This is a bilingual website for the study of The Story of the Stone, China’s greatest work of fiction and one of the enduring masterpieces of world literature. The book remains at the centre of Chinese culture and commentary even today. The website will use a rich array of multi-media materials, providing commentary and appreciation (traditional and modern), creating maps, plot summaries, character profiles, and detailed family trees. The Academy has been granted free use of the acclaimed Penguin Classics Hawkes/Minford translation of the novel, and will take advantage of this unique privilege to create a dynamic site that will guide readers in both languages, helping them to enter fully into the magical realm of The Stone, and beyond that into the broader realm of traditional Chinese culture, and modern politics and commentary. Under the direction of John Minford the website will invite an international team of contributors in both languages, from various literary and artistic backgrounds. It will offer younger scholars opportunities to hone their skills on this most demanding and all-embracing of all the works of Chinese literature.
This project embraces the fundamental ideals of the Academy and of New Sinology. It can become the model for other similar websites, which can grow as the Academy becomes established. In essence, such websites will become the ‘outreach’ arms of the Academy, enabling its activities to take place across the globe, with participation from a wide of network of affiliated scholars and students.