Dream of the Red Chamber Author:Tsao Hsueh Chin, Chi-Chen Wang (Translator) Chinese Classics Series in English. Published in China, no copyright information in English. Preface by Mark Van Doren. — This two-century-old romance of Pao-yu and his lovely Black Jade is generally regarded as the greatest of all Chinese novels. Known in Chinese as the Hung Lou Meng, it has had a history of almost as many vicissitudes as the li... more »ves of the two lovers.
There are basically two versions of this classic. The first is an unfinished work in 80 chapters by Tsao Jsueh-chin. It was circulated in manuscript during the author's lifetime in the 18th century and was published about 1910. The second is a complete version in 129 chapters, of which 40 chapters constitute a "continuation," by Kao Ou.
In making this translation, Professor Wang of the Chinese Department at Columbia University has made use of all versions, in addition to consulting a manuscript copy dated 1754, in the possession of Dr. Hu Shih. He has included in his translation certain passages that are only to be found in Dr. Hu's copy.« less