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Thread: What's the one quote or moral from a JY novel that had an impact on your life?

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    Default What's the one quote or moral from a JY novel that had an impact on your life?

    It's quite remarkable how influential authors can be. Even though we live in different parts of the world, have vastly different beliefs and interests, come from different generations, and live different lives, we have all enjoyed JY's writings.

    This forum has been pretty fun and also provided some intense discussions. It's died down quite a fair bit with time - perhaps many topics have already been discussed, or perhaps active users have moved on with life. (or perhaps people simply gave up posting because the system keeps prompting a login error, forcing a third retype of this, bloody hell).

    In remembrance of the great man, I wanted to find out what was the one quote/mini-story/moral/teaching from JY's novels that have impacted your life?

    For me, it has to be from DGSD, simply the best mandarin novel I have read.

    There are many fantastic moments, but this one in particular stood out for me. Heroes' Gathering at Shaolin. Xiao Feng had just wrestled A-Zhi from Ding Chunqiu, but now faces additional challenges from You Tanzhi and Murong Fu. There was also open hostility from most of the folks gathered, including the hosts Shaolin - looking to avenge a murder XF was framed for, and Beggars' Sect - who have ousted him from leadership.

    Amidst all the "heroes", the righteous, the orthodox, the wise, the respected, it was a bunch of ostracised oddballs who stood by XF. Ah Zhi - scheming and ruthless, but perhaps so because she felt bullied and unaccepted. Duan Yu, a sissyboy who could never live up to others' expectations. Xu Zhu, a lowly monk that others looked down on, who acknowledged XF despite never having met him previously. They stood by XF in a moment of extreme danger, knowing the risks it possessed.

    The sands of fortune turns for all our lives. We will have ups and downs. In the good times, we are often able to find people to share our joy, people who would add to the fun and enjoyment. And we tend to deliberately avoid the social rejects, who see boring and un-fun and weird. But in the down times, I always find it surprising how friends are quick to distance themselves, wary of their own liabilities. Instead, it is often the very same social rejects, who lend a helping hand and a supporting stance, even if it costs them proportionately more. Perhaps a common thread of empathy binds those who have gone through really hard times, which others would not understand.

    The hypocrisy of societal judgement, our handling of relationships, and the irony that these often carry are central themes in DGSD, which explores the extreme highs and lows of life of people of different status. It is why it is a book that has always retained relevance, in any era, in future eras.


    誉抢上去拉着虚竹的手,转身向萧峰道:大哥,这也是我的结义哥哥。他出家时法名虚竹,还俗后叫虚竹子。咱 二人结拜之时,将你也结拜在内了。二哥,快来拜见大哥。虚竹当即上前,跪下嗑头,说道::大哥在上,小弟 叩见。

    萧峰微微一笑,心想:兄弟做事有点呆气,他和人结拜,竟将我也结拜在内。我死在顷刻,情势凶险无比,但这 人不怕艰危,挺身而出,足见是个重义轻生的大丈夫、好汉子。萧峰和这种人相结为兄弟,却也不枉了。当即跪 倒,说道:兄弟,萧某得能结交你这等英雄好汉,欢喜得紧。两个相对拜了八拜,竟然在天下英雄之前,义结 金兰

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    Nice thread.

    Perhaps, I will like to articulate ZWJ's forgiving nature: e.g. he did not seek revenge against those who are somewhat "responsible" for his parents' deaths and Xuanming Elders for injuring him when young.

    Very often in life, one is likely to be offended and belittled by others. Maybe these people may have a "reason" for doing so. Just forgive and forget.

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    Beware of pretty women - the prettier they are, the more likely they'll deceive you.

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    Don't know if it was in the original LOCH novel, but at least in the 1983 TVB adaptation, Gwok Jing left Genghis Khan with some powerful words: "The glory of your conquests is peerless under heaven, but do you know what was the cost of your glory? It's the blood and corpses of hundreds of thousands of soldiers, and the tears of their wives and children!"

    That quote, and a somewhat similar comment to Kublai Khan in ROCH, are all you need to know about the character of Gwok Jing.

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    Recently I met some environmentalists.

    In a perverse way, but I must also qualify that this is a truly complex world, they have admiration for Genghis Khan and the wars he fought. To them, the wars... has historically been a way o check the human population (not just for this generation, but the generations they will otherwise produce).

    Of course the problem is that a) 1 in 200 men are descendants of Genghis Khan - so he created a large number and 2) Historical accounts paint Genghis as a really wise leader, who dramatised his killings and barbarism, to intimidate opposition so that he could conquer with minimal losses. By most accounts, he was fairly tolerant of different cultures and ways of life. Really impressive in his thinking.

    Anyway back to the environmentalists - this is fairly controversial but so are some of themes explored in Wuxia I guess. Since humans gained dominance as the lead species, every measure of the health of the planet apparently has deteriorated. There have been more extinctions of animals, and with each year, a higher risk of us screwing up Earth.
    Some of them have been pretty selfless in their ways: clearing trash from the seas out of their pocket and time, but also carry with them this belief that random extermination of people is a pretty useful thing in general.

    Really shows the complexity of humans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WuxiaMaster View Post
    Beware of pretty women - the prettier they are, the more likely they'll deceive you.
    Princess Fragrance?

    The supposedly prettiest in HSDS is XZ. Yes, did not reveal her true identity at the beginning.
    The second ZZR? Yes, telling lies and worse, blame everything on ZM.
    The third ZM? Yes too. Putting supposedly "medicine" on ZZR's bite but is poison.
    The fourth Yin-er. Yes, the theory works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by juvetb View Post
    Recently I met some environmentalists.

    In a perverse way, but I must also qualify that this is a truly complex world, they have admiration for Genghis Khan and the wars he fought. To them, the wars... has historically been a way o check the human population (not just for this generation, but the generations they will otherwise produce).
    A very controversial topic: Heard a conversation about the same thing as Nazi conquest of Europe.

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    from xiao au jiang hu... too many ye bu qun in real life (usually refer to government of countries)

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    Senior Member Mandred Skavenslayer's Avatar
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    Not sure if it was in the novel, but in the end of, 1986 Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre, Z3F telling ZWJ, "what is more important, being a hero worshipped by the masses or being true to yourself and protecting an innocence lady. The choice is yours" This just sums up what it means to be a 'True Man'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    Don't know if it was in the original LOCH novel, but at least in the 1983 TVB adaptation, Gwok Jing left Genghis Khan with some powerful words: "The glory of your conquests is peerless under heaven, but do you know what was the cost of your glory? It's the blood and corpses of hundreds of thousands of soldiers, and the tears of their wives and children!"

    That quote, and a somewhat similar comment to Kublai Khan in ROCH, are all you need to know about the character of Gwok Jing.

    "The glory of your conquests is peerless under heaven, but do you know what was the cost of your glory? It's the blood and corpses of hundreds of thousands of soldiers, and the tears of their wives and children!"

    Very good one Ken. I wonder why people go to war back in the old days. Life was short and vulnerable to sicknesses and diseases. You can die at any moment. Why not enjoy the simple simple life with your loved ones? You can't take all the gold and treasures with you.

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    Very thought-provoking post juvetb - thank you for asking.

    I cannot really say that there has been a "quote/mini-story/moral/teaching" that has really affected my life, but at the same time, those themes and storylines have often been the background music to my life, so to speak, and given much food for thought.

    One "moral", if one might call it that, I have often mulled over is the message JY made pretty clearly in LOCH - that no matter where a Chinese person grows up, no matter what his upbringing is, for him/her not to be loyal to China represents a great moral failing. To what extent should we be bound by our genes? There must be millions of people of Chinese descent that grew up in the United States, just like Guo Jing and Yang Kang did under the Mongol and Jin rulers. Where should their allegiances be? This isn't an academic question either, given the tensions between the two great superpowers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by juvetb View Post

    ...they have admiration for Genghis Khan and the wars he fought. To them, the wars... has historically been a way o check the human population (not just for this generation, but the generations they will otherwise produce).

    ...Since humans gained dominance as the lead species, every measure of the health of the planet apparently has deteriorated.
    A couple of quick thoughts:

    - The effects that human activity are having on our planet are all too real, and all too tragic - for the great majority of species whose survival is threatened by human activity in all its forms, and ultimately for ourselves.

    - There is no doubt that the cessation or removal of human activity can allow many species that would not be able to coexist with man to flourish. Two good examples are Korea's Demilitarized Zone - a haven for wildlife "protected" by the border guards of North and South Korea - and the area vacated by humans after the Chernobyl explosion.

    - By destroying cities and even more importantly, devastating the means of supporting human existence over large parts of Iran (Iranian audiences watching the Mainland version of LOCH have very different perceptions of Genghis Khan), Genghis Khan's military operations no doubt resulted in huge areas reverting back to wilderness. But by the same token, the so-called Pax Mongolica of a generation or two later allowed trade to be carried out across huge areas controlled by the empire.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trien Chieu View Post
    I wonder why people go to war back in the old days. Life was short and vulnerable to sicknesses and diseases. You can die at any moment. Why not enjoy the simple simple life with your loved ones? You can't take all the gold and treasures with you.
    The answer is very simple. For a large part of human history war and conquest have been a good way - and indeed one of the few ways - for nomadic peoples, or those living in harsh regions where agriculture is difficult, to improve their standard of living. If you were a 16 or 17-year old growing up in Scandinavia during the 9th or 10th century AD, for instance, you had two choices - scratch out a living working on a farm all your life, or sign up to go a-viking, see foreign lands, and hopefully come back with their riches (gold, slaves, etc). Obviously a fair few went to Valhalla instead, but for some considerable time, being a raider was a pretty worthwhile career option. The hoards buried all over Scandinavia, with coins from as far as the Middle East, testify to that. There is a well-known section in the sagas where an Icelander returned to Iceland after serving as a mercenary in the Varangian Guard, and all the men and women admired the clothes, the sword, etc., he had brought back from Byzantium. Much the same would hold true for a kid growing up on the Eurasian steppe. For the ambitious, there would be the chance of winning promotion and command; but most of those who joined the Mongol tumens (or in past eras, the Huns, Xiongnu or other raiders from Central Asia) probably just hoped to bring back some southern luxuries to soften up life on the steppe. Combine that with the youthful lust for action and excitement that I can just about still remember, and it's easy to see why men from those cultures willingly went to war.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patudo View Post
    One "moral", if one might call it that, I have often mulled over is the message JY made pretty clearly in LOCH - that no matter where a Chinese person grows up, no matter what his upbringing is, for him/her not to be loyal to China represents a great moral failing. To what extent should we be bound by our genes? There must be millions of people of Chinese descent that grew up in the United States, just like Guo Jing and Yang Kang did under the Mongol and Jin rulers. Where should their allegiances be? This isn't an academic question either, given the tensions between the two great superpowers.
    I like this point about allegiance. Indeed i was giving some thoughts to it recently. Should one be loyal to his/her country or oneself? Consider GJ. His mum somewhat noted that no matter how "bad" the Sung emperor/dynasty was, he is still a Sung citizen and hence must never betray the Sung country.

    Now consider ZM. Is she considered a traitor? Especially towards the end of HSDS, she witnessed the defeat of her own Mongolian troops. Should she break off with ZWJ to be back to her own country? Does she feel bad with the need to tell lies to the "old couple" that she is a "Chinese"?

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    15 years ago, i read a translation of this line, uttered by guo xiang in hsds

    朋友相交,贵在知心,这些俗礼算得了甚么?
    (the translation was a rather brief 'real friends need no formalities')

    which sparked off my love of wuxia

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    Quote Originally Posted by wkeej View Post
    Now consider ZM. Is she considered a traitor? Especially towards the end of HSDS, she witnessed the defeat of her own Mongolian troops. Should she break off with ZWJ to be back to her own country?
    Well, flip it around and bring the era forward to the present day. Daughter of a PRC official goes to somewhere in what in the HSDS era would have been called the "Western Region" (西域) to enforce PRC rule over an area where the locals are, shall we say, dissatisfied. Meets a charismatic local who is involved in resistance/terrorism (depending on who you speak to) activities.
    At first she is actively working to suppress his organization/religion, then becomes drawn to him and eventually goes over to his side. How would she be viewed by her own ethnicity (and certainly her government)?

    She'd be put up against a wall and shot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wkeej View Post
    I like this point about allegiance. Indeed i was giving some thoughts to it recently. Should one be loyal to his/her country or oneself? Consider GJ. His mum somewhat noted that no matter how "bad" the Sung emperor/dynasty was, he is still a Sung citizen and hence must never betray the Sung country.

    Now consider ZM. Is she considered a traitor? Especially towards the end of HSDS, she witnessed the defeat of her own Mongolian troops. Should she break off with ZWJ to be back to her own country? Does she feel bad with the need to tell lies to the "old couple" that she is a "Chinese"?
    GJ mom and ZM are different people. Do not put them in the same category. GJ mom would sacrifice herself, her only son and all her loved ones for the greater good of her country and people. ZM would not hesitate to genocide against her own people including her own loved ones as long as she can be with ZWJ. Those Mongolian troops meant nothing to her.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trien Chieu View Post
    GJ mom and ZM are different people. Do not put them in the same category. GJ mom would sacrifice herself, her only son and all her loved ones for the greater good of her country and people. ZM would not hesitate to genocide against her own people including her own loved ones as long as she can be with ZWJ. Those Mongolian troops meant nothing to her.
    Apart from your own prejudice what are you basing your comments on ZM on? Please give me a single example of ZM showing any genocidal tendencies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandred Skavenslayer View Post
    Apart from your own prejudice what are you basing your comments on ZM on? Please give me a single example of ZM showing any genocidal tendencies.
    In order to be with ZWJ, she was willing to leave her people vulnerable when her side is losing to the rebels. She did not genocide against her people, but she left her people during critical time that is vulnerable to be genocide by the rebel. Would Li Ping do that? Would GJ do that? She put her personal interest above common people she supposed to serve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patudo View Post
    The answer is very simple. For a large part of human history war and conquest have been a good way - and indeed one of the few ways - for nomadic peoples, or those living in harsh regions where agriculture is difficult, to improve their standard of living. If you were a 16 or 17-year old growing up in Scandinavia during the 9th or 10th century AD, for instance, you had two choices - scratch out a living working on a farm all your life, or sign up to go a-viking, see foreign lands, and hopefully come back with their riches (gold, slaves, etc). Obviously a fair few went to Valhalla instead, but for some considerable time, being a raider was a pretty worthwhile career option. The hoards buried all over Scandinavia, with coins from as far as the Middle East, testify to that. There is a well-known section in the sagas where an Icelander returned to Iceland after serving as a mercenary in the Varangian Guard, and all the men and women admired the clothes, the sword, etc., he had brought back from Byzantium. Much the same would hold true for a kid growing up on the Eurasian steppe. For the ambitious, there would be the chance of winning promotion and command; but most of those who joined the Mongol tumens (or in past eras, the Huns, Xiongnu or other raiders from Central Asia) probably just hoped to bring back some southern luxuries to soften up life on the steppe. Combine that with the youthful lust for action and excitement that I can just about still remember, and it's easy to see why men from those cultures willingly went to war.
    I would try to move to a better place that has better opportunity to improve my life. If that option is not possible, I would rather be a poor farmer living frugally to get by. I would not go to war to rob/loot the wealth from other civilizations. War should only for self defense, not for robbing/looting other people. If you are poor then you need to work hard, live below your means and live responsibly in order to move up the social ladder. It's something I believe in and doing all my life. For example, I don't want to live on rent forever so I save up every bit I could so that I can afford to buy a house in the future. I would never rob/loot from other people to get rich.

    DO NOT DO TO OTHERS WHAT YOU DO NOT WANT DONE TO YOURSELF!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trien Chieu View Post
    In order to be with ZWJ, she was willing to leave her people vulnerable when her side is losing to the rebels. She did not genocide against her people, but she left her people during critical time that is vulnerable to be genocide by the rebel. Would Li Ping do that? Would GJ do that? She put her personal interest above common people she supposed to serve.
    You could make the same argument against Yang Gou,do you consider his actions genocidal?

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