October 22nd, 2006

pissy red dragon from tammylee

(no subject)

Reading Liz William's Snake Agent, borrowed from paleaswater. I think just maybe I'd have realized on my own what paleaswater said about it: William's Chinese hell is actually Christian in one fundamental respect-- it sides with and promotes evil. That's not how hell works in Konron no Tama (yes, yes- everything I know about the afterworld I learned from Japanese manga) and it keeps tripping me up, especially because her Hell is also as bureaucratic as one expects a Chinese hell to be. But Hell doesn't exist in moral opposition to Heaven: it's just another part of the way things are, and its demon denizens have their own uhh human feelings like you and me. Yeah, so they torture sinners on occasion. That's their job, see?

OTOH it stand in nice contrast to the Peter May mystery I'm reading in tandem, that uses 'oriental' quite seriously to talk about Chinese people and has characters talk about 'the mysterious east' ditto. I hope that's just a set-up and we'll stop having little cultural lessons thrown at us eventually, but not with any great hope.