New end of 'Mansions' to meet the readers

08:55, February 28, 2011      

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Chinese writer Liu Xinwu's new edition of Qing (1644-1911) author Cao Xueqin's classic A Dream of Red Mansions will be on shelves March, according to publisher Zhang Xiaobo, president of Beijing Fonghong Media Co, Ltd at a press conference held Saturday.

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

The 28-chapter new endings by Liu, which took 7 years to finish, was written strictly based on Cao's plot in the previous 80 chapters, and would be largely different from Gao's edition, said Liu at the press conference.

Liu said that Gao's ending should be respected, in terms of its ideological content and artistic achievement, which basically follows Cao's integral plan and makes the novel whole.

Nevertheless, he felt that it does not "perfectly echo what the author indicated in previous chapters", and that's pretty much why he decided to add his own take on the great novel.

More than 1 million copies are scheduled to print for the first publication, according to Zhang, who anticipates a vast audience for his version of the magnum opus.

A Dream of Red Mansions was written in the latter half of the 18th century, and is regarded as a vernacular masterpiece of Chinese novel writing.

Source: Global Times(By Wu Ziru)
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