Chapter 322: I can explain it all!
“It really has such a structure!”
“Nine by twelve?? Old Cao is too particular about it!”
“Teacher Zhang Ye, well done! So mighty and domineering!”
Yao Mi clapped her hands, giving him her kudos. A small number of Peking University students also nodded their heads. The class was too interesting! It was just the same as the first lesson. Just listening to Zhang Ye’s first few sentences made them yearn for more. All their attention was on Zhang Ye. This lecturing method of throwing a shocking statement at the beginning and then slowly explaining it through logical arguments had been used by many lecturers before. However, there were few who could do it as well as Zhang Ye!
The point of view was too refreshing!
The angle was also very different from the norm!
A few Redology experts looked at one another. They were unable to refute him, and were in a daze. They were here to dismantle him, but they ended up falling into Zhang Ye’s rhythm. Before coming, they had indeed done a lot of preparatory work. They thought Zhang Ye would carry on providing evidence and talk from there and then slowly guide people with his “chicanery”. Hence, a few Redologists and people from the world of literature had decided on how to refute him. They had even thought of how to force Zhang Ye into a dead end, causing himself to be trapped in a corner, with no way of justifying what he said. It could be said that these people, from the literary world that brought animosity with them, were prepared, but they were rendered speechless because Zhang Ye had completely ignored their discourse!
Documentation as proof?
In the end, this fellow didn’t talk about that!
He started on another footing, and began talking about the structure of “Dream of the Red Chamber”!
Meng Dongguo only wanted to curse out loudly: You aren’t f**king dealing out your cards in a routine fashion!
This made the Redologists simmer their words that they could not vent. Regarding the structure, and the nine times twelve, they had never studied it before. The entire Redology world had never explored this piece of content, what was there for them to say? They were not prepared at all! They could only listen helplessly to Zhang Ye talk! They were originally planning to lead Zhang Ye into a trap so that he would fall into their hands, but who knew that they were the ones who got caught up in Zhang Ye’s rhythm!
He was not simple!
He really had skills!
Yan Yu looked at Zhang Ye, and no longer held contempt towards him in her heart. She began considering Zhang Ye’s theory from an academic perspective for the first time.
Elder Qian smiled and said to Yan Yu, “Little Zhang isn’t bad, is he?”
Yan Yu remained silent for a moment before commenting, “Brilliant, but his views are too radical.” In the end, she still did not believe Zhang Ye’s theory.
Elder Qian said, “Let’s carry on listening then. Hur Hur.”
A Historian from another school said objectively, “What Teacher Little Zhang said really makes a lot of sense. One has to know that the cultural beliefs in historical heritage, the ancients valued tradition a lot. They paid attention to structure. Such as five-word poems, seven-word poems that required them to rhyme. This can all be seen.”
Professor Zeng also nodded slightly while stroking his beard. Teacher Little Zhang had really lived up to the expectations of Peking University!
Wu Zeqing, at another side, still had that mild expression. She never gave a look of doubt from beginning to the end. It was as if she always believed Zhang Ye would be able to lecture well.
The Chinese department’s Dean and Department Secretary were different. When they heard Zhang Ye boldly claim that the number of chapters of ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ was incorrect, they began to worry. They were worried he would shame the name of their Peking University’s Chinese department. There were so many expert scholars and insiders present who had been studying ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ for nearly all their lives. If they managed to refute him until he was speechless, then that would be a great spectacle. Hence these department leaders and teachers of Peking University were all worried. Only when they saw this scene, did they realize that not only was Zhang Ye not stumped, he had dumbfounded the literary experts and Redologists instead. As a result, they were relieved. They were also overjoyed!
Nice job Little Zhang!
Your speech has already knocked that bunch of Redologists unconscious?
Zhang Ye carried on speaking. He exploited his victory in one fell swoop. “So according to this structure, with nine times nine equals eighty-one, chapter 82 of ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ should be another major divisor. It should be a turning point in the major plot.” As he said this, he gestured to the staff member in charge of the projector. The projector immediately jumped to Chapter 81. “However, in the 120 circulated chapter version of ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’, that isn’t the case. This is the reason why I have always been saying that Cao Xueqin’s original writing is limited to the first 80 chapters on the whole!”
The text of chapter 81 appeared.
When everyone saw this, they were curious.
“It doesn’t feel wrong?”
“That’s right. It looks like it was all written by one person.”
“I think so too. It’s quite smooth and very reasonable.”
“If it’s continued on and just imitated, it wouldn’t be imitated so well, right?”
The Peking University students were all speaking in hushed tones.
A few Redologists did not speak out so easily. They were put into a passive state by Zhang Ye’s opening. Now, they did not want to speak up on unfamiliar structural problems that they did not research on. They wanted to watch silently and see if Zhang Ye would make a mistake, so they could find an opportunity to refute him.
However, Zhang Ye clearly did not plan on giving them a chance. He looked down from the stage and said, “Everyone might not feel uncomfortable after reading chapter 81, but in my view, the person who carried on the story in chapter 81 has fallen short of Cao Xueqin’s original intent.” He emphasized, “It’s completely unbearable!”
Senior Zhou found it strange. “Is it that serious?”
“Unbearable?” Senior Song also felt Teacher Zhang Ye’s words were too harsh. She found it quite matching.
Zhang Ye said, “Because in chapter 81, the content began a fresh start. According to the structure, chapter 82 should be a brand new unit, but here, we begin a new unit from chapter 81. It ignores the previous unit’s foreshadowing from chapter 72 to 80. This is quite a terrifying plot. And what’s written in there? Without elaborating, just think, was there any raid of Prospect Garden? Did Skybright die and was Fangguan chased out? Did You-shi say she was going upstairs, but someone below told her not to do so, because that was where they were helping the Zhen family hide their wealth!?”
The students all nodded their heads. That all existed.
“This unit’s plot is very terrifying.” Zhang Ye then pointed to the screen and said, “But do you see what happened in chapter 81? It did not end the development of a unit. It starts all over again, and is called ‘Four young ladies go fishing and divine the future’. They are completely laidback. The beauties are in Prospect Garden fishing, as if nothing had happened.” He then laughed. It was a helpless laugh. “The matters of the raid were not written. The death was not mentioned. It was as if the tragic events completely disappeared. Not only was the plot not further developed, Jia Baoyu even became a good child. ‘Baoyu received a homily and was re-enrolled in the Family School’. Well, although it wrote that Jia Baoyu was initially reluctant, and after the teachings of the private tutor, Jia Baoyu not only began to study the books of the Sages, he even began to learn eight-legged essays. Hur Hur, I want to ask you. Is this still the Jia Baoyu from the first 80 chapters?”
Some students said, “People do change.”
“That’s right. This passage seems alright?” Senior Zhou said.
Zhang Ye shook his head. “People do change, but the changes can’t be that drastic. Furthermore there was no foundations foreshadowing this. Jia Baoyu was a person very opposed to wealth gained through official means. That was expressly written! He was willing to break decorum with a young female who he had good ties with, just because of his values. He clashed with Xue Baochai and Shi Xiangyun and this was all written clearly in the first 80 chapters. Jia Baoyu only respected Lin Daiyu, why? This was because Lin Daiyu never encouraged him to take the Imperial Examinations to make a name of himself ever since he was young. Because of this, he deeply respected Lin Daiyu. However, after chapter 80, Jia Baoyu completely changed. He diligently entered a private school and studied eight-legged essays. He went from never liking it to liking it somewhat. What’s even more odd is that Lin Daiyu also changed. What do you see Lin Daiyu say in the chapters after chapter 80? She was very supporting of him doing eight-legged essays!”
The projected screen changed.
Lin Daiyu’s original words appeared.
She said the following eight-legged essay: “Remember thinking that some were quite well thought out and sensibly written. One of the two were even quite subtle and had a certain delicate charm. They were rather above my head at the time, but I still enjoyed reading them. It’s silly to run them all down. Anyway, I think if you want to get on in life, this is quite an admirable way of doing it.”
Zhang Ye shook his head and said, “Is this Lin Daiyu’s words? So it’s not really me having nothing better to do. Upon seeing this, I find it totally unacceptable. This should not be Cao Xueqin’s text for chapter 81. Of course, after chapter 81, it becomes even more ridiculous. Does everyone remember the part where Baoyu extols feudal virtues to Qiaojie. Does anyone have an impression? Isn’t it frightening? Qiaojie is his paternal cousin’s daughter. She was reading ‘Lives of Noble Women Present and Past’ at that time. What sort of book was that? It is a book that is filled with dregs that extol feudal virtues. What about Jia Baoyu? Not only did he not object to her reading such a book, he even begin reviewing the content of the book as an elder to her. I’m not sure if you have an impression of a certain passage. It talks about ‘Lady Cao Cutting Her Nose’. In the period of the Three Kingdoms, there was woman who was married to Cao, so she took on the surname of Cao. After her husband’s death, she wanted to maintain her chastity. That is good and all, but she went one step further. She wanted to express it. Hence, she cut her hair, becoming ugly. As such, she would deter suitors. She said she was determined not to remarry. Was it enough to cut her hair? Nope! This woman was very strange. She even used a knife to cut off her own ears!”
“Is it that tragic?”
The students present found it horrendous.
“This gruesomeness should be frightening enough. So, this should be enough, right? Will you call it a day? No, she thinks it’s not enough. She was determined to demonstrate her chastity. She used a knife to cut her nose off.” Zhang Ye said, “I see some people closing their eyes. Right, closing your eyes shut is right. If you want to imagine it, you need to close your eyes.”
Many Peking University students laughed out. “Hur Hur Hur.”
Zhang Ye threw his hands up, “But this event was recorded down and was taken as a role model, and recorded in ‘Lives of Noble Women Present and Past’, but what about Jia Baoyu? In the book, Jia Baoyu was very touched. He even praised ‘Lady Cao Cutting Her Nose’ in front of Qiaojie. I do not know what everyone feels when reading this, but it gives me the chills! Is this still the same Jia Baoyu that was written by Cao Xueqin? This is a far cry from Cao Xueqin’s writing of chapter 81!”
No one refuted.
The logical errors in here had been mentioned before by this world’s Redologists.
Zhang Ye said indifferently, “In Redology research, people have questioned this part. This is also why ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ isn’t easily discussed. Due to all sorts of issues that cannot be avoided or explained, however…” Zhang Ye boasted, “I can explain it all!”
Everyone burst into an uproar.
You can explain it all?
Weren’t those words too absolute in manner?
You really can boast without shame!
Those from the world of literature were at a loss as to what to say. Too arrogant!
Zhang Ye said, “For example, the problem with Jia Baoyu I just mentioned. According to my explanation, it makes sense, right? As after the first 80 chapters on the whole, be it the version currently sold on the market, or ancient manuscripts, they are no longer Cao Xueqin’s original intent. It was continued by someone else! Hence, Jia Baoyu presents two personalities before and after. This is no longer a surprise because it was written by two different authors!”
According to Zhang Ye’s line of thought, this logical problem could indeed be explained!
Everyone was lost in thought, especially those from the world of literature. Their faces did not look good and were silent for the time being. The information Zhang Ye provided was too much! No one could digest it immediately!
Translators’ Notes: Both CKtalon and I are in South Korea now, and you might be wondering why we are in Korea. We are there to support a Kpop girl group, Crayon Pop! :P Every 500,000 views accumulated, we’ll release an additional chapter, which means from now till the end of October, it will be another period of free chapters beyond the 1 guaranteed a day. So help us F5 sect! Thanks!
We are not sure how YouTube collates their views, but you need to finish ‘watching’ at least the whole video to count. Also, if you want to mute it, don’t use YouTube’s muting abilities. Do it from Windows or use the ability to mute the particular tab on your browser.