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Chinese History and CultureSeventeenth Century Through Twentieth Century$
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Ying-shih Yü

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780231178600

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231178600.001.0001

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The Two Worlds of Honglou meng (Dream of the Red Chamber)

The Two Worlds of Honglou meng (Dream of the Red Chamber)

(p.134) 6. The Two Worlds of Honglou meng (Dream of the Red Chamber)
Chinese History and Culture

Ying-shih Yü

, Josephine Chiu-Duke, Michael S. Duke
Columbia University Press

This is a thematic literary study of the “Utopian world” and the “world of reality” in China's greatest pre-modern novel. It shows how an ideal imaginary world where youth, beauty and love are kept safe is closely connected with the harsh, ugly and lustful world of reality. Thus, the collapse of the ideal world is seen as inevitable because it can never resist the erosion and invasion of the world of reality.

Keywords:   Purity, Impurity, Love, Lust, Falsity, Truth, illusion

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