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"Reading 'The Story of the Stone' with Pai Hsien-Yung and Susan Chan Egan"

  • Date:2021-02-18
'Reading 'The Story of the Stone' with Pai Hsien-Yung and Susan Chan Egan'

Under the support of the Ministry of Culture, the Spotlight Taiwan Project jointly organized by the Taiwan Academy of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles and UCLA’s Center for Chinese Studies (CCS) will soon be launching "Taiwan in Dialogue" lecture and dialogue series online.

The event titled "Reading 'The Story of the Stone' with Pai Hsien-Yung and Susan Chan Egan" will be held at 8:00 pm PST on February 26, 2021 to explore the history and cultural impact of the novel "The Story of the Stone (紅樓夢)."

Renowned writer Pai Hsien-Yung (白先勇) and independent scholar Susan Chan Egan (陳毓賢) will be invited to dialogue with Michael Berry, Director of CCS via Zoom, while it livestreams on CCS's Youtube channel and Facebook page.

For those interested in registering for the discussion, please click here.

As a noted writer and playwright, Pai Hsien-Yung is currently the professor emeritus of East Asian languages and cultural studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His books include "Taipei People (臺北人)" (1971) and "Crystal Boys (孽子)" (1983), some of which had been translated into French, English and other languages.

At the same time, his efforts in revitalizing traditional Chinese opera have culminated in "The Peony Pavilion: Young Lover's Edition (青春版牡丹亭)" in 2004, receiving great acclaim across many countries in Europe and the United States during its tours.

Pai has been teaching "The Story of the Stone" (also called "Dream of the Red Chamber") for decades, and published a three-volume reader titled "Pai Hsien-Yung on Dream of the Red Chamber (白先勇細說紅樓夢)" in 2016. He later compiled "Essays and Sources: Dream of the Red Chamber (正本清源說紅樓)" in 2018 and co-authored "Dreams and Illusions in the Red Chamber: The Structure of Myth in Dream of the Red Chamber (紅樓夢幻:〈紅樓夢〉的神話結構)" in 2020.

As an independent scholar, Susan Chan Egan co-authored "A Pragmatist and His Free Spirit: The Half-Century Romance of Hu Shi and Edith Clifford Williams (務實家與自由魂:胡適與韋蓮司之半世紀浪漫)" with Chou Chih-ping (周質平) and co-translated "The Song of Everlasting Sorrow: A Novel of Shanghai (長恨歌)" by Wang Anyi (王安憶) with Michael Berry.

Over the past four years, Pai has worked closely with Susan Chan Egan to condense his three-volume Chinese reader, "Pai Hsien-Yung on Dream of the Red Chamber," into a single volume English-language guide— "A Companion to The Story of the Stone: A Chapter-By-Chapter Guide," with additional commentary that would benefit English-speaking readers.

The event "Reading 'The Story of the Stone' with Pai Hsien-Yung and Susan Chan Egan" is therefore a response to the guide's recent publication in 2021.

Launched by Taiwan's Ministry of Culture in 2013, the Spotlight Taiwan Project aims to establish long-term relationships with professional art and culture organizations and leading universities across the globe. It has hosted a variety of events that will help forge greater understanding and appreciation of Taiwan's culture in the international community. The "Taiwan in Dialogue" Lecture/Dialogue Series jointly organized with the CCS this year comprises of eight virtual events from February to November. Leading practitioners from different creative fields in Taiwan, including film, literature, theater, and art, will be invited to expound on contemporary Taiwanese culture.

For further information on the Series, please follow CCS website, Facebook page, and Youtube channel.