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The death of Golden 金釧! Who is at fault for her premature demise? Is there any agency in, and meaning to one’s actions, when symbols prefigure, and fate seems fixed? 
Xiangyun 湘雲 is here, and she comes bearing gifts and opinions. What’s the meaning of a gift? Do duplicates double in value? For Baoyu, is the value of linen dependent upon the familiarity of the hand crafting it? And what’s the use in a message that reaches the wrong recipient? 
A short Xiangyun 湘雲 episode! We attempt to decipher her thoughts on yinyang 陰陽 philosophy and how it relates to her relationship with her maid Kingfisher 翠縷. The metaphysics of golden qilin 麒麟 in Dream of the Red Chamber/ Story of the Stone (紅樓夢, 红楼梦) are also briefly addressed.
What are the ethics of using an object? Is it immoral to break something just for the sound of it? What social, political, and economic sacrifices are justified, when performed for those closest? DISCLAIMER: no fans were hurt in the recording of this episode.
What meaning could reside in a hairpin? When is a hairpin a pen, and which character is being written? Would a false Xi Shi 西施 dream of real roses? Part 2 of our discussion of Chapter 30 of "Dream of the Red Chamber" Hong lou meng 紅樓夢, "Story of the Stone" (石頭記).
In the space between dreaming and waking, what rules apply? What feelings are displaced in acts of judgment? Do those who dream us wish us well? A turning point in Dream of the Red Chamber (Story of the Stone 石頭記) (Hong lou meng, Hongloumeng) (紅樓夢, 红楼梦), the story of the ill-fated Golden 金釧.
Plays within plays, and a meta-cognitive dispute! Is every jade tear still a microcosm? Do two false representations make one shared reality? Part 2 of our discussion of Chapter 29 of Dream of the Red Chamber (紅樓夢,红楼梦), Story of the Stone (石头记).
In Chapter 29 of Dream of the Red Chamber (Hongloumeng 紅樓夢, Story of the Stone 石頭記), the crew is out and about in full force. Even before the plays begin, a spitting is delegated, a collision is mitigated, and a famous jade is investigated.
The poetry party, an artistic dream within a dream, continues! Readers of Dream of the Red Chamber (Story of the Stone 石頭記, Hongloumeng 紅樓夢) are here first introduced to the poetic stylings of Xue Pan 薛蟠, arguably the first postmodern brutalist poet in the classical Chinese literary tradition! 
Baoyu and Daiyu try to work through mutual misunderstanding, and matters of medicine reemerge. At Feng Ziying’s party, verses are improvised on the subject of female joys and sorrows, yet another poetic opportunity for red chamber dream projections.  
In this episode we broach one of the most central questions of Dream of the Red Chamber 紅樓夢 — why bury fallen flowers? Attempting to answer this question, we discuss cuckoos, mottled bamboo, the end of spring, cold pillows, inner chambers, and tears of blood. We also touch upon the relationship between interpretative spaces and values to live by.
Baoyu seeks Daiyu, who is notably absent bemoaning the season. Baochai chases butterflies, and Crimson enumerates a bewildering array of ladies.
A scion of great wealth demonstrates a dearth of erudition, while a legendary worrier transcends nature’s limits.
Real affections between Crimson and Jia Yun are ornamented by dream and fantasy, while the Name of the Father is appropriated for idle pleasures.  Daiyu’s feelings of social exclusion are accentuated by the proximity of desire.
Things get weird when Mother Ma throws down a surprisingly efficacious curse. Xifeng starts slaughtering miscellaneous animals, and Baoyu is consumed by suicidal ideation. We discuss the fortuitous, surprising reappearance of the Daoist priest and Buddhist monk, and Baoyu’s relationship to, and identity with, his magical, metafictional jade. 
A time of danger, with molten wax and curses raining down on Baoyu! We discuss Aunt Zhao’s resentment, Mother Ma’s sesame oil subscription service, and the sublime, surprising role of the supernatural in this chapter of Dream of the Red Chamber 紅樓夢.
Our second twelve-chapter review episode, chapters 13-24. A great chance to review one's rereading, with some fresh takes thrown in for good measure. 
We continue discussing Jia Yun’s perilous navigation of our constellation of stars, while Baoyu from an empty center thirsts for tea and attention.
Let’s talk Jia Yun, a distant and poorer member of the extended Jia universe. How does this peripheral player navigate our constellation of stars? Would you take a loan from a drunken, violence-prone moneylender in order to bribe Wang Xifeng? Likewise, we observe the maids attending Baoyu viciously vying for the most favorable orbits. 
In this episode, we finish our read-through of Baoyu’s seasonal poems, empathizing common themes and images. Meanwhile Baoyu has newly procured scandalous romantic literature and has snuck a few texts into the garden, including the famous Xixiang ji 西廂記 Romance of the Western Chamber. Join us for one of the most iconic moments of Dream of the Red Chamber, Baoyu and Daiyu comparing different methods for taking care of fallen flowers. What undercurrents can be traced? What explosions of love and life are here represented and sublimated?
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