Chapter 305: The Later Parts of ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ were not written by Cao Xueqin?
The auditorium erupted into chaos!
Many people began to discuss!
A female reporter, who was sitting by the temporary chairs along the aisle, said in a shocked manner, “I thought Zhang Ye was going to lecture about the ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’? I thought someone said that he would rather die than dare to lecture on ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’? What’s going on? Is he really teaching it!? And to teach for a whole semester? Which means the classes for the next ten days and more from today will all be about ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’? F**k! How can it be! If ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ was so easily lectured, others would have long had such public lectures about it!”
Another male reporter said, “And to lecture about it in detail? Ruminating on every syllable and word?”
An old reporter wiped his sweat. “There will be big news today!”
“That’s right. This lecture of his will definitely be filled with all sorts of errors!” A young reporter, who had quite an appreciation and liking for Zhang Ye, said in a speechless manner.
The other side.
Professor Yan Jiantao said with a gloomy face, “President Wu!”
Wu Zeqing pretended not to hear him as she lowered her head to play with her cellphone.
Yan Jiantao said, “…Zhang Ye thinks too much of himself! No matter how you teach ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’, it will be all wrong! The logical errors in it cannot be redeemed!”
“Dean Chang, this!” Another teacher from the department said.
Chang Kaige remained speechless with his breath held in for a long time!
Zhen Shuquan was furious, “What is this Little Zhang doing!? If we knew he was going to lecture on ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’, then we shouldn’t have made it a public lecture! Won’t this be too shameful!?”
Professor Zeng was also dumbfounded. He never expected Zhang Ye to actually lecture on ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’.
A female teacher from the Chinese department sitting beside him nearly fainted, “This Zhang Ye really catches you off guard!”
The Peking University students were also equally shocked!
Yao Mi covered her face. “I bought a big golden watch last year! Senior Song! Didn’t you say Teacher Zhang wouldn’t be dumb enough to lecture on ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’!?”
Senior Song was also speechless. “Who knows what Teacher Zhang is teaching? Ignoring the Four Great Classical Novels, ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ is the hardest to digest amongst all the ancient classical texts. Why must he…he start from ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’? Even those Redology experts, who have studied it for decades, can’t explain it, so how can Teacher Zhang do so? And to talk about it in detail?” She was also stunned by Zhang Ye’s ambitious words. “And that ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ has a huge shocking secret?”
Li Ying was trembling with excitement as he said, “I’d like to hear how Teacher Zhang shall teach it! I’m looking forward to it!”
Li Li said, “That’s right. What huge secret is there? Why haven’t I heard of it before?”
Senior Zhou wiped his sweat. “He sure is bold to say such things. Zhang Ye is doomed. If he teaches something wrongly, his glorious reputation will be ruined!”
Yao Mi was almost about to cry, “That can’t be? It’s all my fault. Why did I mention ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ to Teacher Zhang!?”
Upon seeing everyone’s expressions, Zhang Ye was not surprised. He said with a smile, “I believe almost everyone present has read ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’, right? Has anyone not read it?”
The moment he spoke, everyone turned quiet.
There were seven or eight people who raised their hands.
Zhang Ye acknowledged. “There should be a few who lack the nerve to raise their hands. However, it seems a large majority of people here have read ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’, or have at least seen the television dramas. They are all very familiar with this novel. So despite there being a lot of so-called logical errors or plot points that didn’t make sense, many people still like ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ greatly. Is this not the case?”
The students below nodded their heads.
Zhang Ye chuckled, “Then, we shall discuss ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ in detail from the beginning. I want to announce something, which is also that shocking secret within ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’. Everyone believes that Cao Xueqin was not in a good condition to perfect this masterpiece due to a serious illness near the end of his life, resulting in many plotholes and flaws? But, now I want to tell you something. Maybe many will find it unacceptable, but I still have to say it. And I can very definitely tell you…” Zhang Ye wasn’t himself if he did not let them die from his shocking words. The next sentence of his was like an atomic bomb to them, blasting everyone present into oblivion, “The truth is, for the 120 circulated chapters of ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’, the last 40 chapters were not written by Mr. Cao Xueqin at all!”
The moment he said this, the entire lecture hall went silent!
Including the Peking University workers, the more than one thousand strong crowd in the auditorium immediately became silent. Everyone stared with their eyes popping out. They were all completely dumbfounded!
Finally, a female reporter, who looked shy, suddenly stood up, “F**k” A vulgarity came out of her mouth without any concealment!
Then, there were shouts!
“Holy motherf**king sh*t!
“What did Zhang Ye just say?”
“Who can repeat that to me once again? I think I didn’t hear it clearly!”
“The later parts of ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ were not written by Cao Xueqin? Is he mad? This Teacher Zhang Ye wants to send the literary world into an upheaval! How does he dare to say that!?”
“If it was not Cao Xueqin who wrote it, then who wrote it!?”
“Can you not be so stimulating?”
“What makes you say that!?”
“This is definitely Teacher Zhang’s style! He won’t settle for not scaring you to death!”
“This is one of the Four Great Classical Novels! Is it really alright to just say that?”
Chang Kaige, who was sitting right in front, smacked himself in the forehead, “We’re finished!”
Zhen Shuquan also nearly vomited blood. Peking University’s fine reputation was ruined today!
A shadow was cast above the eyes of Professor Zeng and the other Chinese department teachers. Many of them nearly fainted from shock after hearing Zhang Ye’s words. Teacher Zhang Ye! Stop messing around! Seriously, stop messing around!
Professor Yan also nearly cursed. He glanced at Wu Zeqing. “President Wu! We can’t leave it at that! If this carries on, there won’t be anything left of Peking University’s reputation!”
Wu Zeqing was playing with her cellphone with her head down. She seemed to be deaf to his pleas.
Yan Jiantao was overwhelmed with thoughts of how the fire was already reaching one’s eyebrows, but she was still pretending to ignore it!
Yao Mi, “…”
Senior Zhou, “…….”
Senior Song, “………………”
All the Peking University students were stunned from shock!
As the bombshell thrown by Zhang Ye was too earth-shattering, this was no longer a simple academic debate. This was also not any simple academic discussion. If what Zhang Ye said was true, not only was the f**king academic world exploding, even a portion of history had to be rewritten!
How could this be true?
How can that be? No one believed!
A male reporter shouted, “Teacher Zhang Ye! Don’t spout nonsense!” He was an avid reader of “Dream of the Red Chamber”, so he naturally could not accept Zhang Ye’s remarks.
Zhang Ye looked at him. “I had previously said that only my students can speak at anytime or raise questions. I don’t want to repeat myself a second time! If you are going to affect the orderliness of my class or interfere with my teaching, then please leave. I won’t see you out!”
No matter what Zhang Ye said, this was his class. A few Peking University security guards were already staring at the male reporter. The guy leered before angrily sitting down and no longer said a word.
After throwing out such a shocking statement, Zhang Ye appeared very calm and casual. It was as if what he had done was no big deal. He then said into the microphone, “I know many people cannot accept it from an emotional point of view. That is not surprising, but what I say is the truth. And why do I dare to say that? It is because there is a lot of evidence supporting this, and can be easily inferred. This is the type of stuff we will be talking about this semester. Everyone can comment and give your own opinion, but hear me out. We can discuss amongst ourselves before deciding whether what I said is right or wrong.”
Right or wrong?
Of course it’s wrong!
Isn’t that just nonsense!?
Everyone had such thoughts. Even Yao Mi and a small number of students, who especially liked Zhang Ye, or were considered Zhang Ye’s diehard fans could not believe after hearing what he said. There was no way about it. This was a challenge to all their understanding of history and literature! In the textbooks over all the years, the 120 chapters of “Dream of the Red Chamber” was stated to be written by Cao Xueqin. It was already entrenched in everyone’s minds. Even if “Dream of the Red Chamber” was filled with errors, no one questioned that this book was written by someone else!
Someone raised his hand. “Teacher!”
Zhang Ye glanced over. “Please speak.”
The person who stood up was a freshman. He gritted his teeth and said, “I completely disagree with what you said. This is impossible!”
Zhang Ye chuckled and said, “Why is it impossible?”
The freshman was stunned, “There is no why… it’s just impossible!”
Zhang Ye lowered his hands. “Hur Hur, I research in academia. It is based on verification. It has to have historical evidence and logical proofs. Yet you insist that it is impossible without giving a proper reason. Then how are we to carry on this conversation? If we want to argue on this, I can also ask a question. Who can tell me which historical book in history, or any other literary information provides proof that “Dream of the Red Chamber” has a total of 120 chapters? And that all the 120 chapters were written by Mr Cao Xueqin? Is there?”
“That…” The freshman was stumped.
The others could not answer it immediately. Right, in terms of records and validation, there was really nothing about the 120 chapters, but…but…
Many people felt suffocated. They all felt Zhang Ye was wrong, but had no way to retort!
“This student, please take a seat. It is worthy of praise to dare to speak up.” Zhang Ye smiled and did not criticize the student. He said, “My class is as such. Everyone might need to be mentally prepared in the future. What I say will shake the foundations of your traditional knowledge. I do not request for you to accept my viewpoints immediately. What I want you to do is just to let go of your so-called logic and calcified understandings. Let go of those preconceptions and mental conflicts. Why don’t all of you try to imagine it. If the last 40 chapters of ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ were not written by Cao Xueqin, then what would happen when we study ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’? Could those ‘logical errors’ or ‘major flaws’, that could not be explained, be understood?”
What he said was very intriguing.
Wu Zeqing even raised her eyes when she heard this, “Oh?”
Professor Zeng was exclaimed. He suddenly put aside his mental conflicts and became interested. He wanted to hear what Zhang Ye had to say!
Redology enthusiasts and experts had already studied “Dream of the Red Chamber” for numerous years. They had proposed numerous theories, but none of them made much progress. This resulted in few Redologists and Redology enthusiasts existing in present day!
However, Zhang Ye’s earth-shattering theory had never been proposed before!