Chapter 324: The Students Refuse to End Class!
Zhang Ye drank a mouthful of tea because his throat had turned dry from all the speaking.
“My explanations and analysis still isn’t enough to convince you, right?” Placing down the thermos flask, Zhang Ye looked at everyone, and focused on the people from the literary world, who sat in the first row.
A few Peking University students gave a faint acknowledgment.
Ma Hengyuan got a microphone from someone beside him and said, “But that is just an analysis, and includes your own personal inference. It can be considered as an answer to the questions, but it is still insufficient to explain the problem. It has already been determined by academia and the historical world that ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ has 120 chapters. So how can it be overturned by a few words from you? In my opinion, I believe that the 120 chapters of ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ are complete. Although there are some small flaws of different varieties, it’s not major. The change in character, like Jia Baoyu and Grandmother Jia, after the eightieth chapter might have been intentionally done by Cao Xueqin. He wanted to convey some information or hints to the reader that we may not have discovered. At least, the endings of all the characters in ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ have a beginning and an end.”
“Does it really have a beginning and an end?” Upon hearing such chicanery in his refute, Zhang Ye laughed. To use such rhetoric meant that Zhang Ye had already caused their heads to spin from his lecture.
Ma Hengyuan said coldly, “Of course. Is there a problem with that?”
Meng Dongguo also said, “The 120 chapters of ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ is complete. There are flaws, but what needs to be said has been said. What needs to be written has been written.”
Zhang Ye shook his head. “I can’t agree with that.”
Meng Dongguo exclaimed. “You have doubts on that?”
These people clashed with Zhang Ye once again!
The Peking University students did not understand why Zhang Ye raised doubts with its completeness. Did the 120 chapters of “Dream of the Red Chamber” lack completeness?
Zhang Ye chuckled. “This is actually something I wanted to talk about later on, but since it has been brought up, I can talk about it now. All of you think that the 120 circulated chapters gives us a complete plot and character development, but I do not agree. The plot and characters were not complete, and this is also the reason why I doubt that the chapters after the eightieth were written by Mr Cao. I will not use the nine times twelve structure to analyze it, nor would I use historical information to prove my point. Let’s just look at the 120 chapters. I want to ask you, what happened to Drunken Diamond after the eightieth chapter?”
Who was this person?
The Peking University students did not study this classic too deeply, so they had forgotten.
However, Redologist, Teacher Yang’s expression changed slightly. He glanced at Ma Hengyuan and Meng Dongguo, but did not say a word.
Yan Yu was also frowning in silence.
Meng Dongguo was stunned. What Drunken Diamond? Was there such a person? His research on ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ was shallow, and had never read it too deeply.
Ma Hengyuan, who was a professor in Literature, knew this person. He paused before saying, “This person isn’t important, nor…”
Zhang Ye interrupted him. “Not important? This person’s name has appeared once in a title during the first 80 chapters—This Drunken Diamond shows nobility of character when handling his money! Hur Hur, could Cao Xueqin let such an unimportant person appear in the chapter title? A person whose name previously appeared in a chapter title suddenly mysteriously disappeared?”
Ma Hengyuan insisted, “This sort of side character does not need to be explained.”
Zhang Ye smiled and said, “Alright then, what about Crimson? Where did Crimson go?”
“Crimson? That…” Ma Hengyuan was stumped.
Regarding Crimson, whose original name was Lin Yuhong, there were a lot more people who knew her.
In the beginning, no one paid too much attention, but with Zhang Ye mentioning it, everyone begin to think. Right, what happened to Crimson?
Zhang Ye said to everyone, “If you insist that Drunken Diamond is an unimportant side character, then I’m sure Crimson isn’t? Everyone can try recalling her. Crimson’s name had previously appeared in chapter titles, and she was an important character that not only appeared once in previous chapter titles. Chapter 24’s ‘the Quiet-voiced Girl provides material for fantasy by losing her handkerchief’ and Chapter 26’s ‘A conversation on Wasp Waist Bridge is a cover for communication of a different kind’. In Chapter 27, it was written that Crimson was eloquent and interesting in her speech, resulting in her being appreciated by Fengjie.” Zhang Ye had prepared this in advance, and immediately got the staff member to take out the information and project it on the screen. He pointed at it, “It is clearly written in black and white how important she was as a character. It can be seen from the first 80 chapters. Although Cao Xueqin did not use much to describe her, he mentioned this character more than once, but after the eightieth chapter, why did a character like Crimson disappear?”
No one could answer!
Zhang Ye continued to pursue this matter. “Can you still consider this a complete plot with complete characters? If the currently circulated version’s chapters after the eightieth were written by Cao Xueqin. then no matter how muddleheaded Mr Cao was, no matter how sick he was, or how many slip up he had, he would not have forgotten an important character he previously established, right?”
People kept questioning Zhang Ye, but Zhang Ye explained each and everyone of them!
Now, it was time for Zhang Ye to pose his question, but none of them could explain it!
Zhang Ye was not done. He took out another piece of information. “If people want to insist that Crimson was not an important character, or that Cao Xueqin had forgotten her, and forgotten to write a plot regarding Crimson at the end, then fine. Everyone, please take a look at Zhiyanzhai’s comments. I have already mentioned Zhiyanzhai in my lecture yesterday. I also mentioned that the entire book did not mention ‘The Temple of Prison God’, but I didn’t provide this information. Alright, now take a look. These are Zhiyanzhai’s comments. It clearly states that Crimson would appear in ‘The Temple of Prison God’ later on! She even saved Jia Baoyu! Even if the world of Redology does not recognize Zhiyanzhai’s ancient manuscript, you can never deny its existence forever. Was Zhiyanzhai shooting his mouth wantonly? Impossible! Even if he were spouting nonsense, he would not have spun a story and place, that had never been mentioned before, in the past, right? Besides, if Zhiyanzhai can remember a person like Crimson, how could Cao Xueqin forget her? No matter how anyone explains, or tries to make it compatible, it does not make sense! Through a character like Crimson, it perfectly proves that my view is right! It is not Cao Xueqin who had forgotten an important character, but the continuer who had forgotten this character!”
“Such an explanation…” Ma Hengyuan stopped his sentence midway. Finally, he remained silent with a gloomy face. He realized that he could not refute this statement!
It was already unknown what the people from the literary world were feeling.
Zhang Ye sure was impressive. He had really researched ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ right to the bone. Not a single problem could stump him. He actually managed to answer all of them. While answering with an explanation, he even used it to prove his point! Could it be that…what he said was the truth?
It can’t be!
This was too hard for them to swallow!
This was a viewpoint that would subvert history!
However, they did not know that Zhang Ye could naturally justify himself. This was nothing to him, for Zhang Ye was not fighting alone. He was fighting alongside all the literary scholars and Redologists from his world against them!
Senior Song raised her hand up high. “Teacher Zhang.”
“Little Song, please speak.” Zhang Ye answered.
Senior Song stood up and said solemnly, “Can you give a few more examples that prove that the chapters after the eightieth were not written by the same person? Is there any more proof?”
Zhang Ye smiled and said, “Of course there is, but…” Looking at his watch, he said, “The time for today’s class is almost up. There’s only three minutes left.”
Senior Zhou hurriedly said, “Aiyah, just carry on talking!”
Senior Song also immediately said, “If you end it here, many people will definitely not be able to sleep well tonight. Can you extend it a bit longer? Just extending another ten minutes would do!” She was thirsty for knowledge.
“Don’t end the class! You are right in the middle!”
“Teacher Zhang, you are too good at tantalizing us! You are inhumane!”
“You have to carry on lecturing! Don’t end today’s class yet! We can listen all the way till night time!”
When the other Peking University students heard that class was ending, they all suddenly started buzzing. The venue turned chaotic. Man, we just f**king got a kick listening to you, and you want to end class already!?
Zhang Ye was rendered speechless as he said, “But quite a number of you still have other lessons in the afternoon.”
“Right, we’re skipping classes!”
“We just want to listen to you!”
“I wouldn’t have the mood to listen to other classes anyway!”
The Peking University students were all carefree. They shouted right in front of so many Peking University leaders and lecturers, who were seated at the front rows.
Zhang Ye did not decide on it and looked towards Wu Zeqing. “President Wu?”
Wu Zeqing turned and looked at the students before having a slight exchange with the Vice President beside her. Finally, she picked up the microphone and said, “You can extend it for another twenty minutes.”
Many reporters were at a loss whether to laugh or cry when they saw this scene. Back when they were in college, they only looked forward to ending class early. When was there ever a dispute over not ending the class? They disallowed the teacher from not speaking on? This was too much! However, they had to admit that Zhang Ye’s public lecture was indeed very exciting!
Zhang Ye did not turn corny. “Alright, since everyone wants to listen, I’ll carry on for a bit longer. Hur Hur. Since you are not in a hurry to end class, I’m won’t be either.”
Yao Mi giggled and said into the microphone, “As long as you aren’t tired.”
Zhang Ye smiled. “If you all aren’t tired, I’m definitely not tired. In the past when I recorded programs, the longest was from eight in the morning till nine at night. About six or seven batches or audiences were switched. I did not rest throughout those thirteen hours. After work, I went to eat a bowl of Lamian before going home. Hur Hur. I’m quite the workaholic. If you want to listen till tomorrow morning, I can also do that.”
“Teacher Zhang is too awesome!”
“Don’t, we can’t last till tomorrow morning!”
The students’ mental processes had been stretched. They had been led everywhere by Zhang Ye. It was fun and interesting, but a person’s attention span was limited. This was also why every class had a fixed length of time, as it was founded on scientific principles. Since he was carrying on, he naturally had to adjust his methods. Zhang Ye mentioned something off-topic to make them laugh, so as to wipe their weariness away. This also allowed the students to relax. This way, it allowed them to carry on listening more easily.
The people from the literary world did not understand.
However, those Peking University teachers, who engaged in education, knew Zhang Ye’s intentions. There was tension, and there was relaxation. It was well-balanced. This newcomer, Teacher Zhang Ye really looked more and more like a teacher of the people. They affirmed Zhang Ye’s abilities and lessened their prejudices against Zhang Ye!
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