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Lu

Why would you read that in Chinese? Now you can read Chinese, there are books you can read that you couldn't otherwise read because they haven't been translated. Or that you could read in translation, but that are written so well in the original that reading them in Chinese adds something to the experience. Why not do that, and read Snow in the original English, as he intended it?

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xinoxanu

I've been stuck on this Harry Potter chapter for so long already that I don't feel like continuing with reading the series in Chinese any longer. It's not because it's difficult, but due to the fact that I used to love re-watching and re-reading stuff... and now I don't anymore. 🙃

 

So, any recommendation for a book at the level of 活着 or slightly harder? I don't really mind if it's above my level because I've always enjoyed myself anyway. Some thoughts:

 

- I kinda want to read something from Haruki Murakami now that I am diving into Japanese as well, but I don't know which one is his "easiest" work. Other Japanese writers work as well.

- I'd love to read the The Three-Body Problem but such an amazing piece of work doesn't deserve to be read in something other than Chinese, and I don't think I am at that level by any chance. Has anyone read it at a HSK5-6 level?

- Something romantic but done with taste? You know, it's still summer over here 🥰

- Another translated work perhaps? I downloaded the Da Vinci Code because it's been eons since the last time I read it but couldn't get into it for some reason.

 

Thanks 

 

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Lu
24 minutes ago, xinoxanu said:

- Something romantic but done with taste? You know, it's still summer over here

Consider 山楂树之恋 by 艾米: love in the Cultural Revolution. Not difficult, I tore through it very fast because I couldn't wait to find out what happened next.

Or 景恒街 by 笛安, more difficult than 活着 so perhaps try a few pages to see if you want to continue. Love in the world of start-ups. If you read this one, come join the group read.

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feihong
56 minutes ago, xinoxanu said:

Something romantic but done with taste? You know, it's still summer over here 🥰

I highly recommend the online manhua 课堂中的她. You might find it a bit challenging, but there’s an official English translation that may make it a bit more approachable, and it’s not very long.

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xinoxanu

Seems I am not the only sucker for a good romantic story!

 

Thanks @Lu, I'll have a look at both, but even if I pick the latter I don't think if I'll be able to keep the pace with you guys in the book club 哈哈. Reminds me of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BRpoR4oKzw

 

Also thanks @feihong! I've been getting more and more into manga this summer and I already have my hands full with some works in Chinese, but I'll add this one to the list nevertheless. However, I really feel that my endgame should be reading regular books in Chinese and Manga in Japanese, because manga translated into Chinese is already too accessible at my current level.

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Lu
6 minutes ago, xinoxanu said:

if I pick the latter I don't think if I'll be able to keep the pace with you guys in the book club 哈哈.

No no, the book club moves at the speed you read. You can join anytime and read at whatever speed you like. Just see it as a dedicated thread to discuss and enjoy a specific book.

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matteo
On 9/18/2020 at 7:16 PM, Lu said:

Why would you read that in Chinese? Now you can read Chinese, there are books you can read that you couldn't otherwise read because they haven't been translated. Or that you could read in translation, but that are written so well in the original that reading them in Chinese adds something to the experience. Why not do that, and read Snow in the original English, as he intended it?

 

yeah I generally agree with you, I was suggested the book in Chinese by amazon and though it could be interesting to see the difference between the Chinese and English version.

But on second thought it doesn't sound that much fun.

 

I'm enjoying 草鞋湾, will probably stick to the group read suggestions to try and expand my views.

 

 

 

 

 

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feihong
2 hours ago, xinoxanu said:

However, I really feel that my endgame should be reading regular books in Chinese and Manga in Japanese, because manga translated into Chinese is already too accessible at my current level.

If you want a higher level of difficulty, you can try 二四八月常晴偶雨. Besides that, it’s longer and also not translated from Korean like the previous suggestion (as far as I can tell).

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corian
6 hours ago, xinoxanu said:

- I kinda want to read something from Haruki Murakami now that I am diving into Japanese as well, but I don't know which one is his "easiest" work.

I've seen 夜の くもざる (see here) recommended as a good starting point; it's a collection of extremely short stories that were originally printed as part of advertisements in a magazine.

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PerpetualChange
18 hours ago, xinoxanu said:

- Something romantic but done with taste? You know, it's still summer over here 🥰

The first book I read after 活著 (and my 2nd Chinese book overall) was 家 by Ba Jin. It's got romantic elements for sure, but it's definitely more of the "tragic romance" side of things. Aside from a few encounters with Cthulhu that involved quotations from Literary Chinese and  and references to contemporary issues I didn't quite understand, I thought it was quite good, though long, and just as easy to read as 活著.

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kanumo
5 hours ago, PerpetualChange said:

The first book I read after 活著 (and my 2nd Chinese book overall) was 家 by Ba Jin.

does anyone know where to get an ebook from 活著? I mostly like to read within pleco, but there it’s not available. On Amazon it’s also not available..

 

any other ideas?

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xinoxanu

@roddy is it okay to post links that could potentially infringe copyright in Europe but are totally fine in China***? Wondering about where the forums are located mostly as well as your opinion on the matter.

 

***Note: yes, contrary to popular opinion, China does indeed have copyright laws but they are a) outdated and don't really cover many contemporary situations and b) are rarely enforced in the country itself. Not saying it's not a big deal, but it's worth keeping in mind that China doesn't really care about its own author's intellectual property.

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jannesan
On 9/21/2020 at 8:10 PM, kanumo said:

does anyone know where to get an ebook from 活著?

 

I bought it on amazon.cn with a German debit credit card (like a prepaid credit card).

 

I finished reading 古龙's 欢乐英雄 and I really enjoyed it so now I have started 流星·蝴蝶·剑 and the first chapter has me hooked already:)

Overall I think 古龙 is a very good author for people who are getting started with reading native material,

the language he uses is quite repetitive and there are not so many rare fixed expressions.

 

I find his stories a bit sexist though, but maybe most 武侠 stories are?

I'll see how the story of 流星·蝴蝶·剑 develops, but I'm pretty sure as a next book I want to read something a bit more balanced, with more complex female characters.

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艾墨本
43 minutes ago, jannesan said:

I find his stories a bit sexist though, but maybe most 武侠 stories are?

I'll see how the story of 流星·蝴蝶·剑 develops, but I'm pretty sure as a next book I want to read something a bit more balanced, with more complex female characters.

 

Oh, I feel you on this sentiment. I tried reading it recently as well and felt the same......

 

By recently I guess I mean more than two years ago...

 

 

On 2/25/2018 at 8:07 AM, 艾墨本 said:

Started reading 《流星蝴蝶剑》this week. Read through the first 50 pages in one sitting and am loving it. This is my third time picking it up but the first where my Chinese level was high enough to find it accessible.

 

i like how the different stories were woven together to explain 伯’s reputation. The assassins that don’t get excited about killing is a nice twist as well. It makes it much easier to relate to them.

 

For all it’s pros, I do not enjoy the portrayal of women in the book at all. Women seem to only come up in relation to sex and their physical appearance. Even 高’s success is hinted at being due to her ability to taunt men with her stunning beauty. I’m overlooking this for an otherwise interesting story. 

 

Class starts tomorrow, though, so I’ll see how much leisure time can be devoted to this book.

 

On 3/31/2018 at 9:47 PM, 艾墨本 said:

I've since dropped 古龙's  《流星蝴蝶剑》due to it's portrayal of women. Just couldn't get past it.

 

I'm reading 苏童's 离婚指南. The opening bit has been a tongue and cheek conversation about divorce from the perspective of the husband. He wants a divorce and the women is having nothing of it. It seems to give me the exact opposite of 古龙 in that despite fitting a woman into the typical Chinese housewife role, he seems to be doing so from a point of critique. I'm curious to see how this moves forward. If nothing else, the dialogue so far has been extremely compelling and well written.

 

In the first chapter the woman is trying to figure out the "reason" for why the man wants a divorce, struggling to imagine it's any other reason than a 第三者. One line the wife says “你狼心狗肺,你忘恩负义,你忘了生孩子以前我每天给你打洗脚水,我怀胎八个月身子不方便,我就用嘴让你舒服,你说有什对不起你的地方?”

 

Later, the man is contemplating how vicious the wife is attacking him while all he wants is a "reasonable" conversation about divorce. ”他看见朱芸的脸上浮动着一些斑驳的阴影,他不知道那些阴影是窗帘折射光线造成的,还是直接来自她恶劣的心情。“

 

So far though, 苏童, while sticking to the man's perspective, has already painted two flawed characters, both of which I like. Tough task.

 

I tried reading another short story of his before this one but the language was a little too difficult.

 

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PerpetualChange
5 hours ago, jannesan said:

I'll see how the story of 流星·蝴蝶·剑 develops, but I'm pretty sure as a next book I want to read something a bit more balanced, with more complex female characters.

Every female character in 流星·蝴蝶·剑 is a prostitute and there are several good zingers about how women connivingly manipulate men so... good luck lol

 

I enjoyed the book but I disliked pretty much all the characters and their motivations. Only the main character is slightly alright, and even his actions are pretty confusing to me still. 

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jannesan
3 hours ago, PerpetualChange said:

Every female character in 流星·蝴蝶·剑 is a prostitute and there are several good zingers about how women connivingly manipulate men so... good luck lol

 

Yea, it doesn't surprise me judging from the start and also the other book of him I read.

Since I am not only reading for pure enjoyment and I have already "invested" in learning vocabulary and his style of writing I will still keep reading.

Generally I feel like reading multiple books by the same author is a good approach in terms of keeping the new vocabulary down a bit.

 

Does anyone have some thoughts on representation of women in 武侠 in general, maybe some recommended authors with strong female characters?

How about 金庸, are his stories different in this regard?

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PerpetualChange
45 minutes ago, jannesan said:

Does anyone have some thoughts on representation of women in 武侠 in general, maybe some recommended authors with strong female characters?

How about 金庸, are his stories different in this regard?

 

I've had the first volume of 寶劍金釵 by Wang Dulu on my shelf - it's the first series of the story that Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was adapted from. I thought the gender roles from that film were generally very interesting so I'm hoping that the source material is just as good. 

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