Zhiyanzhai (脂硯齋/脂砚斋; pinyin: Zhī Yànzhāi, literally: "Rouge Inkstone Studio", sometimes translated as Red Inkstone or Rouge Inkstone) was the pseudonym of an early and mysterious commentator of the 18th-century Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber . This person was a contemporary of the author Cao Xueqin who knew the author intimately enough to be regarded as the chief commentator of his work while it was still unpublished. Most early hand-copied manuscripts of the novel contain red or black-inked commentaries by a few unknown commentators, considered authoritative enough to be transcribed by scribes into subsequent generations of copies. Zhiyanzhai was the most prominent of these commentators. Early copies of Dream were known as 脂硯齋重評石頭記 ("Zhiyanzhai's Re-Annotations to The Story of the Stone"). These versions are known as 脂本, or "Rouge Versions", in Chinese. They are the manuscripts with the highest textual reliability.
Zhiyanzhai had clearly finished reading Cao's completed draft to reveal details which would otherwise be lost to later generations. It was mostly through Zhiyanzhai's comments that scholars learn (even if fragmentarily) about some passages and incidents in the now missing original ending. Zhiyanzhai also conclusively identified the work as Cao Xueqin's. Orthodox Redologists rely extensively on Zhiyanzhai's notes for research and scholarly conjectures, although the identity of Zhiyanzhai remains a mystery.
Redology scholar Zhou Ruchang speculated that Zhiyanzhai was a woman, the second wife and cousin of Cao Xueqin and the person on whom the character Shi Xiangyun was based.This hypothesis has not been universally accepted and Zhiyanzhai's identity continues to be shrouded in mystery. Wu Shichang dismissed Zhou's theory and the possibility of Zhiyanzhai's being a woman based on internal evidence in the commentary and argued that he was a younger brother of Cao's father; British Sinologist David Hawkes speculated Zhiyanzhai was Cao's "kinsman-collaborator". Maram Epstein hypothesizes the name "Zhiyanzhai" may be merely a "compilation of voices".
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Dream of the Red Chamber, also called The Story of the Stone, or Hongloumeng, composed by Cao Xueqin, is one of China's Four Great Classical Novels. It was written some time in the middle of the 18th century during the Qing dynasty. Long considered a masterpiece of Chinese literature, the novel is generally acknowledged to be one of the pinnacles of Chinese fiction. "Redology" is the field of study devoted exclusively to this work.
Cáo Xuěqín ; was a Chinese writer during the Qing dynasty. He is best known as the author of Dream of the Red Chamber, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. His given name was Cáo Zhān (曹霑) and his courtesy name was Mèngruǎn.
Xue is the pinyin romanization of the Chinese surname 薛 (Xuē). It is romanized as Hsüeh in Wade-Giles. In Hong Kong and Macau it is usually romanized through its Cantonese pronunciation Sit. In Korean, it corresponds to Seol (설), in Japanese to Setsu and in Vietnamese to Tiết. According to the 2010 Chinese Census, it is the 76th most common surname in China, a sharp decline from 48th in 1982. In a study by geneticist Yuan Yida on the distribution of Chinese surnames, people who carry the name Xue are dispersed throughout the country and is most heavily concentrated in Shaanxi. It is the 68th name on the Hundred Family Surnames poem.
Redology is the academic study of Cao Xueqin's Dream of the Red Chamber, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of China. There are numerous researchers in this field; most can be divided into four general groups. The first group are the commentators, such as Zhou Chun, Xu Fengyi, Chen Yupi, and others. The second group is the index group, which mainly includes Wang Mengruan and Cai Yuanpei. The third group are the textual critics, including Hu Shih and Yu Pingbo. The final group are the literary critics, including Zhou Ruchang and Li Xifan.
Xue Baochai is one of the principal characters in the classic 18th century Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber. Described as extremely beautiful and socially graceful, her attributes complement those of her cousin Lin Daiyu. Indeed, it has been suggested that the two women are complements of one another – each has exactly the attributes of Cao Xueqin's ideal woman which the other lacks.
Qin Zhong is a secondary character in Cao Xueqin's classic 18th century Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber. He is Qin Keqing's younger brother and Jia Baoyu's best friend and schoolmate, who is extremely handsome.
David Hawkes was a British sinologist and translator. After being introduced to Japanese through codebreaking during the Second World War, Hawkes studied Chinese and Japanese at Oxford University between 1945 and 1947 before studying at Peking University from 1948 to 1951. He then returned to Oxford, where he completed his D.Phil. and later became Shaw Professor of Chinese. In 1971, Hawkes resigned his position to focus entirely on his translation of the famous Chinese novel The Story of the Stone, which was published in three volumes between 1973 and 1980. He retired in 1984 to rural Wales before returning to Oxford in his final years.
Lecture Room is a Chinese television programme hosted by China Central Television (CCTV), in which scholars from various disciplines are invited to provide lectures. It was first broadcast on 9 July 2001 on CCTV-10. In its early days, featured topics included biology, physics, economics, history and literature, and the lecturers were from around the world. Its focus has gradually changed, as recent programmes focus more on Chinese history and Chinese culture.
Daji (Chinese: 妲己; pinyin: Dájǐ; Wade–Giles: Ta2-chi3) was the favorite consort of King Zhou of Shang, the last king of the Shang dynasty in ancient China. She is portrayed as a malevolent fox spirit in legends as well as novels. However, the real Daji was slain by the latter one. Her identification as a fox spirit seems to have originated from at least the Tang dynasty. These accounts have been popularized in works such as the Wu Wang Fa Zhou Pinghua (武王伐紂平話), the Fengshen Yanyi, and the Lieguo Zhi. She is considered a classic example of how a beautiful femme fatale can cause the downfall of a dynasty in Chinese culture.
Yu Pingbo, original name Yu Mingheng (俞銘衡) and courtesy name Pingbo (平伯), was a Chinese essayist, poet, historian, redologist, and literary critic.
Miaoyu is an important character in the 18th century novel Dream of the Red Chamber, one of the classics of Chinese fiction. She is a young, beautiful but aloof Buddhist nun, compelled by circumstances to become a nun, and shelters herself under the nunnery in Prospect Garden. She likes Zhuangzi's article.
Gao E was a Qing dynasty Chinese scholar, writer, and editor. He attained the degree of juren in 1788 and jinshi in 1795. A Han Chinese who belonged to the Bordered Yellow Banner, he became a Fellow of the Hanlin Academy in 1801. His courtesy name was Yunfu (雲甫) and art name Lanshu.
Dream of the Red Chamber is a 1944 Chinese film directed by Bu Wancang. It is an adaptation of the classic 18th century Qing-era novel by Cao Xueqin.
In the study of the classic Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber, the Cheng-Gao versions or Cheng-Gao editions (程高本) refer to two illustrated, woodblock print editions of the book, published in 1791 and 1792, both entitled The Illustrated Dream of the Red Chamber (绣像红楼梦). The 1791 version, produced at the year's end, was the novel's earliest print edition. A revised edition, differing in minor details, was published less than eighty days after the first print edition in early 1792. Both editions were edited by Cheng Weiyuan (程伟元) and Gao E and were published by Suzhou's Cuiwen Book House (萃文书屋).
Odd Tablet, or more literally, Elderly Maimed Tablet (畸笏叟), was a mysterious commentator of the 18th-century Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber. He sometimes signed himself as merely 畸笏. Together with Zhiyanzhai, they were regarded as the two most significant commentators of the Rouge manuscripts. Apparently quite old and an elder, his comments, like Zhiyanzhai's, were often also in red ink in some Rouge manuscripts.
Zhou Ruchang, was a Chinese writer noted for his study of the novel Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin. He is regarded as among the most renowned and influential redologists of the 20th century. In addition, Zhou was also an accomplished calligrapher and expert on traditional Chinese poetry and fiction.
Andrew Henry Plaks is an American sinologist who specializes in the study of the vernacular fiction of the Ming and Qing dynasties. From 1973 to 2007 he taught at Princeton University, becoming full professor in 1980. He moved to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2007, where he is currently Professor of East Asian Studies.
Ernü Yingxiong Zhuan is a Qing dynasty novel first printed version in 40 chapters in 1878. It is written by Yanbei Xianren (燕北闲人), the pen name of Wen Kang, a Manchu of an Eight Banner family. The novel is composed of vignettes that concern He Yufeng (何玉凤), also called "Thirteenth Sister" (十三妹). He Yufeng seeks revenge for her father, who died in prison because of persecution by a high official. She rescues a virtuous young woman, Ms. Zhang, and a heroic young scholar, An Ji (安骥) from cannibals. When An Ji becomes a high official, he marries both Hu and Zhang and when a new emperor ascends the throne, her father finally receives justice. Her actions are characterized by the traditional Confucian virtues, loyalty, piety, righteousness, love and heroism but the resolution of the novel comes through luck, or fate.
Fan Wencheng was a Qing dynasty Scholar-Official, Prime Minister and Grand Secretary (Daxue Shi). His official career went through four generation of Qing dynasty emperors through Nurhaci, Hong Taiji, Shunzhi, and Kangxi. Many rules and regulations in the early days of the Qing Dynasty were drafted by him.
The Bronze Bird Terrace was an iconic structure in the city of Ye built in AD 210 by Cao Cao, the prominent warlord of the late Eastern Han dynasty. Despite reconstructions after Cao Cao's time that exceeded his in scale, the Bronze Bird Terrace is metonymous with Cao Cao in Classical Chinese poetry, where the terrace is a popular topic. Although its destruction in 577 and natural disasters left only ruins of the Bronze Bird Terrace, the terrace lives on in the Chinese cultural memory through its connection with Cao Cao and retains its place in Chinese literature and modern media pertaining to the Three Kingdoms period.