Rereading the Stone

Episode 44 Rereading Hong lou meng 紅樓夢, Chapter 21 part 1/2

June 07, 2021 Kevin Wilson, William Jones Season 1 Episode 44
Rereading the Stone
Episode 44 Rereading Hong lou meng 紅樓夢, Chapter 21 part 1/2
Show Notes

Chapter 21’s quotidian garden affairs prompt a discussion of desire, identity, naming, and boundaries. Passive aggressive feuding between Baoyu and Xiren is displaced onto Baoyu’s interaction with other maids in the household; fed up with all these flagrantly fragrant designations, Baoyu on a whim re-renames a younger maid “Number 4.” His discontent is further expressed in impromptu Daoist, in particular Zhuangzian, poetic rumination, which we outline and begin to discuss.