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Thread: STATE OF DIVINITY: the only JY novel set in a time of political stability?

  1. #1
    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Default STATE OF DIVINITY: the only JY novel set in a time of political stability?

    The majority of Jin Yong's wuxia novels are set against the backdrop of political instability in Chinese history. In most of Jin Yong's novels, China is threatened by or already under hostile foreign domination, and Chinese wulin's collective goal is to resist or repel the foreigners. In DEMIGODS & SEMIDEVILS, the Northern Sung wulin was wary of attacks on Chinese soil by the Khitan Liao Empire, the Tangut Hsi Hsia Kingdom, and perhaps the Kingdom of Tubo (Turfan). The CONDOR HEROES TRILOGY began with the Southern Sung wulin's resistance against the Juchen Jin Empire's control of northern China, and continued through the rise, domination, and fall of the Mongol Empire in China. CRIMSON SABRE covered the fall of the Ming Dynasty, and DUKE OF MT. DEER occurred in the immediate aftermath of the Manchurian invasion of China in the 17th Century...the beginning of the Qing Dynasty and its conflict against the Ming revivalists and resistance fighters of the Heaven and Earth Society. BOOK & SWORD: GRATITUDE & REVENGE and THE FLYING FOX OF SNOWY MOUNTAIN occurred during the reign of Emperor Chien Lung and was characterized by the Red Flower Society's resistance to the Qing government.

    STATE OF DIVINITY, set during the mid-Ming Dynasty period, is the only one of Jin Yong's novels without a significant historical/political backdrop. Until the Manchurians became a threat towards the end of the Ming period, the Ming Dynasty was characterized by relative peace within China's borders. The Mongols had been defeated, and the Manchurians had not yet re-emerged as a threat. During this time period, Chinese wulin had no major foreign menace to contend with. Does this account for the absence of a foreign political/military threat in the backdrop of STATE OF DIVINITY, or did such a threat actually exist at the time, but Jin Yong chose to not focus on it in this story?

  2. #2
    Senior Member danshu_'s Avatar
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    I think the ming was a period of extreme inner turmoil. A little later after xajh, of course, there would be outer turmoil as well. I believe Jin Yong deliberately did not set a specific historic date for this novel because he wanted to show the universality of characters like yue buqun etc, and political struggle, which have existed during all dynasties, and all countries. So while the mid-Ming was for a time free from foreign threat, internally its political situation was bad, and in order to get across his themes JY specifically abstained from mentioning anything outside the jianghu.

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    Senior Member Extremer88's Avatar
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    The Jin Yong novel A Deadly Secret (Lian Chen Jue) also have very little political information in it, if fact nothing politically is mentioned in it. Both XAJH and LCJ does not have any huge armies, rulers or political characters heavily mentioned or seen in it.

    Since XAJH takes place in the Ming Dynasty, and happens approximately at least 200-300 years after the fall of the Yuan Dynasty and HSDS, we could assume there is general peace throughout the Central Plains. Zhu Yuanzhang was briefly mentioned in XAJH as a former emperor. I guess after Chen Youliang's fall, there was hardly any rebellion happening for centuries.

    XAJH events happens before Ode to the Gallantry (Xia Ke Xing) so if there's any Manchuria rebellion or invasion should be mentioned in it and not in XAJH instead.

    The Manchuria state was ten times smaller than Central Plains, while its people were ten times less than the Chinese Han people of the Central Plains, so they would have to wait for an opportunity to seize the Central Plains, these happens when there was internal feudings in the late Ming Dynasty which was far away from the era of XAJH, which the Jin Manchuria empire took avantage of the unrest, invade and set up a new dynasty, aka Qing Dynasty.
    ..ext88

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    Senior Member Athena's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extremer88
    The Jin Yong novel A Deadly Secret (Lian Chen Jue) also have very little political information in it, if fact nothing politically is mentioned in it.
    The treasure which was mentioned in the story originates from the Liang dynast (502-557 A.D.). The whereabouts of this treasure was lost when emperor Yuan (552-555 A.D.) killed every official and craftsman who participated on the construction of this hidingplace. And after emperor Yuan himself was killed the secret was entirely lost.
    It was only during emperor Kangxi's reign that a monk residing in the Tianning Monastery accidentally found out about this treasure.
    As a Buddhist monk he had no desires of keeping the treasure for himself, but he wanted to assist his martial arts nephew Wu Liuqi. He knew that Wu Liuqi was a member of the Heaven and Earth Association, so he knew that the money would serve a good cause. He wrote a letter to inform Wu Liuqi about his findings, but he could not just write down:"I found a treasure, come and get it."
    So he wrote a series of cryptic clues in that letter, because both the monk and Wu Liuqi had studied the Tang Poem swordsmanship, Wu Liuqi would naturally understand the clue. However, when the messenger arrived Wu Liuqi was unfortunately killed by the family Zhong. Gradually parts and bits of the secret leaked out in the realm of martial arts.
    The teacher and martial arts uncles of Di Yun belonged to the same martial arts school as Wu Liuqi and the Buddhist monk. So they too studied the Tang Poem swordsmanship and knew this sword style was linked to a treasure. ------> This comes from edition 3 of the novel.
    So huge, so hopeless, to conceive
    As these that twice befell
    Parting is all we know of heaven
    And all we need of hell.

    Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

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    Moderator kidd's Avatar
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    Since now LCJ also links with B&S, is XKX the only odd one out JY book that does not link with any other novels?
    什麼是朋友?朋友永遠是在你犯下不可原諒錯誤的時候,仍舊站在你那邊的笨蛋。~ 王亞瑟

    和諧唔係一百個人講同一番話,係一百個人有一百句唔同嘅說話,而又互相尊重 ~ - 葉梓恩

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    Senior Member Extremer88's Avatar
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    Hehe, I forgot all about the treasures in LCJ. But those treasures belonged long time ago, those treasures were they made or taken during the Three Kingdoms era?

    Quote Originally Posted by kidd
    Since now LCJ also links with B&S, is XKX the only odd one out JY book that does not link with any other novels?
    The Shaolin Sect and Wudang Sect were mentioned in it, maybe there's some link?
    ..ext88

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