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Chinese Literature
Huangliangmeng 黃粱夢 "The Dream of Yellow Millet"


The "Dream of Yellow Millet" is thought to be a common work by Ma Zhiyuan 馬致遠 (1250-1321), Li Shizhong, Hua Lilang, and Hong Lier. The long titles of this Yuan play are: "Awakening from a dream during yellow millet cooks on Handan (a city on the way) route" (Handan dao xingwu huangliang meng 邯鄲道省悟黃粱夢), and (Kaitan chanjiao huangliang meng 開壇闡教黃粱夢). On his way to the capital, where he wants to pass the state examinations, Lü Dongbin 呂洞賓 enters in a guesthouse. While waiting for the cooking yellow millet to be ready to eat, another guest enters, the fairy Zhongli Quan 鍾離權 . Lü Dongbin falls asleep and dreams of a whole life: his career as a general, gives up wine and money, after being deceived by his wife, and finally is about to be killed when he awakes. The cooking millet is not ready yet. Zhongli Quan explains to him that all person he met in his dream, are transformations of himself. Being totally enlightened, he gives up his career as state official and becomes a Taoist fairy.
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July 18, 2010 © · Ulrich Theobald · Mail