mjj (flemmings) wrote,

Recent doings

Have finished Point of Hopes (yes it takes me five days to read a 400 page novel) and ordered the Goujian book from amazon.ca, because the latter tempted me with free shipping. Skip eating out for two weeks-- hell, even a week-- and I've pretty much got the cost of the book right there.

Paul Cohen, the author, has probably seen our Woxin, since he mentions in an interview:
A significant part of television programming overall has dealt with historical drama, which, for millions of Chinese, has been extremely popular. In fact, in 2006-2007 the Goujian story alone was the subject of no fewer than three long-running TV productions (each with more than forty segments), featuring in every instance a star male actor in the role of Goujian.
Though I'm not sure he'll be dealing with Uncle Ming's version itself:
In the early 1980s, in works by two politically fearless writers, Xiao Jun and Bai Hua, the callously ambitious, hard-hearted side of the Yue ruler, largely absent from renderings of the Goujian story in the first eight decades of the century, was reinstated with the clear intent of censuring Maoist tyranny (something that at the time was still too risky to venture in more open ways). Then, with the progressive relaxation of state control over society and the depoliticization of everyday life that marked the 1990s and 2000s, the multipart television adaptations of the Goujian saga mentioned earlier and a number of novelistic renderings of the story that also appeared, all without exception incorporated the Yue king's brutal side.
Brutality is what's rather missing from our Gou Jian. Cold and cunning, maybe, but hardly brutal.

Meanwhile, Point of Hopes. Though I picked up this time on the UST between Philip and Nicholas, it still seems a bit of a jump from the end of that to the start of Point of Dreams and the two of them necking (or more) in a private box in the theatre. Well, it *is* a jump, from mid-summer to mid-winter, but one wishes they'd written the in-between part. And I could swear there was much more, in Dreams at least, about Phillip's background, but I suppose I just put that bit together from stray lines about 'motherless bastards.'

I also have to wonder-- I have distinct memories of reading this in the early summer of 2001, June or so. It came out in May, and I'm wondering if paleaswater got it the minute it appeared or what, because it was her copy I was reading. Common sense suggests I'm merely remembering wrong- that I got it from her at Shoujocon in mid-July and read it in the weeks following, because I'm pretty sure she didn't mail it to me. M, do you have any recollection of what happened there?

And I do wonder if Hopes contains a slight dig at Swordspoint:
"Look, he called himself a duellist, but he didn't call his duels formally. He just sort of took it upon himself to, well, execute them. ... And if he'd--Douvregn, I mean-- if he'd gone on like that much longer, he'd have gone mad. Duellists can, you know, especially if they don't cry fair and public."
But in any case, I'm having another uhh stab at Privilege of the Sword, whose protagonist's voice irritated me so much on my previous two tries. This time is better, possibly because I'm reading it in the afterglow of the Points.
Tags: china, points, reading_09, woxin

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