Archive for January, 2008

Story of Three Kingdoms Podcast!

Saturday, January 19th, 2008 by Mei and Lara

We’re just about ready to start creating a podcast of Three Kingdoms material that we’re going to post here. We were thinking of starting with the buildup to the Battle of the Red Cliffs, since there’s a big movie coming out on that subject this summer. What would you like to listen to?

We’re going to do a fairly free translation of Luo’s work, rather than just reading the Moss Roberts or Brewitt-Taylor translations. We may veer a bit into the work’s original teahouse-storytelling style, just because it’ll be easier for listeners to keep track of what’s going on in the plot. But we’ll stay very faithful to Luo’s content.

Check this site in the near future to see what we come up with, and let us know your preferences!

: The podcast is up. Hope you enjoy it!

Three visits to rule them all (Part I)

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008 by Mei

The appeal of Luo’s Three Kingdoms, to me, is its insistence on telling the story as an outsider. Battles, ploys, and occasional moments of sincerity, are all “seemingly so”. The book keeps us mere observers, shut out of the intimate thoughts and emotions of all characters, much like our daily encounters with colleagues at a workplace. We are provided with efficient paragraphs of vivid details and quick evolution of events, yet denied explanations of motivations and intentions that our curiosities so crave for. As in real life, we cope with such abundance of evidence and shortage of confessions with that ever-useful life skill: gossiping. Generations of Three Kingdoms readers get together to debate the people and events in it, to offer our own speculation of why and our own imagination of what-ifs. The book is similar to life itself in so many ways — each time we re-visit the pages, we see a bit more, perceive it a bit differently, love it all the same, and cannot suppress the urge to grab the first available friend and gossip about it. (more…)