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Fred0

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Fred0

Zhang Mujin is Manzhen’s cousin who was a doctor and director of a hospital in Lu An when the Kumintang Army tried to arrest him, believing he collaborated with the Japanese invaders. He went into hiding, but the Kumintang caught his wife, who was a nurse at the hospital,  and tortured her to death. Shen Shijun, Manzhen’s former boyfriend knew Mujin during the time he was with Manzhen. Now years later, he runs into a woman named Yang who was a nurse at that hospital. She tells him about the torturing of Mujin’s wife. Shijun is shocked to learn of it. He:

 

他忽然发觉,那杨小姐正在那儿冲着他说话。他急忙定了定神。她在那儿问:“沈先生现在可听说,张医生现在在哪儿?”世钧道:“不知道。我还是好些年前看见他的。” 杨小姐道:“我就听见说他后来倒也出来了。那医院当然是没有了,给接收了去了。当初还不就是为了看中他们那个医院。”

 

I am having a hard time understanding these last sentences: Yang xiaojie said, “I heard that afterward he actually came back (out of hiding). That hospital was obviously no longer a functioning hospital. (Mujin was given an offer) to take over (接收)(another hospital) and went.  At that time he certainly did not have a preference for their (the Lu An) hospital.

 

Am I getting any of this right?

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Jim

Reads more to me like this "The hospital was gone though, it had been taken over, didn't this all start because they had taken a liking to [i.e. wanted to get their hands on] that hospital." Does that fit the context? Vaguely recall you mentioning some other party having designs on the hospital in an earlier query.

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Fred0

Yes, I also recall that detail, that the Koumintang wanted to take over the hospital building for their own use.  Your reading makes sense now.

In the sentence 当初还不就是为了看中他们那个医院 it appears that the subject 他们 follows the verb 看中. Am I right about that? How would you parse that sentence? Should 他们 be regarded as a kind of parenthetical expression with the actual subject being understood? 

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Jim

 当初 back when this started

还不就是 is it not (precisely) the case

为了 it was because

看中 [they (implicit)] had set their sights on

他们那个医院  that hospital of theirs - so the 他们 I take to be this Dr Zhang and his associates etc. - did he own it or run it or was a partner etc.?

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Fred0

Excellent! That makes it clear. Thanks very much. A big help!   (Dr. Zhang was the director of the hospital, but it was the only hospital in a small town, so maybe 他们 refers to the townspeople as a whole.)  

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Fred0

Shijun's has just had a fight with his wife after she discovered an old love letter from Manzhen to him, and now he is walking out the door. She ask him where he is going and he says nothing. The author uses the phrase 他理也不理. What does that mean?

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Jim

Verb 也不 verb is a set pattern, here it's a way of intensifying the fact that he ignores her, "wouldn't even pay her the slightest attention"; similar to 看也不看 without even taking a look, and you see it with other verbs too.

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Fred0

Thanks.  Very helpful. Here's another one: 不起的事. Shijun wants to talk about the love letter but Cuizhi says shes already forgotten about it.

 

听她那口吻,好像觉得他这人太无聊了,一二十年前的一封情书,还拿它当桩了不起的事,老挂在嘴上说着。

 

I see the phrase 不起的病 means a serious and perhaps fatal illness. So does 不起的事 mean something like a grave or serious issue?

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Fred0

Sorry for this post. I just answered my own question.

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Jim

The more she spoke the faster she talked/became - because she doesn't want to dwell on the subject she starts rattling along.

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Jim
On 1/24/2020 at 4:08 PM, Fred0 said:

还拿它当桩了不起的事,老挂在嘴上说着

Missed this one Fred, if you've not already worked it out, you need to parse this as 了不起的事 where 了不起 means a big deal etc.

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Fred0

Ah, suddenly the sentence comes into focus. Thanks so much.

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Fred0

Manzhen has just had a reunion with Shijun after a separation of many years. They have each learned from the other that they had been loyal to one another, and that their separation was due to Manzhen being imprisoned in her sister's house, and Shijun having been told by the sister that Manzhen had married another man. They have also discovered that they are both hoping to go to the northeast of China to serve in the revolutionary governments projects in the area. Now the are waiting for a street car to take Manzhen home.She says:

 

“那么,再见了。” 她顿了一顿,却又很匆促地微笑道:“即使不能一块儿到东北去,反正——只要是在一条路上走着,总是在一起的。”

 

I read this to be saying: Even if we are not able to go together to the northeast, in any case--- so long as there is a road to travel on, we will always be together."

 

Is this correct?

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Fred0

When I read it that way, but I missed the metophorical sense of travelling a road. What a mind set there must have been in the early days of the liberation. This changes the whole maning of what immediately follows: 

 

世钧听了这话,只觉得心里一股子热气涌上来,眼睛都有点湿润了,也不知道是谁先伸出手来的,他紧紧地握住她两只手。时间仿佛停住了,那电车远远地开驶过来,却已经到了跟前,灯火通明的,又开走了。她也走了,只剩他一个人站在站台上。

 

What is warming his heart is now their common revolutionary fervor, not a renewed personal connection. They are clasping hands as revolutionary comrades. I want them to be clasping hands as a declaration of their invincible personal bond. Too bad.  Maybe it will turn out that it's both.  Thanks for your help. It's appreciated, as always.

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Fred0

世钧很热烈地和他握手。慕瑾其实对世钧的印象并不怎么太好,总觉得他过去是有亏负曼桢的地方,但是现在一来是他乡遇故知,而且大家同是革命的大家庭里的一员,所以也觉得十分亲切。

 

Long ago Mujin was in love with Manzhen and proposed marriage to her. She was at that time involved with Shijun and refused him. Shijun was alway cold toward Mujin when the three of them were together because he believed that Manzhen was falling in love with the other man and he was intensely jealous. When Zhang writes that Mujin's impression of Shijun was not that great and that Shijun 亏负曼桢的地方, I think he is saying that Shijun was not good enough for Manzhen, but I have never seen this 亏负。。。的地方 structure before. How should I read it? 

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Jim

 亏负 is more to wrong someone, so this is "there were many ways in which he had not done right by Manzhen in the past." As for the structure, the 的地方 highlights that it's aspects or specific instances, here's it paired with 满意 in the Juuku database: http://www.jukuu.com/search.php?q=满意的地方

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Jim
1 hour ago, Fred0 said:

Juuku is really helpful at times.

I find it invaluable, just for the variety of contexts. Also serves as a warning  to consider all possibilities, see the sentence on the link I gave: 是德国人购买假日别墅最满意的地方 where 的地方 is working literally as a place popular with German holiday home buyers.

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