THE DREAM OF THE RED CHAMBER (HUNG-LOU MENG) Introduction Sources (designated G):
By whatever name it be called of the five names suggested by author Ts’ao Hsueh Ch’in (1715-1763), China’s greatest novel, HUNG-LOU MENG (THE DREAM OF THE RED CHAMBER), excels in three particulars. It is, first, a work of art, a literary masterpiece of world interest and importance whose raison d’etre is richness and beauty of design. It is, second, a reflection of its national and historical backgrounds-social, political, economic, intellectual, and aesthetic. It is, third, a statement of the sublimity and pathos of the human condition, mirroring experiences and responses of men, women, and children everywhere and at all times as they struggle with forces natural, cosmic, human, and divine.