Maybe re-read Dream of the Red Chamber is not enough. Maybe I should read the translated versions as well. A masterpiece such as this, just like Shakespeare, is considered to be one of the greatest works in all the history of literature. No one would dare to tarnish the integrity of the work through bad translation, and therefore the translated prose ought to represent the best way to express certain ideas and sentiments of that era in English. And THAT, is exactly what I’m looking for.
There are three translated versions according to Ms. Wikipedia:
• A Dream of Red Mansions by the Chinese scholars Gladys Yang and Yang Hsien-yi (Beijing: Foreign Language Press, three volumes, 1978–1980).
• A Story of the Stone by David Hawkes (first 80 chapters) and John Minford (next 40 chapters) in 5 volumes and 2,480 pages. (Penguin Classics, 1973-1980)
• Red Chamber Dream by B.S. Bonsall in the 1950s.
I want to read at least 2 of them.
I’m excited now after being idle for two days that I’m making a plan for my book. I will give the credit to my friend A.K. When she called today she talked in such a way that her words went straight to my heart. I felt comforted, but that was still not enough for me to get up and face the world. But then we talked about my novel and she made me a plan. She asked: “How long it would take you to finish reading the book?” And I thought, I haven’t even bought the books yet, and I still have 10 books unfinished. But after some negotiation, it was decided that I would deliver the draft manuscript of my book in 7 installments to her starting in May, so that we could finish the project by the year-end.
I’m so grateful to have her push me and set a deadline for me. She is going to be my work-out buddy, except the “work-out” is writing my book. Now I really have to get off my butt and do something. Because I must finish reading the translation of the book, as well as finish my rough draft by end of April in order for me to get into editing mode in May and deliver the pieces!
Author’s note: Part (1) and (2) are backdated posts, not because I had a busy day. In fact, I was definitely not busy. But I did not want to do anything at all and did not want to leave home. When will I get out of this rut??? Saw this article called getting out of a rut and working on a passion on tiny buddha and it might just be the medicine I need at the moment.