Chapter 329: How People Looked at Zhang Ye
It was already 8 by the time he arrived home.
He had returned to Caishikou this time, to his parents’ place.
The moment he opened the door, he saw Mom applying a face mask in her pajamas. She looked creepy and nearly gave Zhang Ye a fright. Dad was watching TV in the living room.
“Dad, Mom.” Zhang Ye greeted.
“Son, you’re back? Why are you so late today?” Mom kicked a pair of slippers towards him.
Zhang Ye smiled and said, “Hai, I went to eat dinner with some of my colleagues. Have both of you eaten?”
Mom said, “We ate a long time ago. Son, how was your class today? Was it ideal? Those people from the literary world didn’t cause you any trouble, right?”
Zhang Ye changed his footwear. “Hur Hur, you didn’t watch the video of my open lecture?”
Mom said, “I wouldn’t understand anyway. Your Dad watched it and said it was pretty good.”
Zhang Ye rolled his eyes and put his bag down. He said, “Hey, what do you mean ‘pretty good’? It’s far from pretty good. Didn’t you see those bunch of people dumbfounded by my lecture? Not a single one dared to show off in front of me. Didn’t you see the ending too? I was given a standing ovation that lasted for many minutes. I said class was dismissed, but the students simply would not leave. Hai, I really envy those college students. If I had such an excellent, legendary, charming and humorous teacher back when I was in school, I would have died of joy.”
“Flattery, like perfume, should be smelled, not swallowed!” Mom chuckled.
Zhang Ye looked towards his father. “Dad, you watched my lecture today?”
Dad acknowledged. “Don’t be arrogant. You are still far from it.”
At this point, Mom couldn’t stand hearing this. She stared at him, “What’s so bad about my son!?”
Dad said in a speechless manner, “I’m saying he still has much to learn and a long way to go. He shouldn’t become arrogant just because he has a bit to show for. He should shun complacency and impetuosity.”
“Learn my ass!” Mom was the classic mother that protected her child. She could trample on her child, but could not stand silently while others spoke badly of her son. It was the same even for her husband. “My son is already a Peking University Chinese department lecturer. What’s there to learn? Others should learn from my son instead! Look at our neighbours and colleagues’ children. Which one of them is doing better than our Little Ye? And look at those grandsons from the literary world! They were still inciting others over the internet to scold Little Ye yesterday, but today? They’ve all returned back to their conscientious selves!”
The old couple began squabbling.
Zhang Ye couldn’t bear to watch and retreated to his room.
He had been busy the whole afternoon. He switched his computer on to check for updates and news on the internet. Regarding everyone’s attitudes, Zhang Ye was still very concerned.
“A sensational public lecture!”
“Zhang Ye — A literary prodigy!”
“The shocking secret of ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’! Watch Peking University’s Lecturer, Zhang Ye expose the truth!”
“Redology research’s major breakthrough! Logical errors that have plagued Redology studies for decades have finally been answered for the first time! Zhang Ye — The top Redology researcher!”
“The history of one of the Four Great Classical Novels – ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ has it been rewritten?”
“Zhang Ye’s public lecture reveals yet another shocking secret. Is this the truth or pure flubdub?”
Peking University’s official website had already posted Zhang Ye’s public lecture online. In the afternoon, it had already made its rounds and caused sensational reactions!
The netizens actively commented!
“What did I say! Zhang Ye’s awesome!”
“Godly! It was really explained by Teacher Zhang Ye!”
“I did not believe Zhang Ye when it first started. How could it be that Cao Xueqin only wrote the first 80 chapters of ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’, but when I finished listening to the 2nd lecture, I really began to doubt what I had known all my life!”
“Yea, Teacher Zhang Ye might really be speaking the truth!”
“I think so too. His explanations are too logical!”
“That’s right. From historical documents to character analysis and even plot logic, it was all explained fully!”
“No wonder no one dared to speak about ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ in the past. No wonder it was not easy to speak about ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’. That is because after the first 80 chapters, it had been continued on by another writer. So how could it be explained properly at all?!”
“If we follow Zhang Ye’s analysis, ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ should be the top among the Four Great Classical Novels, and not last!”
“I feel that Zhang Ye’s arguments are still quite controversial. It has to be researched further.”
“I don’t know about ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’. I have not even read it before, but seeing how Zhang Ye conducted his lecture left me with just one feeling. I believe that everyone had felt this too — Zhang Ye’s too damn good!”
“Haha, of course he’s good. That bunch of members from the literary world went to the lecture being all arrogant, but look how it ended for them? After the lecture, they all quietly ran off. They wanted to argue with Teacher Zhang Ye? Debate? They think too highly of themselves! When has Teacher Zhang ever lost an argument with others before? Never!”
The public lecture footage had been posted on Peking University’s Weibo and forwarded around like the first lecture. This Weibo post even got pushed up as the trending hot topic of the day. Professor Zeng and the Peking University’s Chinese department teachers all forwarded it. Some fellow hosts also did the same. Some of these hosts were people that Zhang Ye did not even know or had ever heard of. All in all, there were quite a lot of people who had given Zhang Ye their Likes! A wonder of the broadcast hosting world had appeared to lecture and left the literary world’s Redologists hanging like outsiders of their own field. To many of Zhang Ye’s hosting peers, this was wonderful news. Some of them came to join the celebrations and gave their support. Zhang Ye had won glory for the broadcast hosting world and showcased the multiple talents that a broadcast host could have!
Yesterday, many people had surrounded and scolded Zhang Ye!
But today, the tides had turned. More than half of them had turned supportive!
Zhang Ye himself knew that he could only achieve this because of the collective wisdom of his previous world. They had already long since known the issues of ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’. Then, there was also the matured Redology research that allowed him to hold out against ten thousand others with just him alone. The last factor was very important, the Fruit of Charm (Voice) that he had eaten quite a number of had contributed the most. As long as he spoke, he would be able to use his verbal charm to convince others. All of these together allowed his lecture to go smoothly!
Online, many Redology experts did not say a word. The literary world’s members also did not stir, as if they were all silent.
Zhang Ye triumphed?
The literary world had also recognized his point of view?
Of course not. Zhang Ye was very clear about this. Those who had scolded or doubted him before, were only temporarily silenced. This was because they still had not discovered a way to refute Zhang Ye’s argument, so it was not the time to issue any statements. Zhang Ye believed that the world of Redology was in a mess at this very moment. He guessed that they would be gathered in groups to study Zhang Ye’s public lecture videos to see if they could find any problems within before they issued their counter arguments!
At a certain place.
“Brother Li, this video…..”
“Don’t speak, let’s watch it again.”
“We’ve watched this three times already! That Zhang Ye’s explanations are too perfect!”
“That’s impossible. In the area of ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’, no one has been able to research fully about it. Keep looking, there’s definitely some problem somewhere, his explanations might not fully make sense!”
“Well, to be honest, I don’t have much confidence left in myself. After watching these public lecture videos, I am almost convinced by Zhang Ye’s explanations!”
“Little Chen, don’t laud his spirits!”
“Alright, then let’s watch it once more.”
“Old Song and the others are also doing their research. We have to hold out! We can’t let a layperson like Zhang Ye smack our faces in our own field of study! If that happens, how can we raise our heads next time! Even if we have to quibble, we must find fault with Zhang Ye’s public lecture content! This is not only for our own honor, but the honor and dignity of the whole Redology world!
At another location.
“Watch it again!”
“Brother Yu, we’ve already watched it five times!”
“Play it again, especially the part where Zhang Ye analyzes the structure of ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’!”
This sort of thing was happening everywhere.
Even those literary world members, who had returned from Zhang Ye’s live public lecture at Peking University did not admit defeat. They were looking for a way to fight back, to find where Zhang Ye may have mentioned something paradoxical! However, as time passed and the hard work put in by the Redologists, there was nothing to show for it in the end! This was a result that many of them were unable to accept. Could it be that the Zhang guy was really that good? That he could single-handedly take on the entire Redology world?
There must be a flaw in his arguments somewhere!
“Dream of the Red Chamber” could not possibly be continued by another writer!
Sometimes, conventional wisdom would be a community’s advantage, but it was meant that they were trapped in it and were unable to accept new ideas!
As for Zhang Ye, of course he knew that he would be put under a microscope and studied from today onwards, but he was fine with that and did not mind. It was already an ironclad fact that the 120 chapter version of “Dream of the Red Chamber” was continued by a different writer. This was not up for dispute. Even if someone wanted to find issue with Zhang Ye on this, he could still continue to argue and prove his point. He was not afraid.
As for other questions regarding ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’, Zhang Ye’s lecture today may not necessarily be correct either. He knew clearly that even in his previous world, there were still many controversial points regarding this topic.
But coming back to this, even if there were problems with what he said, it still went back to his previous world’s Redologists’ many years of research. So how could it be refuted after just one day here? Impossible! When they finally found a reason to refute him, Zhang Ye’s public lectures would have already been completed. His theory would have made its way into the minds of the people. By then, whether Zhang Ye wanted to continue the discussion with them or not would be irrelevant.
Because Zhang Ye’s purpose this time was just to gain fame and popularity. Other than that, he also wanted to give this world’s Redologists a new research direction. In the midst of this huge discussion, they might even be able to solve what his previous world’s Redologists could not. And if they really managed to provide ironclad facts to refute Zhang Ye’s theory to finally give the topic a conclusion, which might in turn lead to the discovery of the original remaining manuscripts of Cao Xueqin, then Zhang Ye would be more than happy to accept it. Because he himself was also an avid reader of ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’, he also wanted to know the truth behind ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’!
Zhang Ye was not as noble as people thought.
But neither was he as despicable as others felt.
Translators’ Notes: Remember, every 250,000 views, there will be a free bonus chapter!