Lecture%2035 - Lecture 35 The Pursuit of Happiness in the...

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Lecture 35: The Pursuit of Happiness in the CPM and the Dying of a Civilization
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“Take a torch and go wandering at night” Man’s years fall short of a hundred; a thousand years of worry crowd his heart. If the day is short and you hate the long night, why not take the torch and go wandering? Seek out happiness in season; who can wait for the coming year? Fools who cling too fondly to gold earn no more than posterity’s jeers. Prince Ch’iao, that immortal man-- small hope we have of matching him! ----One of the “Nineteen Old Poems,” tr. by Burton Watson
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The Pursuit of Happiness in the Chin P’ing Mei : I The novel is basically about the relentless pursuits of money, power, good life, and sex. But the pursuit of sex is the main theme in the novel. The main characters in the book are portrayed as having limitless desires for these things--especially those characters who occupy the dominant positions. Hsi-men Ch’ing and his connections higher up are people who pursue all of these things (money, power, good life, and sex) without any restriction. They use exploitation, corruption, and money they already have to get more of them. There are altogether some 30-40 women and men who are sexually exploited by Hsi-men Ch’ing in the novel.
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The Pursuit of Happiness in the Chin P’ing Mei : II Hsi-men Ch’ing’s wives also pursue money, power, good life, and sex. By
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