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timseb

Chinese book recommendations

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imron
9 hours ago, timseb said:

Think Lust, Caution.

 

9 hours ago, timseb said:

I would love to read something by Eileen Chang, like 張愛玲

 

How about Lust, Caution?  It's actually just a short story in a collection of short stories.  That might make it easier to digest.

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timseb
1 minute ago, imron said:

How about Lust, Caution?  It's actually just a short story in a collection of short stories.  That might make it easier to digest.

 

It's actually already in my customer's basket! I'm sure it's for me, so even if it will have to wait due to being too difficult, I know I'll be reading it one day. I know there are references to Tang poems and such in her works, is that something one really needs to have read or am I overanalyzing things?

 

I'll probably make the order today, and this is what I have so far:

 

半生緣

醜陋的中國人

新譯唐詩三百首 (for reference 😬)

傾城之戀

色,戒

台灣人三部曲:滄溟行

台灣人三部曲:沉淪

台灣人三部曲:插天山之歌

地海六部曲 (my brother wants me to read Earthsea, so why not do it in Chinese?)

妻妾成群

紅樓夢 (I won't be able to read it for years, but it'll look nice on the shelf and hopefully a motivator)

解密

臺北人

山楂樹之戀

紅高粱家族

 

The only thing I fear is that not only some, but all books are much more difficult than 山楂樹之戀. I know some are, since the purchase is for many months of reading, but if all of them are that would just be annoying. I'm thinking Earthsea can't be that difficult...

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889

If you're interested in 1930's China, I'll suggest《中国的一日》. Edited by Mao Dun, it's a collection of short essays by ordinary Chinese from across the country describing their particular life on one particular day: May 21, 1936.

 

It's a well-known well-regarded work -- Yale Press has published an English translation -- and since the essays are all short, stand-alone pieces, it's very suitable for random browsing (in other words, you don't have to read the whole thing).

 

There was a follow-up published a few decades ago, but it's turgid compared to the original.

 

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roddy

For detective stuff - I've noticed while browsing JD.com that the Japanese crime writer 东野圭吾, Keigo Higashino, seems very popular. I have got one of his books on the way, but unfortunately I wasn't paying attention and picked one at random and it's not one of his crime novels. The Devotion Of Suspect X , 嫌疑人X的献身 seems to be one of his biggest hits. Assuming from having Earthsea in there you don't mind a translation. 

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timseb
6 minutes ago, 889 said:

《中国的一日》

 

Thanks, certainly looks interesting. The site I'm ordering from does not seem to have it, so I will have to bookmark it for later.

 

Just now, roddy said:

Assuming from having Earthsea in there you don't mind a translation. 

 

i did notice some time ago while browsing Harry Potter that translations have one big problem for me, which is that it takes away much of the smoothness of the Chinese language. For such a concise language, a long transliteration of a character name or a spell breaks the spell (uhm) a bit. That shouldn't be a problem with translations from Japanese I guess, since the character names are written in kanji in the originals. They don't seem to have that particular book, but a lot of his others. I'll try to find a good one to start with. Thank you.

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PerpetualChange
15 hours ago, timseb said:

I absolutely adore the settings in a lot of Hou Hsiao-hsien movies and also A Brighter Summer Day by Edward Yang, we're talking 1950's Taiwan but also up to the 1980's. The relocation to Taiwan, the Japanese legacy (perhaps I'm using the wrong English word here), the youth gangs, night school and all that. I do have Crystal Boys (Niezi) on the shelf, but decided I'd go for something easier for a first book, and that certainly seems very worthwhile.

 

Good tastes! I haven't read this yet, but I like San Mao who has a book about her early life and education in Taiwan. I believe it's called 鬧學記.

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Lu

Consider 《红蟋蟀》 by 岳韬. Not a very well-known book, but a great read (I sped through it much like through 《山楂树之恋》). Young woman returns to Shanghai and starts to dig into her past (she never knew her parents). Some mystery, lots of tension.

 

More crime:

Work by Chan Ho-kei 陈浩基, a Hong Kong writer. 《13.67》 is about a Sherlock Holmes-like superdetective, 《网内人》 about a hacker-detective solving a cyberbullying case. Both pretty hefty books.

《下面,我该干些什么》 by 阿乙. Young man murders his classmate and goes on the run from the police. More literature than thriller, and if you like it, you'll like 阿乙's short stories in 《鸟看见了我》 even more.

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timseb

Some of the books recommended were sadly not available, but they are all bookmarked for the future. Order is now placed, thank you everyone!

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Balthazar
17 hours ago, timseb said:

1. I absolutely adore the settings in a lot of Hou Hsiao-hsien movies and also A Brighter Summer Day by Edward Yang, we're talking 1950's Taiwan but also up to the 1980's. The relocation to Taiwan, the Japanese legacy (perhaps I'm using the wrong English word here), the youth gangs, night school and all that. I do have Crystal Boys (Niezi) on the shelf, but decided I'd go for something easier for a first book, and that certainly seems very worthwhile.

 

I don't have any specific recommendations, but you might want to check out some of the later Xiangtu Wenxue and works from the 70s/80s Taiwanese literature movement.

 

In particular, Huang Chun-ming (黃春明) seems relevant (three of his short stories were turned into the film "The Sandwich Man", directed by a young Hou Hsiao-hsien)

 

We seem to share a taste in movies ("A Brighter Summer Day" is probably my favorite film), so if you do end up finding books that fit the bill, do share your discoveries in the "What are you reading"-thread!

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Jim

Read this recently, some gruesome tales with detective goings-on in Republican Beijing: https://book.douban.com/subject/27166426/ The various cases serve as stand-alone stories. Good bit of social history too, for instance the social strife associated with installing running water in the city and thus putting the water carriers out of work.

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roddy
8 minutes ago, Jim said:

detective goings-on in Republican Beijing

Ordered! Got the Di An book @Lu has been talking about as well. 

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roddy
On 6/1/2020 at 7:18 PM, Jim said:

Read this recently, some gruesome tales with detective goings-on in Republican Beijing: https://book.douban.com/subject/27166426/ The various cases serve as stand-alone stories.

My copy arrived a few days ago - no idea if or when I'll actually read it, but the book's lovely - lots of little sidebars and insert photos with maps of the old water pumping station, details on prostitute registration schemes, and 6 postcards of scenes from the stories to use as bookmarks. 

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timseb

No books for me it seems. 🤔 I got this e-mail:

 

"很抱歉通知您,受新型冠狀病毒疫情影響致承運航空公司暫停部分航班,直至目前仍無法為您安排運送"02006015980308"訂單商品,相關說明已於您訂購時公告於首頁及購物車結帳第一步驟內。了解更多

待此包裹由運送單位退回後,讀冊生活會向信用卡行申請退款,貨款加上運費,總退款金額為6986元。

依照您的結帳日判斷,刷退款項可能在本月或是次月帳單,煩請留意帳單明細。

造成您的失望及等候,向您致上萬分歉意,懇請見諒。"

 

It's a bit weird I could make the order and after a few days I even got an email that informed me the order had been shipped...

 

I'm not quite sure I understand the process of getting my money back. Are they arranging that or is it me that will have to contact someone? I'm a bit lost in translation on that one.

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roddy

Yeah, it sounds - 待此包裹由運送單位退回後 - like it's been shipped, but then their shippers haven't been able to get it onto a flight. It says they will do the refund, but asks you to keep an eye on your statement.

 

There's always JD.com!

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timseb
14 minutes ago, roddy said:

There's always JD.com!

 

They don't seem to have it.

 

This was a bit annoying. I was looking forward to receiving it any day now, but instead I'm back to square one. 😑

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Jim
3 hours ago, roddy said:

My copy arrived a few days ago - no idea if or when I'll actually read it, but the book's lovely - lots of little sidebars and insert photos with maps of the old water pumping station, details on prostitute registration schemes, and 6 postcards of scenes from the stories to use as bookmarks. 

Did you get the dust-jacket that opens out into a map of the city too? It is beautifully presented.

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roddy

Oh wow, I did!!!!

 

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timseb

Since these threads tend to be found by people on Google and whatnot, I just want to add that TAAZE did indeed give me a refund. It took a few weeks but they needed no reminder!

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