Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Old Man of the Moon - Shen Fu

A most delightful love story, tragic endings included, but a story of intense love nevertheless. It is Shen Fu's account of his own marriage. His bride Chen Yun, whom he knew as a child, and he, got along well, discussing literature, art and the fine things in life. It is a marriage of comfort and care, both loving one another.

Shen Fu is a Chinese writer from the eighteenth century. The customs of those times forbade women to travel and do many other things we take for granted today. The conversations that the couple have are delightful and it is in one such that they refer to the old man of the moon who they feel will help them. As they grow older Yun tries to get Shen Fu a concubine. But when the concubine goes away Yun is disheartened. Her subsequent illness, his parents unhappiness at her behavior, the troubles they face without money until she finally passes away make up the rest of the story. Their intense love shines through it all.

Beautifully told. It leaves haunting images in the mind. 

No comments: