Rereading the Stone is a weekly discussion of historical Chinese literature, philosophy, and poetry, currently focusing on the Qing dynastic Classic novel Dream of the Red Chamber (Hong lou meng 紅樓夢) also known as Story of the Stone (Shitou ji 石頭記).
Ep. 76: Rereading Hong lou meng 紅樓夢, Chapter 36 part 2/2
Baoyu expounds upon one of his favorite topics, his notion of the ideal death, linking it to idle visions shared by his soulmate. He then goes off in search of a song, only to find the baleful laments of a caged bird in a hall of mirrors.
Ep. 75: Rereading Hong lou meng 紅樓夢, Chapter 36 part 1/2
Time to choose: do you believe in the marriage of gold and jade, or do you believe in the marriage of stone and flower? Check out part 1 of our discussion of chapter 36 of Dream of the Red Chamber, or The Story of the Stone.
Ep. 74: Rereading Hong lou meng 紅樓夢, Chapter 35 part 2/2
Baoyu is poorly regarded by visitors, and Baochai sends subtle signals to Aroma. We discuss families and fortunes.
Note: I’ve preserved a weird audio effect at the end of the episode for a behind-the-scenes feel, and because I thought it was funny.
Ep. 73: Rereading Hong lou meng 紅樓夢, Chapter 35 part 1/2
Daiyu is expertly trolled by a bird, and Baoyu tries to charm Silver. Baoyu tries to get Grandmother Jia to praise Daiyu, but she praises Baochai instead. Meanwhile we attempt to ascertain the social-hierarchical significance of who serves whom, and who sits when.
Ep 72: Rereading Hong lou meng 紅樓夢 chapter 34 part 2/2
Is love disgusting? Why wouldn’t it be? If your love is not reaching toward some infinite embrace, the quality of being unqualified, is it love? After a discussion of the handkerchief verses, we discuss Xue Pan and the “dark social alchemy” of violence and quantification.
Ep. 71: Rereading Hong lou meng 紅樓夢, Chapter 34 part 1/2
In the aftermath of the beating, who really cares and who is putting on appearances? What pain can more tears rebalance? A stained handkerchief can be a symbol, and a medium for artistic response. There is mutual understanding developing in the garden, but does falsity fatally ruin the whole concept of meta-cognition?
This is such an excellent analysis. I hope you continue to make more!
High quality podcast
I've been looking for a detailed summary + discussion of Hong lou meng for a while. I'm happy to find this high quality production. Love the character analysis and cultural background explanation.
I enjoyed this opportunity to learn more about Chinese literature, culture and history. Enjoy the rapport between Kevin and William.