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Say It Right Series

第一回: Chunk 23

Posted by derek August 12, 2008 in the Group General Discussion.

Tags: 红楼梦

Here is the last part of the stones speech, explaining why the story should be published even though it defies the literary conventions of the time, basically the story is not meant to be a great work of literature, only a light entertainment for ordinary people.

至若离合悲欢,兴衰际遇,则又追踪蹑迹,不敢稍加穿凿,徒为供人之目而反失其真传者.今之人,贫者日为衣食所累,富者又怀不足之心,纵然一时稍闲, 又有贪淫恋色,好货寻愁之事,那里去有工夫看那理治之书?所以我这一段故事, 也不愿世人称奇道妙, 也不定要世人喜悦检读,只愿他们当那醉淫饱卧之时,或避世去愁之际,把此一玩,岂不省了些寿命筋力?就比那谋虚逐妄,却也省了口舌是非之害 ,腿脚奔忙之苦.再者,亦令世人换新眼目,不比那些胡牵乱扯,忽离忽遇,满纸才人淑女,子建文君红娘小玉等通共熟套之旧稿.我师意为何如?"

As for [this story of] separation and union, sorrow and joy, rise and decline, good and bad fortune, [I] have followed and traced it carefully, not daring to add even a little exaggeration, only to provide people with this item and prevent the loss of this true story.

People of today, the impoverished who toil daily for food and clothing, the wealthy who's hearts constantly yearn for more, even if momentarily a little idle, constantly have an insatiable desire for love and sex, these quite idiotic and troublesome matters, [who therefore] can go and have the effort to read this rational type of book.

Therefore, with this story, [I] neither wish for ordinary people to praise with astonishment and say how ingenious [this story is], nor [am i] certain that ordinary people will enjoy reading [this story], [i] only hope that when they lie intoxicated, or wish to escape the worries of the world, with this [story they can] amuse themselves, and certainly recover a little strength.
 

Compared to [those stories] seeking after fabrications, [this story] however can reduce the harmful disputes and bitter rushing about. Moreover, also ordinary people today want to turn over to some new vision, unlike those few reckless and negligent [stories], filled with [such] talented men and gentle women, ZiJian, WenJun, HongNiang, XiaoYu etc, [these] all together familiar conventions of past manuscripts.

My master, what do you think?

Breakdown:

至若离合悲欢,兴衰际遇,则又追踪蹑迹, -> (至若) As for [this story of] (离合) separation and union, (悲欢) sorrow and joy, (兴衰) rise and decline, (际遇) good and bad fortune, [I] have (则) followed and (追踪蹑迹) traced it carefully.(则又追踪蹑迹: this may be a set phrase meaning to accurately reproduce text etc.)

不敢稍加穿凿,徒为供人之目而反失其真传者. -> not daring to add even a little (穿凿) exaggeration, (徒) only to provide people with this item and prevent the loss of this true story.

今之人,贫者日为衣食所累,富者又怀不足之心,纵然一时稍闲, -> People of today, the (贫者) impoverished who toil daily for food and clothing, the (富者) wealthy who's hearts constantly yearn for more, (纵然) even if (一时) momentarily a (稍闲) little idle,

又有贪淫恋色,好货寻愁之事,那里去有工夫看那理治之书? -> constantly have an (贪淫恋色) insatiable desire for love and sex, [these] (好货寻愁之事) quite idiotic and troublesome matters, [who therefore] can go and have the (工夫) effort to read this (理治) rational type of book.

(贪淫恋色: numerous possibilities for this part, i will not list them all here; 寻愁之事: literally, seek worry matter; )

所以我这一段故事, 也不愿世人称奇道妙, 也不定要世人喜悦检读, -> Therefore, with this story, [I] neither wish for ordinary people to (称奇道妙) praise with astonishment and say how ingenious [this story is], nor [am i] certain that ordinary people will (喜悦检读) enjoy reading [this story],

只愿他们当那醉淫饱卧之时,或避世去愁之际,把此一玩,岂不省了些寿命筋力? -> [i] (只愿) only hope that (醉淫饱卧) when they lie intoxicated, or (避世去愁之际) when they wish to escape the worries of the world, with this amusement, [they can] certainly recover a little (寿命筋力) life and strength.

就比那谋虚逐妄,却也省了口舌是非之害 ,腿脚奔忙之苦. -> Compared to [those stories] (谋虚逐妄) seeking after fabrications, [this story] however can reduce the 口(舌是非之害) harmful disputes and (腿脚奔忙之苦) bitter rushing about.

(口舌是非 ,腿脚奔忙: these look like 成语, but I cannot find the exact meanings.)

再者,亦令世人换新眼目,不比那些胡牵乱扯,忽离忽遇,满纸才人淑 女,子建文君红娘小玉等通共熟套之旧稿. ->  Moreover, also ordinary people today [want to] (换新眼目) turn over to some new vision, unlike those few (胡牵乱扯) reckless and (忽离忽遇) negligent [stories], (满纸) pages filled with[such] (才人淑女) talented men and gentle women, (子建文君红娘小玉??) ZiJian, WenJun, HongNiang, XiaoYu etc, [these] all together familiar conventions of past manuscripts.

(胡牵乱扯,忽离忽遇: these look like more 成语, but again I cannot find the exact meanings; 子建文君红娘小玉: famous historical or fictional characters?.)

我师意为何如?" -> My master, what do you think?

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