Reading "The Story of the Stone" with Pai Hsien-Yung and Susan Chan Egan

Discussion of the History and Cultural Impact of Chinese novel Honglou meng 紅樓夢

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Friday, February 26, 2021
8:00 PM
Live via Zoom

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This event features Pai Hsien-yung 白先勇 and Susan Chan Egan 陳毓賢 in dialogue with Michael Berry, Director of CCS, to discuss the history and the lasting cultural impact of the Chinese novel Honglou meng 紅樓夢 (Dream of the Red Chamber, also known as 石頭記, The Story of the Stone), in correspondence with the publication of A Companion to The Story of the Stone: A Chapter-By-Chapter Guide (Columbia University Press, forthcoming in 2021).

In 2016, veteran writer Pai Hsien-yung published a three-volume reader of Honglou meng based on a series of lectures he delivered at the National Taiwan University. A simplified character edition of this landmark work, entitled 白先勇細說紅樓夢 (Pai Hsien-yung on Dream of the Red Chamber) appeared shortly thereafter in Mainland China. This was followed, in 2018, by 正本清源說紅樓 (Essays and Sources: Dream of the Red Chamber), a volume he compiled of essays by prominent scholars - from Wang Guowei 王國維onward - on the relative merits of the different editions of the novel; and, in 2020, a book he co-authored on the mythical structure of the novel, entitled 紅樓夢幻:《紅樓夢》的神話結構 (Dreams and Illusions in the Red Chamber: The Structure of Myth in Dream of the Red Chamber). Alongside his efforts in revitalizing traditional Chinese opera, Pai’s recent works have rekindled interest in the classic novel among younger generations of readers throughout the Chinese speaking world.

Over the course of the past four years, Pai has worked closely with Susan Chan Egan to condense his three-volume Chinese reader into a single volume English-language guide, adding comments that might prove useful to English readers. The publication of A Companion to The Story of the Stone is the culmination of this collaboration.


Pai Hsien-yung (Bai Xianyong) is an acclaimed fiction writer and a professor emeritus of East Asian languages and cultural studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His books include Taipei People (1971) and Crystal Boys (1983). His fiction have been translated into Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, French, German, Czech, Dutch, Italian, as well as English. He has taught The Story of the Stone for decades and is the author of a popular three-volume guide in Chinese, upon which A Companion to The Story of the Stone (2021) is based.

Susan Chan Egan is an independent scholar. She is the author of A Latterday Confucian: Reminiscences of William Hung (1893–1980) (Harvard, 1987), co-author with Chou Chih-p’ing of A Pragmatist and His Free Spirit: The Half-Century Romance of Hu Shi and Edith Clifford Williams (Chinese University Press of Hong Kong, 2009), and co-translator with Michael Berry of Wang Anyi’s The Song of Everlasting Sorrow: A Novel of Shanghai (Columbia, 2008), among other books.

 

This event is part of the UCLA Center for Chinese Studies’ "Taiwan in Dialogue” Lecture Series - Spotlight Taiwan Project, supported by a grant from the Taiwan Academy, Los Angeles and Ministry of Culture, Taiwan.

 
           

 




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Sponsor(s): Center for Chinese Studies