Chapter 318: The Anticipation-Filled Day!
The next day.
Early in the morning, there was a cold breeze blowing outside the window.
Dawn had not come, and many people had just woken up. Some people were getting ready for work, some were preparing breakfast, while others were getting ready to send their children to school.
At this moment, the morning newspaper, as well as some morning news programs of provincial television stations, informed the public that there would be a public lecture “Talking about Dream of the Red Chamber” at Peking University’s Grand Auditorium. The news even included video clips of Zhang Ye’s lecturing. For example, Zhang Ye’s final most crucial words, “last 40 chapters of ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ were not written by Cao Xueqin”. It was once again reported by numerous media outlets. Although some television stations did not broadcast it, and some people did not pay much attention to it, this level of exposure with yesterday’s newspapers and the war of words on the internet, was sufficient to let anyone who was interested know.
Zhang Ye was once again the focus of the news!
“Peking University has expressed that it fully supports and encourages this major branching off from established academical knowledge. They have also said on their official Weibo that they support Teacher Zhang Ye fully!”
“Whether Zhang Ye is saying the truth, there is no 100% affirmation from authoritative academics in the world of academia. Many academics and experts hold a negative view towards it. Hence, today’s second public lecture by Zhang Ye helped in Peking University auditorium is highly anticipated. We shall see what happens!”
“If it is true, it will overturn history!”
“Does Zhang Ye really have genuine talent? Or is he playing to the gallery?”
“Breaking news. After yesterday’s report, Zhang Ye once again fired off a limerick on his Weibo. He ended with ‘a person in literature looks forward to the death of his peers’, launching an attack on the entire world of literature. He has attracted public outrage. Under the lead of the Redology organizations, Beijing Writer’s Association, and other literary organizations, numerous expert scholars have publicly condemned Zhang Ye for his disrespectful and irresponsible behavior! A portion of Redology experts and literary organizations have expressed that they will personally attend the public lecture to cross swords with Zhang Ye. They will debunk his so-called truth behind ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’!”
“Now, let us recall the development of the events. The reason for this uproar from the historical and academic world is because of newly appointed Peking University lecturer, Zhang Ye. He threw a bombshell in his first class, ‘Appreciation of the Classics’…”
The matter became more and more fervent. It had reached a climax today. Many people, who were traveling to work, were discussing this matter on the buses and subways.
On a car driving along 15th Road.
“Zhang Ye is a warrior!”
“Haha, that’s right. He truly is a warrior. After fighting his unit, he fought his leader, and after fighting his leader, he fought with the SARFT. Now, he is going to war with the world of literature!”
“But I’ve watched his lecture. It’s really complete with evidence.”
“I’m not sure about that. No one can say for sure.”
“Whether he’s right or wrong, we should know the outcome today.”
“I heard quite a number of experts and professors will be going. Peking University will probably be quite lively!”
Such discussions occurred in various corners of Beijing. There were even such similar scenes happening in other provinces. Zhang Ye had not only become under public scrutiny, he had also attracted large swaths of societal attention.
Zhang Ye himself was still sleeping soundly.
The sky brightened up. The sky really brightened up. The sky…was extremely bright.
Only then did Zhang Ye wake up. When he looked at his watch, well it was 11 AM. He had slept quite long, but he was filled with energy as a result. He was in good spirits. He first ordered in some food and then went to shower in the bathroom. After drying his hair, the pizza had arrived. He then began eating.
With that, Zhang Ye took his documents and teaching materials before driving to Peking University.
It was past 12.
The sector around Peking University’s Chinese department was packed to the brim. There were numerous cars of reporters parked here. Cars with signboards that said they were visitors drove in.
The auditorium that held the public lecture could accommodate about 5000 to 6000 people. It was not in the Chinese department, but in a building not far off. There were many Peking University staff members guarding the entrance, so as to maintain order and to verify tickets for admission. Actually, there were no tickets. It was just a different format. Peking University students just needed to use their student pass to gain entry. They had to prove they were students of the school. The reporters needed their reporter passes. The number of reporters per newspaper and television station were limited. It could not exceed three people. As for some special ‘guests’, such as people from the Writers’ Association or from Redology organizations, they would be specially led into the auditorium after submitting an approval application. Hence, those ‘guests’, who swore to expose Zhang Ye, were still not seen yet.
In front of the door, there was a crowd of Peking University students.
“Don’t push me!”
“I can’t move! Don’t push!”
“Hey, who stepped on my foot!?”
“People in front, hurry up! There won’t be seats in a while!”
“Let me in! What the heck! Those who block me will die!”
Many Peking University professors and teachers could not comprehend watching this scene. They were already speechless. On a square in front of the auditorium’s doors, there were 2000-3000 students. Meanwhile, the numbers were constantly increasing. And this did not include those students who had been admitted after using their student passes! It was impossible to imagine that such a scene was a public lecture if they did not know ahead of time! If no one said a thing, people might even think an A or B list celebrity had come here for a concert!
There were too many students!
The whole scene looked a bit crazy!
A few reporters did not immediately squeeze in. They only lined up outside. Since they had nothing to do, they began to interview and film on-site. They had obtained the authorization to interview in Peking University.
A female host held a microphone and gestured to the camera in front of her. Three, two, one. She then said, “Dear viewers, I am now on Peking University’s campus. Behind me is the venue for the public lecture of the controversial ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’. As everyone can see, the square is packed with people. Everyone is lining up to enter the auditorium. Now, let us interview a few students.” Saying that, she turned around to look for someone. “This student, hello.”
Yao Mi turned her head. “Ah?”
The female reporter said with a smile, “Let me interview you. Did you listen to the last public lecture?”
“I did.” Yao Mi giggled and said, “I’m enrolled in the ‘Appreciation of the Classics’ elective.”
The female reporter said, “That’s great. What’s your assessment of your Teacher Zhang Ye?”
Yao Mi chuckled, “Is there a need to ask? Zhang Ye is the most excellent and most outstanding and most humorous teacher in my heart. He is my idol. He is my spiritual guide. He has showed me the way. He has lit the way ahead for me. We adore him, adore him for his diligence. We like him. Liking his…”
The female reporter nearly fainted from Yao Mi’s words. “Oh, oh, I got it!”
Yao Mi began calling out, “Hey, hey, don’t go. I’m not done yet. I’m not finished yet!”
The female reporter thanked the heavens that this was not a live broadcast. What were you even talking about. It was even a prose. Were ladies from Peking University’s Chinese department so f**king eloquent?
Li Li chortled.
Yao Mi’s dormitory roommate was also amused.
Li Ying said, “Little Mi, you chased her away from your chatter!”
Yao Mi felt stifled. “Why did she leave? I still wanted to praise my Uncle Zhang a few more times.” Her father was Zhang Ye’s good friend, so she naturally leaned towards Zhang Ye.
On the other side.
The female reporter interviewed others. “What do you think of Zhang Ye as a teacher?”
“I don’t really think much of him. I’m not from the Chinese department.” He was a Peking University student from the Math department.
The female reporter blinked her eyes and said, “Zhang Ye publicly attacked the world of literature last night on Weibo. Did you see his limerick? How do you evaluate it?”
The Mathematics department bespectacled boy said, “I don’t have an evaluation for it.”
The female reporter exclaimed, “You don’t have any thoughts at all?”
The bespectacled boy threw his hands up. “What’s there to think about? Doesn’t Teacher Zhang Ye scold others based on an arithmetic progression? Hasn’t it always been the case?”
Female reporter: “…”
At this moment, the female reporter and the cameraman saw a girl walk past them. She looked delicate and pretty, and wore spectacles and carried a book. She looked quite knowledgeable, so the female reporter went forward. “Student!” She had finally seen someone normal.
“Hmm? Are you calling me?” Senior Song nudged her spectacles and looked over.
The female reporter pushed the microphone over with a smile. “I’m interviewing you. Do you agree or disagree that the first 80 chapters of ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ was written by only Cao Xueqin?”
Senior Song nudged her spectacles once again and said, “Firstly, what you said isn’t very rigorous. It should not be the first 80 chapters of ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’, as the first 80 chapters of ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ are not considered complete. There are still parts that are lost, so I can’t answer your question. You should say the first 80 chapters of ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ on the whole before I can answer you. My view is that I do not agree nor do I reject it. This is because the evidence provided by Teacher Zhang Ye has given me quite a shock. I did not sleep at all last night. I flipped through a lot of documents, and was unable to find evidence that could refute what Teacher Zhang Ye had said. I realized I couldn’t refute his theory, hence, I tried to find traces of evidence of the 120 circulated chapters to prove Teacher Zhang Ye’s point, but I also failed to prove anything. It might be because I’m limited in my knowledge. I encountered 13 problems as a result. First, which is the most serious logical problem. The poem by Jia Baoyu that has given all Redologists a headache. It cannot be explained in any other way. Furthermore, this poem appeared in the first 80 chapters on the whole. Teacher Zhang Ye will not be able to avoid that. I am very curious if Teacher Zhang will avoid this poem and sweep it under the rug. The second problem is the linking of the last 40 chapters. I do not find it problematic. If the last 40 chapters and the first 80 chapter on the whole were not written by the same person, then this…”
As Peking University’s Chinese department straight As student, Senior Song was a very serious person. Words began to flow from her mouth as she spoke to the camera. There were a total of 13 problems, which Senior Song patiently described each and every one of them. She did not even stammer. It was as if she did not even need to breathe, as she said it with gusto.
Oh my god!
What sort of people are they!?
A dark cloud already appeared on the cameraman’s forehead. As the female reporter looked at this gentle and quiet girl, she nearly cried out with tears at the sky, “Holy sh*t!”
Can we have a nice chat?
Can we speak Mandarin?
Holy sh*t, is there anyone normal here!? Is there!?