January 31, 2005

Family disgrace

Just came across this line describing Chinese way of thinking that 'family disgrace shoudn't be spoken of outsiders' (Joseph S. M. Lau. "More Than Putting Things Together" in Eugene Eoyang and Lin Yao-fu Eds. Translating Chinese Literature. 1995.). Hmm, I think that's exactly how the Chinese were outraged by Janan's now-famous opinion.

And in the same article, I have found out the reason I had been looking for for a long time of why I don't like the novel Shui-hu Chuan . It is 'a novel of excess, celebrating vengeance, sadism, and misogyny in the name of justice. Within the Liangshan secret society, manhood is defined by personal lyalty, capacity for wine and indifference to women.' (ibid) Exactly, how could I ever like it? Among the four Chinese literature classics that have been promoted all the way through my Chinese education (Shui-hu Chuan, Monkey , Romance of the Three Kingdoms and A Dream of the Red Mansions) only A Dream of the Red Mansions is the real classic. Monkey is a good story with good intention, but lacks in dimensions of philosophic thoughts, Romance of the Three Kingdoms is an easy venue to read history and military tricks but I hate the idea about war even though it has illustrated the complexity of humanity in that peculiar age; and Shui-hu Chuan -- A PIECE OF CRAP, I can't even bother to read it. It's the very beginning of Chinese gangsters. :( If you see the Hongkongese gangsters films these days, they are still acting under the ideology of Shui-hu Chuan, you see how evil a tradition it has left to its wide audience. Sigh! I m not conservative enough to say 'Let's ban the evil book', but can we not promoting the Bible of gangster to the secondary school students anymore, epecially when all the school teachers are headaching with the widening population of teenage male gangsters in China.


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