Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Passion (Or The Western Room)"

Yuan Chen

Summary: An autobiographical story by a famous Chinese poet. A love story. I almost said a typical love story. Yuan meets a beautiful girl from a strict family who at first is unapproachable. By degrees, she grows to trust him and then succumbs to him. Her name is Inging, a woman who has enormous self-control.

He has to go away to a big city to complete his studies. She longs for him. He takes up with a girl from a wealthy family and considers his relationship with Inging just an affair. She stays true to him until he sends her a poem of farewell.

She marries another. Here’s the ending of the story:

“One day, Yuan came to her home and asked to see her, as a distant cousin. Inging refuses to see him, but as Juan was preparing to go away, she stepped out from behind the screen.

‘Why do you come to bother me? I waited for you and you didn’t return. There is nothing to be said between us. I have got over it, and you should too. Go away.’

Yuan left without a word, and Inging collapsed on the floor in a heap.”

The end.

Comment: An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser. RayS.

Famous Chinese Short Stories. Re-told by Lin Yutang. New York: The Pocket Library. 1954.

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