The Story of the Stone

This is a bilingual website for the study of The Story of the Stone 石頭記, 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.

This website uses an array of multi-media materials, providing commentary and appreciation (traditional and modern) of the novel, create maps of the residences and gardens described in the book, plot summaries, character profiles, and detailed family trees.

'Cao Xueqin Protests', by Hua Junwu. A satire of the excessive scholarship on the author of The Story of the Stone: 'You even investigate how many white hairs I have in my queue.' A copy made for David Hawkes in the summer of 1980.
‘Cao Xueqin Protests’, by Hua Junwu 華君武. A satirical reflection on the excessive scholarship devoted to the author of The Story of the Stone: ‘You even want to work out how many white hairs I have in my queue.’ A copy made for David Hawkes in the summer of 1980.

The Academy has selective use of the acclaimed Penguin Classics Hawkes/Minford translation of the novel 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 involves an international team of contributors working in both languages, from various literary and artistic backgrounds. It offers 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 Wairarapa Academy and of New Sinology. Like China Heritage Annual it will be a model for other projects which will grow as the Academy becomes established. In essence, such projects are 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.

'Cao Xueqin Protests, part 2', by Hua Junwu
‘Cao Xueqin Protests, part 2’, by Hua Junwu