Tag: dream of red mansions

Misc updatery


So, I’d say very quiet weekend, except that we had a big birthday bash at home (it was the H’s birthday celebration). In which we established, not for the first time, that I dearly love making dipping sauces: respectively roquefort cream, tzadziki, and hummus with peanut butter (don’t laugh. Our badly-supplied store didn’t have tahini paste, and this was the only acceptable substitute). Also, that I don’t like cutting veggies (I cut my finger after the 4th cucumber and the 10th carrot), and that the H remains the king of breads (not entirely sure of my madz translation skills here. I think that’s the closest term for a loaf-shaped delicacy that involves flour, milk and cheese. He made two, a turkey-dried tomato one, and a salmon-rocket one).

The party went well, though the last guests left after 4:30am (and a good game of Arkham Horror). Went to have lunch with my grandmother in a Chinese restaurant. I had my English translation of Dream of Red Mansions handy, and was pleasantly surprised when the waiter chatted with me about the book, what it was called in French (I strongly suspect he didn’t read the English title, but instead the Chinese characters that are in the upper left-hand corner of the book), and about whether the translation was any good (to which I had to admit I had no idea….).

And here we are on Monday. Still reading Dream of Red Mansions, and have started dipping into The Key to Chinese Cooking, which has a very interesting dissection of the various cooking methods and the reasoning behind them. It’s a pity this kind of book with detailed instructions (the kind that tell you what to do and why you’re doing it, thus laying the groundwork for experimentation of your own later on even though they can be a bit over-didactic) has fallen out of fashion in France, and has been replaced with books which only contain recipes.

Oh, and the link of the day? The newest xkcd on women and science is made of awesome. Meanwhile, I’m off to plot a novella.

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…