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Thread: "Wulin" in Jin Yong's Qing Dynasty-era stories.

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Default "Wulin" in Jin Yong's Qing Dynasty-era stories.

    A "wulin" nominally still existed during the eras of Jin Yong's Qing Dynasty-era stories, DUKE OF MT. DEER, FLYING FOX OF SNOWY MOUNTAIN, and BOOK & SWORD: GRATITUDE & REVENGE. There were still martial artists who fought for chivalric causes, followed a code of honor, and resisted the latest foreign invader, but still...the *character* of the Qing Dynasty wulin in Jin Yong's world seems different from that of its counterparts in earlier eras. In DGSD, the CONDOR HEROES TRILOGY, and SPW, there were many different wulin sects and distinct martial arts systems, and these sects often had conflicts among themselves that had nothing to do with national politics. Moreover, the wulin of the Sung, Yuan, and Ming Dynasty eras bothered with such infrastructure as occasional all-wulin conventions and the selection of a wulin director, and everybody seemed to be interested in becoming the # 1 martial artist in the world or making his her sect the # 1 sect in wulin.

    By the time of the Qing Dynasty, things had changed considerably. Although there were still active martial artists, there didn't seem to be an organized wulin anymore. Among the martial sects, only the oldest and the most powerful of them (e.g. Shaolin, Mo Dong, and Ngor Mei) still existed. There were no all-wulin conventions, and nobody spoke of aspiring to or electing an office of wulin director. Everything seemed geared towards resisting/overthrowing the Qing Dynasty; nobody was interested in becoming the # 1 wulin martial artist or making his/her sect the # 1 wulin sect anymore. Wulin as it was known during the Sung, Yuan, and Ming era seemed to no longer exist by the time of the Qing Dynasty.

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    Member Yuet Thi's Avatar
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    That is one of the reason why I dislike stories set in the Qing Dynasty. It just doesn't have that 'wuxia' feeling to it. Everything seems so modern and like you said, there's really no more sects besides the most powerful ones.
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    Senior Member whiteskwirl's Avatar
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    It seems to still be there in Flying Fox. There are inter-school feuds among the members waiting for Flying Fox to arrive. There's a struggle for treasure, the backstory feud between Hu Fei and Miao Renfeng. It's not a political novel by any means.

    I haven't read the prequel. How is it in terms of this discussion?

    EDIT: Also, isn't A Deadly Secret set during the Qing?

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    Senior Member S Beaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiteskwirl View Post
    It seems to still be there in Flying Fox. There are inter-school feuds among the members waiting for Flying Fox to arrive. There's a struggle for treasure, the backstory feud between Hu Fei and Miao Renfeng. It's not a political novel by any means.

    I haven't read the prequel. How is it in terms of this discussion?

    EDIT: Also, isn't A Deadly Secret set during the Qing?
    Yes, the Deadly Secret and the Flying Fox series really don't have that much government involvement. It's mostly Bood & Sword and DOMD...which is expected when your main character is either the brother of the emperor or BFFs with the emperor. Hence, the section of wulin depicted in those novels are probably a little more politics-centric. I haven't actually gone through all of DOMD, so I can't say much, but the wulin depicted in Book & Sword is just a small faction (mostly Red Flower Society + Qing officials + Uyghurs). But the anti-Qing sentiment of Wulin in Book & Sword really isn't that much more overwhelming than the Anti-Liao/Anti-Jin/Anti-Mongol sentiments displayed in previous dynasties. It's just that the other novels (LOCH, ROCH, HSDS, DGSD) have more sideplots to the story that doesn't involve government politics, but a significant chunck of wulin is still dedicated to anti-non-han-invaders. Ie. in DGSD, the major plot revolves around XF's Khitan roots and meetings were held to specifically address the issue. ROCH held a "hero's meeting"--for the purpose to being anti-Mongol. HSDS folks fought around for the dragon sabre, which carried 9 yin, designed for the purpose of hoping something will use it to defeat the Mongols.
    Last edited by S Beaver; 04-06-12 at 02:22 AM.
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    Senior Member IPlayWow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yuet Thi View Post
    That is one of the reason why I dislike stories set in the Qing Dynasty. It just doesn't have that 'wuxia' feeling to it. Everything seems so modern and like you said, there's really no more sects besides the most powerful ones.


    I only like the gathering of the heaven and earth society to bring down the qing leaders in both flying fox and duke of mount deer.

    Seem like people were only after Treasure Island in both duke of mount deer and flying fox. there was treasures hidden somewhere.

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    Senior Member Ian Liew's Avatar
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    Linked Cities/A Deadly Secret never did feel like a Qing story to me. The feel was very much in the Ming or Song dynasty kind of wulin. Many of us felt that it was a Ming dynasty story despite the art in the storybook, so much that Jin Yong had to clarify and explicitly state that it was set in the Qing. That kind of removed a lot of the romance of the setting for me, but plot-wise it still doesn't feel like the Qing.

    Flying Fox doesn't really involve the government much, but the main plot hinges upon political changes, and there were quite a few references to the government, with a few subplots set there. Fu Kangan also makes an appearance in the novel.

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