In our last installment of Dream of the Red Chamber
, Zhen Shiyin received an ominous prophecy warning him of onrushing calamity but was promptly distracted by the arrival of Jia Yucun, an itinerant scholar whom he invited to his private study for an afternoon of leisure. Today our story continues as Zhen Shiyin is called away to see an important guest. He leaves Jia Yucun in his study, where the impoverished scholar shortly falls in love with one of the serving girls in the Zhen household.
This sixth section of China's greatest literary masterpiece is an interlude of sorts. The text is easier to read and is essentially narrative. Nonetheless, we learn a great deal about Jia Yucun and his fierce ambition, especially from the analogies and metaphors in the poems he writes, which are dense and literary and filled with classical allusions. Subscribers should be sure to enable the extra notes
section in your popups and more detailed explanations of these references will magically appear in your popups.
And so our passage closes with the advent of the Mid-Autumn festival, a happy occasion when friends and family gather for wine and song, but also a date we have been told will bring down a terrible calamity of fire and death. But how and for whom? You'll have to read on to discover more....