Chapter 299: This World’s Misconception of Dream of the Red Chamber!
It was 10 something in the morning.
Zhang Ye was alone at home. His father and mother had already left for work.
After Zhang Ye opened the door and went into his house, other than taking a sip of tea that was left on the table. He did not do anything else and just went straight to his room and switched on the computer. He searched the topic of “Dream of the Red Chamber” and found many results. There were also a lot of manuscripts and there was also the 120 circulated chapters that had been collated and sorted out.
This was the one!
Zhang Ye couldn’t help but find the most published version of the novel that he found online. He then browsed through it generally from the front to the back to get the general idea. After over an hour, Zhang Ye had confirmed that this was the one. This was the same “Dream of the Red Chamber” novel that existed in his previous world as well. Even the words used did not differ too much. Although a lot of things had changed in this world, the Four Great Classical Novels were too influential and had stayed the same. Zhang Ye had verified this once again, there was definitely no problem!
But then why?
Why did Professor Zeng say such words?
Zhang Ye continued researching the “Dream of the Red Chamber” related lectures and found out that as Professor Zeng had said, there really weren’t many detailed lectures regarding this novel. There were some lectures available, but they mainly touched on only the first 10 chapters of the novel and did a simple analysis before ending it on that note!
That can’t be right?
What were you all trying to prove!
What about those Redologists? Those experts who specialized in studying “Dream of the Red Chamber”? Where did they disappear to! Did you guys all end up researching “Golden Lotus“?
Zhang Ye couldn’t wrap his head around this fact!
“Dream of the Red Chamber” being the greatest of the Four Great Classical Novels, how did it ever fall into the state it was in now?
Suddenly, Zhang Ye saw a related headline concerning “Dream of the Red Chamber”. Then he was stunned for a few seconds and became confused. It wrote there—As the greatest of the Four Great Classical Novels, the influence and achievements of “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” domestically……what came after no longer mattered. Zhang Ye was stunned at the first half of the headline. F**k your sister, when did Romance of the Three Kingdoms become the greatest of the Four Great Classical Novels? “Dream of the Red Chamber” was publicly acknowledged as the top in the literary field in his previous world. It was irrefutably the top, how could it become “Romance of the Three Kingdoms”!?
Surely, there must be a story behind it!
The cultural works between his previous world and this world were a little different, the appreciation levels were still similar. They couldn’t have come to such a low level conclusion. Even those scholars and researchers who had spent their lives understanding the Three Kingdoms would not dare to say that “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” was better than “Dream of the Red Chamber” in the field of literature!
Where did it go wrong?
What was the problem?
To Zhang Ye, this was not a matter that could be blamed on supernatural events. He could not come to an understanding even when he kept thinking with all his might. So he quickly went online to research more deeply, the deeper he went, the more he became speechless. He found out that “Dream of the Red Chamber” was not only not the top novel of the Four Great Classical Novels, it was in fact the last of the Four Great Classical Novels! Even “Water Margin” and “Journey to the West” were ahead of it!
An authoritative comment put it like that:
“I’ve always felt that the last of the Four Great Classical Novels, ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ could have been written better. It even had the potential to become the greatest of them all, but what’s regrettable was that there are too many inconsistencies and illogicalities that none of us have been able to solve. Like the poem by Jia Baoyu that did not match his personality, the ‘perfect ending’ that had a major flaw, etc, etc, etc. No one can understand whether this was Mr Cao Xueqin’s slip up during writing, or whether he wrote it like that on purpose. Maybe it was because Mr Cao Xueqin fell sick when he got older and could no longer pay attention to the details of his masterpiece, he continued making mistake after mistake, flaw after flaw. To a Redologist who really likes the ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ novel, this is truly regrettable!”
A major flaw in its ending?
What does the major flaw in the ending have to do with Cao Xueqin!
The person who wrote this comment was a Tsinghua University literature professor. Having read it, Zhang Ye felt that there was something very wrong and he finally found out the key point to this. He guessed something horrible!
It can’t be?
It really can’t be like this, right?
Zhang Ye hurriedly checked and got a confirmation. He wasn’t wrong! It was just as he had guessed! Online and in related books, it was clearly written that everyone in this world understood that Cao Xueqin was the author of all the 120 circulated chapters of “Dream of the Red Chamber”!
What about Gao E?
Was Gao E eaten up by you people!?
Zhang Ye checked the name Gao E, and indeed there was this person. This piece of history had not been changed. However, in everyone’s mind, Gao E was only the person in charge of collating ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’. As for the rest…there was nothing else about him. The ancient text of ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’, that had been passed down, was in no way more complete than the ones in Zhang Ye’s world. The most famous Zhiyanzhai version had only been passed down with only a dozen chapters or so with some comments. On this point, there was a snag in history! As to Gao E writing “Dream of the Red Chamber” to finish it up, there was indeed a lot of controversial debate back in Zhang Ye’s world. There were people who said that the last 40 chapters of “Dream of the Red Chamber” were not written by Gao E, but was Cao Xueqin’s original work. There were also theories that Gao E had written it with others, and Gao E was finally the person who arranged it. However, after many years of research and validation on his earth, there was pretty much no more controversy that Gao E was the one who finished up the novel. It was agreed by large number of Redologists, as all sorts of historical evidence proved this point. However, in this world, in a world that had been changed by the game ring, the relevant historical proof had disappeared. The last 40 chapters had become the original work of Cao Xueqin!
What the heck!
How could the last 40 chapters be written by Old Cao!?
Zhang Ye’s eyes rolled backwards and had an expression of not knowing whether to laugh or cry. Only now did he understand why Professor Zeng advised him as he did. He finally understood why this world’s Redologists only privately studied about it instead of publicly lecturing about “Dream of the Red Chamber”. You had all gotten it all wrong at the basics. If you start your run going sideways, what would there be left to research on? Of course there would be nothing to research on! The 120 circulated chapters of “Dream of the Red Chamber” were never written by just one person, yet you still want to link them together? Isn’t this an international joke! “Dream of the Red Chamber” has too many problems? Of course! Isn’t that nonsense!? You guys f**king researched the 120 circulated chapters of “Dream of the Red Chamber” in its entirety, it would be surprising if you didn’t have many problems!
This world’s understanding of “Dream of the Red Chamber” was completely wrong from the very beginning!
Now, the only person on this planet who knew the truth, was probably Zhang Ye alone!
“Dream of the Red Chamber”?
No one dared to talk about it in detail?
Ha! Others might not dare, but I dare!
This bro will talk about it well!
Zhang Ye was such a person. He was the type that would still head into the tiger infested mountains despite knowing so. The more difficult a problem, things that few people dared to do, the more excited this guy became!
Translators’ Notes: The upcoming mini-arc involves Dream of the Red Chamber, widely considered the best out of China’s Four Great Classical Novels. The details involved might be too abstruse as it talks about plot points, characters, etc. Honestly, we as the translators have not read the masterpiece either, however, we have done extensive research to ensure the translations work and can be understood by you. A lot of the text and names mentioned will be following the David Hawkes translation. We had to physically go to a library to borrow the books to obtain the much-needed reference material. Despite you probably not knowing the material, I believe through the webnovel author’s exposition, you will also begin to slowly understand the story of Dream of the Red Chamber. We learned a lot while doing the translations, and hope you would gain the same from it. Thank you.