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laurenth

Reading Gu Long's "流星•蝴蝶•剑"

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imron

Often, martial art systems (or forms within a system) have a set number of moves/techniques.  I haven't read this book, but I'm guessing there are 7 types of one technique, and 7 types of another technique and they can be combined in various ways together for a total of 49 techniques (7x7=49).

 

These would all be techniques using a 枪, rather than say open-hand, or a sword or some other weapon.

 

So, basically it's a system of 49 different moves/techniques that involve a 枪.

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dwq

道 is a measure word for 暗卡, so the intruder has to pass through seven hidden blockades.

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stapler

Ah thanks. Very helpful.

 

Another question: are wuxia novels often written in this faux-classical style?

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imron

All the ones I've read have been.

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stapler

I just realised "江湖" basically means "the people", "civil society", etc, and isn't the name of a small town :oops:

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imron

It's actually slightly closer to those outside civil society.  It's the outlaws, the fighters, the wanderers, people who make their own way in life based on their wits and skills etc.

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stapler

Some passages I couldn't quite decipher:

 

三個穿藍布袍的道人,杏黃色的劍在背後飛揚 - What's the 穗 here? Is this the name of some kind of sword?

 

他劍光閃動縱橫,劍鋒劃過處必有鮮血隨著激出 - the 劃過處 - is this "the place that was cut across"?

 

黃山三友的生活一向如閒雲野鶴 - 閒雲野鶴, would this be "carefree wild cloud cranes" or "carefree wild cranes in the clouds"?

 

他有淚本不輕流,寧死也不願流淚 - I'm a bit unsure about the precise grammar here. This second part I can only read as "willing to die also not willing to cry" which from context I guess means "he would rather die than cry", but I have no idea how that meaning comes out of this phrase. Is it more literally "Willing to cry BUT not willing to cry?" - I've never seen 也 used in this sense of "but".

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imron
What's the 穗 here? Is this the name of some kind of sword?

A picture tells a thousand words.

 

"willing to die also not willing to cry"

寧 doesn't mean 'willing'.  Here it means 'would rather', and so you have 'would rather die than cry'.

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dwq

也 is used in as an emphasis; think "even". He would *even* rather die than cry. But usually "would rather" is strong enough we don't put it into the translation. 寧 is also quite strong so you'll see the pattern 寧...也不 often.

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stapler

Just finishing Chapter 3. I bumped into a Chinese friend on the bus just while I was reading this line:

 

"“顾虑得太多,只怕也是老年人才会有这种心情吧。”老伯叹息着,在夕阳下,缓缓走回自己的屋子,这时他忽然觉得自己实在己到了应该收手的时候了。但这种感觉却总是犹如昙花一现,等到明天早上太阳升起的时候,他立刻又会变得雄心万丈。"

 

I was curious about the "如昙花一现" part. I read this as "as if dark clouds had appeared". But actually a 曇花 is a type of flower that is apparently very rare to see. So in the context of this sentence it means 老伯 has stopped because it's as if he's suddenly seen something that one never sees. (metaphorically in this chapter, something is really unusual and distracting Laobo).

 

This kind of cultural knowledge I'd never pick up on my own! Even if I knew that a 曇花 was a flower!

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stapler

There's a phrase in the fifth chapter: 絕不願傷及人命. What's the grammatical function of the "及" ? I had a look at the dictionary but it wasn't clear. I understand the meaning of his sentence to be "Absolutely not necessary to take a human's life". But I don't see what 及 is adding to this sentence, or how it modifies it. Anyone know?

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Wurstmann

I'm reading this book, too. I'm on page 470 of 638.

 

Edit: Seems I was wrong

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dwq

及 here signifies the extent or reach, or "area of effect" of the verb before it.  So 傷及人命 is "harm that affects human life", that is harm that takes a human life.  I don't know in what context is the phrase used in the novel, but I guess the speaker is willing to tolerate some harm, as long as it doesn't involve taking a human life.

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stapler

Thanks. Now I also know why 普及 means to popularise!

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stapler

Two more questions about "sentences I understand the meaning of but am unclear about the precise grammar". Still in chapter 5.

 

Talking about how angry 萬鵬王 gets, followed by 但令人驚異的是,他突然忍耐了下來。我為了芝麻綠豆大的一點小事,他往往會暴跳如雷,怒氣沖天,甚至會殺人。但遇著真正大事時,他反而能保持冷靜。

- what's going on with "大的一點小事". In my mind this reads as "for the sake of trival things big (??) is a small thing".... I understand the meaning is meant to be "even the most trivial things can turn into big things" but I don't grasp that from what is actually written.

 

A bit further on he writes: 那種非人能及的鎮靜,正是孟星魂覺得可怕的一點. Again, "That kind of person with an inhuman calm". But what's the "能及" doing to this phrase? Why not just 非人的鎮靜?

 

And finally: 性烈如火但卻義氣干雲的孫劍 - what the hell is 干雲?

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dwq

芝麻綠豆大 = 芝麻綠豆那麼大小 = size of a sesame seed / green bean (i.e. tiny)

 

And I think there should have been no 我 at the beginning of the sentence, the subject of the whole being 他 .

 

It's the same 及 as previous: to reach.  那種非人能及的鎮靜 is "Such level of calmness no (other) person can reach".

 

干云,冲入云霄。干,音gān,触犯,冲犯的意思。 豪气干云

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stapler

Great. Thank you very much once again dwq!

 

(yes 我 was my typo)

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Luxi

This may be a good place to post this, since it concerns Wuxia and especially Gu Long's novels.

 

For those happy with ebooks, Duokan is selling the complete set of Gu Long's novels (72 volumes, >137 million characters!) for 9.00 Yuan. Yes, you read right. They claim to be the only ones in PRC to offer the complete set, legally. 

 

Duokan is the only PRC ebooks' seller I've found twhere to buy ebooks at PRC prices legally and easily from the UK (and many other countries, presumably). They have a fairly good selection of fiction and non-fiction ebooks, many at discounted prices, even for China (I think they may be trying to match Amazon.cn). 

 

I'm not sure of how one registers with Duokan now, When I did it, I had to open a Xiaomi account, which I did using my UK address and bank card without any problem, at first I used to pay via Alipay directly from the Duokan website. I now use the Duokan app for iPod and pay very simply pre-buying vouchers from the iTunes store (a £10 voucher goes a long way). It's ridiculously easy. I don't know how is it with Android, obviously Google Play won't work.

 

The ebooks can be read only using a Duokan reader app, very much like with Amazon - no file downloads but can be read offline. The reader is available for PCs (opens in a broswer tab, doesn't need installing), it's fine in Chrome and pop-up dictionaries PeraPera and Zhongwen work very well. There are apps for iOS (in iTunes) and for Android (download from the Duokan site). Both readers are very good and have a dictionary function (the Android one is clearer than Apple's). There's also a way to install the app in a Kindle but that can be tricky, hasn't been updated for ages and it doesn't have a dictionary. All these apps are synced, your book collection, bookmarks, notes etc. will appear in all of them simultaneously.

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