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Short Story Reading Club for 2014


Meng Lelan
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The note about an ebook format was just a side-note, nothing more. No need to make a fuss about it.

Nowadays, many things are available as ebooks online. For example, Project Gutenberg has a number of Chinese books available in ebook format, legally and for free. Mostly classical period, unfortunately, but there is a nice selection of Lu Xun stories.

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A good deal of good ideas coming in here....with all those tools and resources now available on the Internet, the issue of finding the stories in a desired format (simplified, traditional, paper, online, Kindle, etc) is not likely to be formidable. Keep in mind this thread is going to be open for the entire year of 2014 with no particular deadline for finishing a particular short story.

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I'd recommend the site http://chinese-shortstories.com/

 

It has many short stories, some info about the authors, comments, sometimes translations and vocab lists. However, it's a French site, despite the name.

 

Edit: For those who don't read French at all, here's a direct link to the list of available short stories:

 

http://www.chinese-shortstories.com/index_nouvelles.htm

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Many thanks to everyone for their input. I am hammering out a proposed list of short stories we can read for the year 2014. So far I've selected quite a few stories for the intermediate and advanced readers here. As for the beginners I am thinking of selecting stories from the Graded Chinese Reader 500 word edition, but haven't been able to order the book yet.

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While we're gathering suggestions, I've always enjoyed the Chinese sampler over at http://www-personal.umich.edu/~dporter/sampler/sampler.html. The stories are short and are (roughly) graded by difficulty, and there is a nice selection across periods and genres.

You might find some easy reading over there, including a selection of children's stories and fables.

As for intermediate and advanced stuff (if you are still in need for them), Zhang Ailing is awesome.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm obviously keen to see this happen, I think it'd be a pretty cool thing to do. I'll add in a couple of suggestions. 

 

One, and old-timers will remember this, is a science fiction tale, 中国式青春 (not to be confused with a book, and probably TV show, movie and branded clothing name of the same name). The baby Superman's escape capsule arrives on earth 12 hours late, and so lands in a commune in 1950s China. Good luck conforming, Man of Steel. 

 

It's got some genuine laughs and comes in at 11,500 characters. 

 

 

The second one... oh, I wanted to suggest 王小波's 猫, but it's such a strange and horrible piece I'm not sure I should. I'm going to go read it again though. 

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The idea of a Chinese superman appeals to me. I would vote for that one :) But its not as if i won't try something else if the majority say otherwise.

 

I would also like to add my voice to the "can it be be in e-book format please" gang.

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Tell you what: if someone provides a txt file, I can volunteer to create a rudimentary ebook out of it (epub format). It won't be the prettiest thing, but it will get the job done.

Obviously, this would only go for things out of copyright or freely available online. I don't even know if there is a legal way to purchase modern Chinese short stories for ebook readers. Or if authors get to see any of that money. I am under the impression that 99% of the stuff read on these devices in China is pirated.

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I had a bit of a bad experience with an ebook lately. Some of the characters didn't display properly, not in the book itself, but at the bottom of the page, and on the contents page, so I wrote to the publisher. I did not even really complain, I just wanted to let them know. They answered me that their reader unfortunately does not support Chinese at this present day yet, *

 

I am surprised you all seem to like it though. I find the reading uncomfortable. But maybe it's my eyes or my laptop.

 

* edit:

and deleted the book from my computer, without prior asking me, and gave me a "refund" in form of a credit for their shop, as I just realised. Err, thanks...

Edited by Ruben von Zwack
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But maybe it's my eyes or my laptop.

You did read it on a specialised reader with e-ink right?

Personally, I will always prefer paper, but the experience on a modern reader is the next best thing, IMHO. I especially like it for comics, looks like the real thing :)

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