mjj (flemmings) wrote,

I should very much like to write Woxin fic but I can't possibly do it from the English subtitles. They give me no idea what people's voices are like- how they speak, what their quirks of diction are, which form of I they use. Especially the last. Straining my ears to hear the mandarin while reading the English, all I discover to date is that when Fan Li says "I something something" half the time he's actually saying "Fan Li something something." Ah. 'Kono Fan Li', as the Japanese would have it.

Which, ya know, is *all wrong*.

Kono + personal name to me automatically means 'doughty warrior preferably of the Muromachi/ Sengoku Jidai period.' 'Kono Ling Gu Fu' is exactly right: that's what he'd say if he spoke Japanese. But Fan Li is no doughty warrior; he's something that I can't recall from Japanese history at all- the scholarly non-warrior expert in military strategy who advises the king and generals on how to fight their battles. The Zhuge Liang figure. However TTBOMK when Japanese do battle it's their actual leaders and warlords who decide the strategy: Takeda Shingen, Uesugi Kenshin, Sanada Yukimura, and of course the Big Three. Basically, you *get* to be a warlord by winning battles. No wonder Takada has this obsession with the Zhuge Liang figure and writes him so often: he doesn't have a domestic version of his own to write about.

But this leaves me not knowing whether Fan Li the imperial councillor talks like a soldier or talks like a courtier. Which is why I can't write Woxin fic.

(BTW, rasetsunyo, when you gave the text of the feather recitation, did you do by transcribing the DVD soundtrack or is there an online script for the series somewhere?)

Some years back incandescens gave me John Ford's The Last Hot Time. I looked at the beginning: all about elves in America, which said Bordertown to me, so I put it away for another day. Bordertown and its writers strike me as just a bit, well, twee: easy, vulgar and therefore disgusting, in the way of my compatriots Tanya Huff and Charles de Lint. (The latter more so than the former, but the former can make my skin crawl in embarrassment too, and has.) Read it this weekend.

I was wrong, of course. Not twee at all. Drawing on quite a different mythos than the other works (which strike me, who have never been to a Renaissance Fair, as being very RenFair/ folk music/ counter-culture of the 70s.) I mean, it's "30s Chicago and hard-boiled detectives plus elves", but elves off to the side, show rather than tell and what telling there is tending actually to obfuscate the matter of their existence. This, perversely, delights me. One could not wish the work clearer than it is, but one could wish for more of it to add a few more pieces to the (imperfectly understood) jigsaw puzzle.

Still, yeah: that's pretty much how it should be done. Thanks, belatedly, incandescens.
Tags: reading_08, woxin
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