A tragic, dreamlike little essay from writer Zhang Ailing (张爱玲, English name Eileen Chang) about love and destiny. This is one of her more well-known works of micro-prose, written in 1944. HSK 5-6.
This is the second thing I put up from Zhang this week. The first piece was filed under “advanced” (though I think HSK 6 readers could probably tackle it), but this one is definitely a little easier. I introduced Zhang in that post, so head over and read her bio if you’d like, but the short version is that she was a literary diva whose work garnered a cult following in China in the 1930s, 40s and 50s, and is still one of China’s most famous female authors.
Some language stuff
As with much of Zhang’s writing, a couple sentences are deep but a little vague, it’s left up to you to read into them. The last paragraph of this work are along those lines.
小康之家 xiǎo kāng zhī jiā – A middle-class household, or a family that has enough money to cover the necessities but isn’t wealthy.
做媒 zuò méi – Play matchmaker, act as a middleman / negotiator to find a suitable spouse for someone.
作妾 zuò qiè – Be a concubine.
转卖 zhuǎn mài – To buy and re-sell something, or in this case, someone.