mjj (flemmings) wrote,

Continue to read Judge Dee in French, hindered by not knowing words like 'paving tiles' and 'grumble' and 'wizened.' It's still close but no cigar. Surely it's not merely the fact that I'm reading it in French that makes le juge Ti seem more French than the original? Gulik's Dee was a moral Confucian prude, sniffily disapproving of Buddhism and brothels-- viewing the latter as a necessary evil, the former as an unmitigated one. Ti however has an eye for female charms, thinks in terms of Divine Providence and fate, and is impressed by large quantities of gold, without moralizing on the evils of any of these.

I should like to pass my retirement in writing Judge Dee in English, but of course there's always the problem of plot. Those three-stranded Ima Ichiko type Gordian knots are beyond me (and beyond the French writer as well, though I grant you this is only the first book in the series.) So I fear anything I did would resemble late van Gulik only, and only if I was lucky. I could still do van Gulik pastiche better than Wossname; the only question is would I want to? sniggery chauvinist piggery and all...
Tags: china, history, reading_09

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