It’s been a while seen I’ve posted something outside the weekly Happy Sunday posts, and K-Releases.
Okay, I had no idea Mafia Luerd Mungkorn would lead me to searching for Chinese literatures or books on the Biafran war. So how did it all start? After watching 3 eps of Suer (MLMK), I realised there are quotes after each episode. The quote at the end of ep 3 was a Confucian saying, “The things that you dislike, don’t do it to others”.
It’s not my first time seeing a Confucian saying, but I haven’t been able to actually look up Confucius, so I did. I looked up Confucius quotes, which led me to The Analects by Confucius, thus triggering the other events that followed. Before I knew what was happening, I had delved into Chinese literature. I had moved from The Analects to Menicus, then to The Art of War by Sun Tzu.
I’ve seen a couple of historical-war-palace dramas and they never fail to mention the Art of War. As soon as The Art of War was recommended by Goodreads I looked that up also. And next were the four great classical Chinese novels – Luo Guanzhong (Romance of the Three Kingdoms), Wu Cheng En (Journey To The West), Shi Nai’ An (Outlaws of Marsh – I found out the writer of OOM is not fully known, as there are various theories), and Cao Xueqin (Dream of the Red Chamber). The one I really want to own the most is Zhuge Liang’s books Mastering the Art of War. Of course it didn’t stop here. Then came the books on Biafran war.
I have a book on the Biafran war, The Biafran Story by Frederick Forsyth. While seeing all these Chinese war books, I remembered, I always wanted to look up more books about the Biafran war. And I found a couple of them, a mix of stories from key persons, witnesses and semi fiction – Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Why We Struck by Adewale Ademoyega, The Brothers’ War by John de St. Jorre (1972), The Nigerian Revolution and the Biafran Civil War by Alexander Madiebo, and Sunset in Biafra by Elechi Amadi. I feel somewhat ashamed that I haven’t gone through any of them, even the one written by Frederick Forsyth, I haven’t finished reading it yet.
The other events that were triggered was me searching for translated Wuxia books to read and download. I have a rough idea about Wuxia books and Chinese novels, thanks to Bu Bu Jing Xin, and Sound/Ballad of the Desert by Tong Hua, Shan Shan Comes to Eat by Gu Man, and Sealed With A Kiss by Fei Wo Si Cun. I haven’t read any of them, I got to know about the novels for BBJX, SSCTE, and SWAK after I had seen their dramas.
After turning a couple of sites upside down and inside out, I was able to find a couple of PDF files for the Four Classics and Five Books of Confucianism. I also stumbled on some other historical books – The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli, The Histories by Herodotus, and Records of Grand History by Sima Qian (not all the chapters are translated).This e-library by the University of Adelaide was pretty helpful. I don’t know when I will be able to go through them all, but I was pretty enlightened.
P.S – A 90° bow to all those who have translated and are translating foreign books (Chinese literature/novels, Japanese novels etc) to English, if not we did be missing out on A LOT of things.