Red Dreams in Second Life

China (moderate)

If you’ve been to this icon of Second Life immersive art then you know I’ve taken extreme license with the colours. If you haven’t walked through this stunning work then it’s about time you did!

People forget, or don’t know, that there is a significant Chinese academic and artistic presence on the grid. It seemed appropriate as the backdrop for this post and the red (reddish?) relates as well.

China (moderate)

The past few years have seen the term “bucket list” enter our everyday lexicon – all the things you’d like to do before you kick the aforementioned container. I have an additional file in my head. Think of it as a pile of books and outstanding investigations – things I want to read or research or just understand.

A few years ago I stumbled on a reference to a book called Dream of the Red Chamber. Written by Cao Xueqin, it was circulated in manuscript form before being published in 1791.

China (moderate)

This is, apparently, no ordinary novel. There is an entire “school” of scholarly obsession associated with the work called Redology. In fact that’s how I initially heard of it – I had come across the story of an Englishman who devoted his life to analyzing the book. This was before translations were available – he was, I think, the first to attempt one.

If you believe academics and critics, this is one of China’s Four Great Classical Novels. It is something I put on my pile with a big asterisk. I really want to read it.

China (moderate)

I haven’t tackled it yet because I am thoroughly intimidated. The book is enormous, and not just in size. This is considered semi-autobiographical and focuses a lot on the women he knew in his childhood. However, there are said to be about 40 major characters and over 500 additional minor ones.

I’m not entirely sure why I’m telling you all this, unless it’s like publicly announcing a decision to lose weight or quit smoking. I finally have my copy of Dream of the Red Chamber. It is no longer on just the virtual pile. I’m both excited and terrified. :)

China (moderate)
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  1. Boudicca

     /  November 3, 2013

    The book is now in my Amazon Wish List – thank you Honour :)

  2. Anya Daligdig

     /  November 3, 2013

    Read it, read it! I first came across it in my high school library and fell in love with it. I still have the copy my mother tracked down as a birthday gift that year. Think Chinese Romeo and Juliet, but so so much more.

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