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realmayo

Well-written prose

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realmayo

Following on from @Kenny同志's helpful posts here https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/60409-general-feedback-on-translations/?do=findComment&comment=472533 :

 

Does he - any anyone else - have any suggestions for prose from the last 100 years that that is "well-written". By which I happen to mean:

effective

elegant

not over- or under- wordy

not too self-consciously "literary" or old-fashioned...

...but not slangy or 口語-ey either.

As a bonus, the content would be interesting.

 

Does this descibe a Lu Xun, an Eileen Chang? Anyone else (doesn't have to be novels)?

 

 

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889

Or more particularly, where is the Chinese E.B. White, an author who not only popularised clear, simple prose of understated elegance in his own works but who also set out the principles of good writing for others to follow.

  • Good question! 1

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Luxi

Definitely Lu Xun, a greater pleasure to read his prose than most contemporary writers. 

 

I have a soft spot for Lao She, both fiction and essays. He writes a clear, correct prose, without affectation,  with a lot of charm and wit, and an Ol' Beiping slant, that adds to his charm. 

 

I like some, but not all, of Yan Lianke's writings because he uses language creatively, he can be very inventive, and I like his lyricism when it surfaces. 

 

There are several readable essayists (whose names I have to dig up) and lots of excellent non-fiction writers. I admire Wang Li's for his clarity and directness, I wish contemporary academic writers followed his example.

 

Things I hate: overuse of 4-character-phrases, overuse of 3-character constructions of the ba-bing-bing type. Exaggerated 方.

 

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roddy

I used to really enjoy 王小波's essays. Not read them myself, but I think 梁文道 has been recommended on here as well. Here's one.

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