Good version of "The Dream of the Red Chamber"
June 4, 2010 8:36 PM   Subscribe

I want to buy a copy of "The Dream of the Red Chamber" & I need help in picking a version/translation. Any suggestions on an edition that is the best mix between translation & abridgment.

Searching on, there are so many options that it is somewhat bewildering.

Some seem to be a single book, other in multiples. There was a similar question in 2008, with one response for David Hawkes/John Monford's version from Penguin Classics, which comes in 5 books (and called "The Story of the Stone", an alternate title).

I was however looking to start with a somewhat more abridged version (which is what I remember reading in university way back when).

posted by notcostello to Writing & Language (2 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I got really into it in college too and never found anything better than the Hawkes (which isn't bad, granted), alas. This is a sort of non-answer, but you have zero responses so maybe it's better than nothing: if you haven't yet, do yourself a favor and read David Tod Roy's translation of the Chin P'ing Mei. It is a revelation in Chinese to English translation. I just wish he would finish scared he won't.
posted by ifjuly at 10:44 AM on June 5, 2010

For my money, there's not only nothing better than the Hawkes/Minford version, there's not even anything in the same league. It's an exemplary work of translation. Perhaps you could work with a study guide to have the general framework and then read selected passages/chapters from the full work?
posted by Abiezer at 4:21 PM on June 5, 2010

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