Dream of the Red Chamber

Dream of the Red Chamber is regarded as the greatest of the four great classic novels. It is a semi-autobiography of the author, depicting love, relationship, authority, and the come-and-go of position and wealth. With the fall of a few wealthy families as the backdrop, the book focused on the love affair between the two main characters. The story ended as a tragedy, with the girl died when she heard her lover was going to marry someone else (which was arranged without him knowing it), the boy became a monk, and the family went into ruins.

Dream of the Red Chamber
  • Zhuge Liang Zhang Fei
  • Monkey King Peaches in Heaven Fight the White Bone Deamon
  • Hua Rong Shi Xiu

The other three classic novels

The Three Kingdoms, is a popular read for all ages. It has stories of many heroes, of wisdom and courage. It is a book of strategy, tactics, and how smart people were overshadowed by the smarter. It is history (220-280AD) written in a literature form.

Journey to the West is most popular among children. Its main character is the Monkey King, who was defiant of authority, but was put under the authority of Tang Seng, whose name literarally meant Monk from Tang. The author used many powerful deamons to depict the evils we run into in real life. Eventually the righteous prevailed and the mission was accomplished.

Outlaws of the Marsh is more for the adult audience. A group of 108 heroes, from all walks of life, came together to fight against the government. Each person had experienced some injustice and didn't seem to have a better option. Unfortunately, the leader of the group eventually decided to surrender to the government, and fought against another anti-government group.

Other Chinese Literature

Tang Poetry

Poetry

Chinese poetry goes back at least 2500 years. The most famous poems came from the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD).

Peking Man Skull - Stamped Envelope

Theater

Theatric plays became very popular in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368 AD). This set of 1983 stamps issued is about the famous play "Romance of the West Chamber", which tells a love story with a happy ending, in that the poor scholar in love was able to earn a high office through the civil service exam, and thus was able to marry his lover.

Lu Xun Mao Dun

Modern Literature

The ups and downs of the modern Chinese literature somewhat correlate to the ups and downs of the country since the mid-1800s. The above two stamps commemorated Lu Xun (1881-1936) and Mao Dun (1896-1981), two giants of the modern Chinese literature.

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