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纪晓岚全传


zhenhui
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I really like Qing dynasty dramas like 《铁齿铜牙纪晓岚 1 2 3》 and 《宰相刘罗锅》. I then found the biography 纪晓岚全传 on Google. It is really a good book! There are alot of witty quotes by the scholars in the book that are really interesting (like 乾隆 giving 纪晓岚 a hard time by making him finish up couplets). I even copy them down and paste them on my wall because they are so intriguing! Here is an example,

因火生烟,若不弃出终是苦。

水酉为酒,入能回头便成人。

See how the above couplet plays with words?

Explanations:

First Line: First two letters = 4th letter, 若 has an extra dent than 苦, so if the dent does not appear, it will be a 苦.

Second Line: First two letters = 4th letter, if 入 turns its head around, it becomes a 人.

Another example,

今日过断桥,断桥何日断。

明朝奔圆月,圆月几时园。

I'm so amazed by their wit!

Anyone has any other interesting couplets or phrases? :)

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here are some more :

二人土上坐,一月日边明.

八刀分米粉,千里重金钟.

人从门内闪,虫从水边浊.

人曾做僧,人弗可做佛;

女卑为婢,女又可为奴.

 

古木枯,此木成柴;

女子好,少女尤妙.

 

You see how they play with words ?:)

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I've read that the real 紀曉嵐 was way older than 和珅 and was not a 大學士 until the 嘉慶 reign (and even then he was only at an assistant rank). Basically it means that the TV stories are not real. But don't let these spoil the fun. :mrgreen:

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  • 1 year later...

I know this post was from last year, but I just like to add something about 纪晓岚's story.

From what I read before, 纪晓岚 was an editor working on the 《四库全书》, and he was very bored with all the serious classical Chinese stuff. Therefore, he entertained himself by writing up his famous book 《閱微草堂筆記》, which collected a lot of folk stories about ghosts, fox demons, folk belief, strange occurrences that he heard from other people (including friends, family, servants, soldiers, guards, people he encountered during travel, etc.) When I first learned of this story, I thought he was really a fun person to know. :D

It could be a very good resource for someone who are interested in Chinese folk lores, Chinese social customs and belief around early(?) Qing dynasty. I also think the lovers of UFO or big foot stories might find something interesting in it. The only problem is that you need to be able to read classical Chinese. Hopefully, someone somewhere has an English translation.

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It could be a very good resource for someone who are interested in Chinese folk lores, Chinese social customs and belief around early(?) Qing dynasty. I also think the lovers of UFO or big foot stories might find something interesting in it. The only problem is that you need to be able to read classical Chinese. Hopefully, someone somewhere has an English translation.

In fact,《阅微草堂笔记》has been translated into English and Italian.

•(英)Fantastic Tales By Ji Xiaolan,纪晓岚志怪故事选, Edited and translated by Sun Haichen,New World Press, ISBN: 7800053571。

•(意)Note scritte nello studio yuewei,Bollati Boringhieri, Torino, 1992,ISBN: 8833906655。

http://cache.baidu.com/c?word=%D4%C4%3B%CE%A2%3B%B2%DD%CC%C3%3B%B1%CA%BC%C7%2Ctranslated&url=http%3A//baike%2Ebaidu%2Ecom/view/56276%2Ehtm&p=c274831286cc41ad0ebe9b7d5c57&user=baidu

But I don’t like the name of the book is translated as “Fantastic Tales”, because the profound meaning of “阅微” isn’t well expressed in it. “阅微” implies the meaning of “阅微而知著to know the nature and predict the future by observing the inconspicuous details, i.e. a straw shows which way the wind blows. ” Although the book was written in a humor style, Mr. Ji tried to imply some profound meanings in his funny stories.

Cheers!

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I am glad it was translated already. I really enjoyed the stories. I think he was trying to show, in most stories, how one's deeds would determine one's future. This underlying belief was basically the traditional Chinese belief of "善有善報, 惡有惡報". However, he sometimes questioned this belief by listing stories where good men got punished and evil men were rewarded. He also recorded strange phenomena reported by others or himself that has nothing to do with moral judgments. It seemed that he was a person with open mind and loved to learn new things around him. In addition,

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I really enjoyed the stories.

I’m glad to hear that.

It seemed that he was a person with open mind and loved to learn new things around him.

Indeed.

I think he was trying to show, in most stories, how one's deeds would determine one's future. This underlying belief was basically the traditional Chinese belief of "善有善報, 惡有惡報". However, he sometimes questioned this belief by listing stories where good men got punished and evil men were rewarded.

That’s why his book has been valued so high, because he dared to question the belief which was well accepted in those days. He was so learned in historical field, therefore he had more profound views on human, morality and history.

He also recorded strange phenomena reported by others or himself that has nothing to do with moral judgments.

Sigh ~ ~. All these strange phenomena recorded in the book were just a smokescreen to protect the book.Without doing so, perhaps no one dared to published his book. In Qing Dynasty, the censorship of books was so strict that one might be put into jail for just one sentence in his book or article didn’t sound “loyal”.

Cheers!

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