In case you don’t know yet, my first language is Chinese (cantonese). To be honest I wasn’t a big fan of Chinese books when I was small, especially those translated ones. I find it really difficult to read and remember translated names. Plus, a lot of the Chinese books are sort of lyrical and descriptive – I’m just not good enough to understand the writer’s emotion haha.
However, I did read some that I truly enjoyed – the Wuxia (martial arts and chivalry) genre. The most renowned Wuxia writer has got to be Jin Yong. He wrote The Legend of the Condor Heroes (which I love dearly), The Return of the Condor Heroes and many many more. These books are thick (4 volumes per story) and yet I was able to fly through them. I guess the main thing about going into reading is to find a genre that interests you. Otherwise, you’d be living under an illusion of ‘eww I don’t like books’, which was me two years ago.
Now that I’m done talking about modern Chinese literature, let’s talk about ancient ones. They were written in classical Chinese, a language that I struggle with. It’s Chinese, yes, but the use of words and meaning etc are different. They are condensed and much shorter. For all the Chinese tests I had, there were at least one passage written in classical Chinese, and you’d find me staring at it, re-reading it over and over again, attempting to solve the puzzle and understand what’s going on. Once it’s solved, the gateway to ancient wisdom will be opened *shimmery light everywhere*
Chinese literature is beautiful and full of wisdom, but sometimes it’s difficult to ‘grasp its essense’, especially for a literature idiot like me. Nevertheless, I do hope that they’d be treasured – how disheartening it is to ban books and cut both the culture and the history from its descendants.
So what is your favourite book written in your mother tongue? What do you like about it?
[Disclaimer: This is just me babbling about Chinese books. I’m by no means a Chinese literature expert, and it’ll be a pleasure if anyone can enlightened me on this issue.]
∞ ϟ 9¾ ♔ ⚯͛ △⃒⃘ ➵ ♆