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Thread: Was SENTIMENTAL SWORDSMAN, RUTHLESS SWORD actually supposed to be about Ah Fei?

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Default Was SENTIMENTAL SWORDSMAN, RUTHLESS SWORD actually supposed to be about Ah Fei?

    SENTIMENTAL SWORDSMAN, RUTHLESS SWORD is known primarily as the story of Lee Chum Foon, but do you think that perhaps Gu Long originally intended it to be the story of Ah Fei (but got sidetracked because Lee Chum Foon was such a compelling character)? Lee Chum Foon was sentimental, but he was not particularly known as a swordsman. His claim to fame was his flying dagger, not his swordsmanship, which was good, but likely inferior to that of Ah Fei, Ging Mo Meng, and Gwok Sung Yeung. Ah Fei, too, was sentimental (particularly after meeting Lam Sin Yee), and of course, he was a swordsman extraordinaire (moreso than Lee Chum Foon ever was). Ah Fei shared roughly the same "face time" in the story as Lee Chum Foon did, and he fit the young wuxia hero mold more than Lee Chum Foon (who was much older) did.

    So was SENTIMENTAL SWORDSMAN, RUTHLESS SWORD actually supposed to feature Ah Fei as the main character?

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    Senior Member CC's Avatar
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    In Chinese, Duo Qing Jian Ke can be translated into either Sentimental SwordsMAN or SwordsMEN.

    So it could refer to both.

    Personally, I think that GL didn't give a crap because the title sounds really cool and thats all the reason you need.

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CC View Post
    In Chinese, Duo Qing Jian Ke can be translated into either Sentimental SwordsMAN or SwordsMEN.

    So it could refer to both.

    Personally, I think that GL didn't give a crap because the title sounds really cool and thats all the reason you need.
    He could have just called it "Siu Lee Fei Do" (LITTLE LEE'S FLYING DAGGER) like all the adaptations subsequently did and saved himself the trouble of writing all those characters.

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    Senior Member PJ's Avatar
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    The original working title of the novel was Fengyun Diyi Dao --> The #1 Dagger of the World. So we know that he did intend it to be about The Little Li of Flying Dagger, The Flying Dagger of Little Li, LITTLE LI FLYING DAGGER Li Xunhuan.

    And I agree with this assertion of hilarity:

    Quote Originally Posted by CC
    Personally, I think that GL didn't give a crap because the title sounds really cool and thats all the reason you need.
    忽见柳荫下两个小孩子在哀哀痛哭,瞧模样正是武敦儒、武修文兄弟。郭芙大声叫道:「喂,你们在干甚麽?」武 修文回头见是郭芙,哭道:「我们在哭,你不见麽?」

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    Senior Member PJ's Avatar
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    As far as Sentimental SwordsmAn or SwordsmEn - I see sentimental as referring to Little Li Flying Dagger Li Xunhuan and Ah Fei, while ruthless as referring to everybody else, i.e. Apex Sword Guo Songyang, Shangguan Jinhong (even though he didn't use a sword), Jin Wuming, Mr. Long Xiaoyun, etc.
    忽见柳荫下两个小孩子在哀哀痛哭,瞧模样正是武敦儒、武修文兄弟。郭芙大声叫道:「喂,你们在干甚麽?」武 修文回头见是郭芙,哭道:「我们在哭,你不见麽?」

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    I never really liked the translations of "sentimental" and "ruthless" that were used to for "duoqing" and "wuqing". I think closer translations would have been "compassionate" and "emotionless". Personally, I think the "duoqing" classification was used to describe how the swordsmen valued friendship above all else, including romantic love. It was the case for Li, Ah Fei, Li's bodyguard, Guo Songyang (who wasn't ruthless by the way), and so many others. I was always under the impression that Gu Long himself always valued friendship way more than romantical love, and it shows through in his writing.

    The "wuqing" part of the title, I felt, referred to the fact that even though the swordsman may be compassionate, his sword is often emotionless. Kind of like the chinese metaphor "swords and blades have no eyes". I feel it as more of a narrative Gu Long was trying to express about the world in general. Even though humans can have compassion, often events and the causality of reality is emotionless. Tragic events can happen for no good reason at all. It is very much inline with the semi-existentialist overtones that is prevalent all over Gu Long's works.
    明月心跳起來,又回頭,嫣然道,你還要不要我帶上那面具?
    傅紅雪冷道,現在你臉上豈非已經戴上了個面具?

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    Senior Member CC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bliss View Post
    I never really liked the translations of "sentimental" and "ruthless" that were used to for "duoqing" and "wuqing". I think closer translations would have been "compassionate" and "emotionless". Personally, I think the "duoqing" classification was used to describe how the swordsmen valued friendship above all else, including romantic love. It was the case for Li, Ah Fei, Li's bodyguard, Guo Songyang (who wasn't ruthless by the way), and so many others. I was always under the impression that Gu Long himself always valued friendship way more than romantical love, and it shows through in his writing.

    The "wuqing" part of the title, I felt, referred to the fact that even though the swordsman may be compassionate, his sword is often emotionless. Kind of like the chinese metaphor "swords and blades have no eyes". I feel it as more of a narrative Gu Long was trying to express about the world in general. Even though humans can have compassion, often events and the causality of reality is emotionless. Tragic events can happen for no good reason at all. It is very much inline with the semi-existentialist overtones that is prevalent all over Gu Long's works.
    Agree on 'sentimental' being not such a good word to replace Duoqing. But compassionate doesn't cut it either. A lot of it was about love and friendship between friends so maybe 'Passionate' or 'Emotional' would be a better fit.

    'Passionate Swordsmen, Emotionless Blades'?

    'Emotional Swordsmen' just brings images of unstable sensitive new age metrosexual crybabies. Not my idea of cool wuxia heroes.
    Its BIxie Jianfa Gawdammit you guys!!!!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Dirt's Avatar
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    Emo Swordsman, Punk Rock Sword.

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    Senior Member PJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CC View Post
    Agree on 'sentimental' being not such a good word to replace Duoqing. But compassionate doesn't cut it either. A lot of it was about love and friendship between friends so maybe 'Passionate' or 'Emotional' would be a better fit.
    How about Super-Dramatic Swordsman, Drama-Free Blade?
    忽见柳荫下两个小孩子在哀哀痛哭,瞧模样正是武敦儒、武修文兄弟。郭芙大声叫道:「喂,你们在干甚麽?」武 修文回头见是郭芙,哭道:「我们在哭,你不见麽?」

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    Senior Member mawguy's Avatar
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    we're reinventing titles? fun! my contribution: manic-depressant swordsman, prozac'd sword.
    nostalgic for wuxiasociety? http://wuxiasociety.freeforums.net/

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    Senior Member PJ's Avatar
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    Since wuxia is supposed to be written for the common man, how about something less eloquent and more straight-to-the-point:

    Swordsmen With Screwed-Up Lives and Blades That Hurt!

    .
    .
    /
    Last edited by PJ; 08-30-10 at 07:48 PM.
    忽见柳荫下两个小孩子在哀哀痛哭,瞧模样正是武敦儒、武修文兄弟。郭芙大声叫道:「喂,你们在干甚麽?」武 修文回头见是郭芙,哭道:「我们在哭,你不见麽?」

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    Member Vic85's Avatar
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    i havent read this novel yet but i think i already watched the movie. it's a really really long series. I thought ah fei was also the main character as well.

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