Rereading “Dream of Red Mansions”


Rereading A Dream of Red Mansions (紅樓夢) in a slightly different translation than my first read (first read was the Penguin edition, the new one is Foreign Press). It’s rather interesting to discover, erm, explicit passages: the fight in the clan’s school, for instance, appears to be because it’s a hotbed of hormones and boys are seeking to nab boys and/or girls, often both–which I totally missed in the first read. So either I wasn’t paying enough attention on the first read (which is possible, especially since we were in Spain at the time and I was rather under the weather); or the new translation is rather more explicit than the other one…
I’m not complaining, mind you. It’s entertaining, and I’m saving all my complaints-credits for sentences such as “By now, Jia Dairu had arrived with Jia Daixi, Jia Chi, Jia Xiao, Jia Dun, Jia She, Jia Zheng, Jia Cong, Jia Bin, Jia Heng, Jia Guang, Jia Chen, Jia Qiong, Jia Lin, Jia Qiang, Jia Chang, Jia Ling, Jia Yun, Jia Qin, Jia Zhen, Jia Pin, Jia Zao, Jia Heng, Jia Fen, Jia Fang, Jia Lan, Jia Jun, and Jia Zhi.” (it’s probably way easier in Mandarin because of the various characters, but in English or French all those syllables really look alike. Plus, I’ve got a rough idea of who some of those people are, and admit to utter cluelessness about 75% of them).

Also, it looks like they made a TV series–now if I could get my hands on a subtitled version…


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