Dream of the Red Chamber – a Chinese novel that was honored with a stamp issue

July 4th, 2014

The novel Dream of the Red Chamber, also known as The Story of the Stone, initially contained only 80 chapters and was circulated in manuscript copies until its 120-chapter printed version was published. It is considered a milestone in the history of Chinese classical novels and a masterpiece in Chinese and world literature. Its author, Cao Xueqin, spent 10 years writing the novel based on his own life experience. The novel depicts the rise and decay of the Jia clan and the love tragedy between Jia Baoyu and Lin Daiyu, giving readers a full picture of social life in the late period of feudal China.

This set of stamps depicts traditional paintings by contemporary Chinese painter Dai Dunbang. The souvenir sheet depicts the scene that the spirit of Baoyu visits the Great Void as described in Chapter 5. With illustrations, comments, and songs, the chapter predicts the unfortunate destinies of all maidens in the Grand View Garden and the decay of the Jia clan. From the perspective of plot development, the chapter sets the main tone of the novel: reflecting the reality with fantasy. From the perspective of artistic conception, the chapter serves as an outline of the entire novel.

China National Philatelic Corporation will issue two FDCs , a souvenir sheet cover and a commemorative cancellation respectively.

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