Archive for August, 2009

Detective novels of Qiu Xiaolong

Saturday, August 29th, 2009 by Lara

I’m pleased to find the local library in Singapore has some of Qiu Xiaolong’s detective novels, which feature a Chief Inspector of Police, Chen, who also happens to be a poet and English major. The novels are in translation (naturally, for me to read them); they take place in Shanghai in the 1990s, and have been appearing over the last 5-8 years in English.

I was remarking to my spouse yesterday that I no longer read detective novels for the plot; I read them for style, local information, attractive characters, and other stuff. (So I’ve turned into one of those people who reads the first few chapters and then read the ending, to see if it’s worth reading the bits in the middle – shame on me.) And the English-language style of Qiu’s novels is not all that great, but his books have lots of stuff that make them fun for me to read. I don’t know how much is interesting to Chinese people, but here’s my list of compelling categories: (more…)

The Super Adorable Liu Ba (translation)

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009 by Mei and Lara

This translation is based on an essay found on many Chinese 3 Kingdoms sites. Unfortunately I couldn’t track down the name of the original author. The characters and events in this essay are based on historical records, not based on the novel. Read on to find out why it’s a popular little piece on characters from the 3 Kingdoms period.

Liu Bei once said that winning Zhuge Liang’s service was like a “fish winning his water.” It was an emperor-minister relationship that’s been the envy of hundreds of later generations.

The three visits to the straw cottage has to be our best-known legend. But if you think getting Zhuge Liang was Liu Bei’s most arduous recruiting task, you’d be wrong. (more…)