempts to reverse their fortunes most notably in Bao Yu's wedding.
But Jia Zheng captures their fragility perfectly when he Whilst the cracks start appearing in Vol 3, they spread dramatically in Vol 4. But Jia Zheng captures their fragility perfectly when he states that 'prosperity may crumble in the twinkling of an eye, like the passing of a spring cloud or the falling of an autumn leaf. The volume then ends in tragedy as Dai-Yu falls ill and dies and returns to haunt Bao Yu Oct 31, Matt rated it liked it Shelves: in-translation , literature. A ton of the things being foreshadowed in the first three volumes come to a head here, which drove me to read on, but whether it was the change in translator or the fact that Gao E stepped in at this point to finish what was a less finished part of the novel, something of the emotional subtlety and power was missing.
Aug 31, Chris rated it it was amazing Shelves: books. The central plot comes into focus after the last two volumes, which largely meander and dive deep into minor characters and are nonetheless wonderful. The final 40 chapters, presented here in volumes 4 and 5, were, at a minimum, edited by a party other than the primary author.
It shows, and is for the good, I think. Awe-inspiring, heartbreaking, shockingly relatable years later and a world away, as this magnificent journey heads to its conclusion. May 11, David Gialouras rated it really liked it. Every chapter ends with a cliffhanger. I listened to some qin music which is mentioned in the appendix and is played unexpectedly by one of the principal characters. I was moved to great sadness by it given what happens to the player in the book. Aug 20, Jackson Cyril rated it it was amazing.
The Black Death | SpringerLink
What an emotionally draining last few chapters! Love, loss, bereavement and now, the expected disintegration of this great and wonderful dream. One more volume!