Literature 'A Dream of Red Mansions' with new ending to be on bookshelves

Updated: 2011-03-03 10:58


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Chinese writer Liu Xinwu(刘心武)'s new edition of Qing author Cao Xueqin(曹雪芹)'s "A Dream of Red Mansions" will be on bookshelves this month. But in Liu's sequel, the hero and heroine of the original will have a new fate.

The novel known around the world is regarded as the pinnacle of Chinese literature, but in fact, only the first 80 chapters were written by Cao. There have been many different editions with various endings over the years, but the one with Gao E's 40-chapter edition is generally accepted as the best.

The 28-chapter new endings by Liu Xinwu, which took seven years to finish, were written strictly based on Cao's plot in the previous 80 chapters, and are largely different from Gao's edition.

Writer Liu Xinwu said, "Gao's ending should be respected. In terms of its ideological content and artistic achievement, it basically follows Cao's integral plan and completes the novel. But his writing does not perfectly echo what the author indicated in previous chapters. And that's pretty much why I decided to add my own take on the great novel. "

Liu added that his new work was also dedicated to honor the late writer Duanmu Hongliang who has penned a long novel based on the life of Cao Xueqin.

The 69-year-old Liu became a major cultural flash point in China when he first elaborated on his own ideas and conceptions about "A Dream of Red Mansions" on a televised cultural forum in 2005. The program gave birth to many discussions and disputes. Let's see if his new book does the same.


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