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Thread: Why is SPW so weird compared to the rest of the Jin Yong canon?

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Default Why is SPW so weird compared to the rest of the Jin Yong canon?

    SPW, while a popular work in Jin Yong's canon of wuxia stories, is an odd duck that's out of place with the rest of the author's creative universe. DGSD, the CONDOR HEROES TRILOGY, and even the stories set during or immediately before the Qing Dynasty follow a consistent set of ground rules in terms of how martial arts work, but SPW pretty much disregards those ground rules. SPW sometimes feels like it's set in an alternate timeline wherein DGSD and the CONDOR HEROES TRILOGY either never happened or happened *very* differently from the official canon, or the story was ghostwritten by another author in Jin Yong's universe with Jin Yong's blessing. It's just not a comfortable fit with the rest of the canon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    SPW, while a popular work in Jin Yong's canon of wuxia stories, is an odd duck that's out of place with the rest of the author's creative universe. DGSD, the CONDOR HEROES TRILOGY, and even the stories set during or immediately before the Qing Dynasty follow a consistent set of ground rules in terms of how martial arts work, but SPW pretty much disregards those ground rules. SPW sometimes feels like it's set in an alternate timeline wherein DGSD and the CONDOR HEROES TRILOGY either never happened or happened *very* differently from the official canon, or the story was ghostwritten by another author in Jin Yong's universe with Jin Yong's blessing. It's just not a comfortable fit with the rest of the canon.
    SPW to me feels like the turning point where all the MA declines and most are dependant on a weapon.

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    Senior Member Mandred Skavenslayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stance View Post
    SPW to me feels like the turning point where all the MA declines and most are dependant on a weapon.
    Book & Sword and Fox Volant of the Snowy Mountain were to me the decline of the Martial Artist, as during these stories individuals really cannot affect the bigger picture.

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    Moderator Ren Wo Xing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    SPW, while a popular work in Jin Yong's canon of wuxia stories, is an odd duck that's out of place with the rest of the author's creative universe. DGSD, the CONDOR HEROES TRILOGY, and even the stories set during or immediately before the Qing Dynasty follow a consistent set of ground rules in terms of how martial arts work, but SPW pretty much disregards those ground rules. SPW sometimes feels like it's set in an alternate timeline wherein DGSD and the CONDOR HEROES TRILOGY either never happened or happened *very* differently from the official canon, or the story was ghostwritten by another author in Jin Yong's universe with Jin Yong's blessing. It's just not a comfortable fit with the rest of the canon.
    Actually, for the most part the SPW universe follows the same ground rules as in his earlier novels. I think the biggest difference comes from two facts - 1) For the first time, the protagonist is a true weapon-specialist (all the others were primarily palm specialists/internal energy specialists, including Xiao Feng, Xu Zhu, Duan Yu, Guo Jing, Yang Guo, Zhang Wuji), and 2) Unlike the Condor Trilogy, the protagonist starts off as an adult scrub and doesn't experience any major timeskip training montage.

    SPW's story happens within a fairly brief period of time compared to the Condor Trilogy, each of which saw the MC grow up from childhood, slowly and progressively learn more/better arts, improve in them, etc. LHC appears as an adult who is decent for his generation, but nothing special - but DG9J is so overwhelmingly hax as a technical art that it makes up for his internal energy deficiencies. For over a quarter of the novel, he basically has no internal energy at all, and even once he does get a 'good' internal energy technique a la XXDF, it has a lot of inherent deficiencies and is kinda evil and so isn't used that much. As a result, the novel itself has to focus much more heavily on the technical side, as opposed to the pure qi brute-forcing stuff we've seen in previous novels - which is a breath of fresh air to me.

    Actually, if we ignore LHC and DG9J, the fighters and ground rules are pretty much in line with the previous novels. DFBB is like a XLN on steroids (imagine if XLN was even faster and could block Jinlun Guoshi's attacks head-on), the second strongest fighter Fang Zheng is a palm-specialist who has incredible internal energy via the Tendon Changing Sutra as we also saw in DGSD, Ren Woxing's usage of Xixing Dafa gives a hint as to what a truly talented Beiming Shengong user might be capable of, Zuo Lengchan specializes in glacial qi, which we have seen in Wei Yixiao/Xuanming Elders in HSDS, Chongxu specializes in the Taiji Sword that was invented in HSDS, and so on. Everything is quite connected to the existing rules and world.

    Yes, there are some truly incredible feats in XAJH that have never been replicated elsewhere, such as Yue Buqun using Divine Art of the Violet Twilight to pass internal energy from behind a wall (which is farkin' crazy), but other novels also have some remarkable feats that don't fully make sense, like what Qiu Chuji did with that huge vat of wine in early LOCH.

    Overall, it's just that DGQB and DG9S are too hax - which is why I classified it as a 'limit breaker' in my Softcap Theory thread. If any Jinyong protagonist started with one of those other hax limit breakers (possible exception of Dragon-Elephant Prajna), the narrative structure would also be quite different - a BMSG protagonist would just run around draining everyone's energy and skyrocket in power, a Sunflower Manual protagonist would basically be speed-blitzing everyone in the known universe, a Taixuanjing protagonist would be pretty much invincible from the very beginning of the story, etc.

    It's not SPW, it's the DG9S technique. It's just too hax. To an extent, I almost feel as though something like it should never have been the 'starter skill' for a protagonist!
    Last edited by Ren Wo Xing; 10-27-21 at 03:51 PM.
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    Senior Member CC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Wo Xing View Post
    a BMSG protagonist would just run around draining everyone's energy and skyrocket in power, !
    Isnt that exactly what happened with DY?

    Yes I hated it.
    Its BIxie Jianfa Gawdammit you guys!!!!

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    Moderator Ren Wo Xing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CC View Post
    Isnt that exactly what happened with DY?

    Yes I hated it.
    Yes and no - DY didn’t really go out of his way to increase his power or suck away people, he remained a fairly pacifist character and wasn’t even really able to actively use BMSG. In a way, him and LHC were similar in that the author made it so that they weren’t really able to use BMSG/XXDF much.

    That said, now imagine if there was no XF and the story was just DY...
    Last edited by Ren Wo Xing; 10-28-21 at 02:35 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Wo Xing View Post
    Yes and no - DY didn’t really go out of his way to increase his power or suck away people, he remained a fairly pacifist character and wasn’t even really able to actively use BMSG. In a way, him and LHC were similar in that the author made it so that they weren’t really able to use BMSG/XXDF much.

    That said, now imagine if there was no XF and the story was just DY...
    As it is, the BMSG powerups that DY have in the novel, is already gawdarn irritating for me.

    If there was no XF in the story? DGSD would probably drop to bottom 3 in my JY novel ranking list.

    Imagine if instead of XF as the example of 'ready-made' protagonist. JY made a protagonist with elite internals and DG9J at the start of the book. Every fight starts and ends with 1. Opponent strikes 2. Surprising Position!!! 3. Instant KO.
    Its BIxie Jianfa Gawdammit you guys!!!!

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    Moderator Ren Wo Xing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CC View Post
    As it is, the BMSG powerups that DY have in the novel, is already gawdarn irritating for me.

    If there was no XF in the story? DGSD would probably drop to bottom 3 in my JY novel ranking list.

    Imagine if instead of XF as the example of 'ready-made' protagonist. JY made a protagonist with elite internals and DG9J at the start of the book. Every fight starts and ends with 1. Opponent strikes 2. Surprising Position!!! 3. Instant KO.
    Agree that DGSD without XF would suck!

    That said, I think your example would be true of any protagonist who starts with elite internals and elite techniques - the book would be boring AF without plot devices to hold them back! It would be even shorter: 1. Overwhelming Dragon Palms! 2) Instant KO.

    In XF’s case, Jinyong gets around that by having him fighting at a forced disadvantage at all times, either self-enforced (Founder Fist vs Shaolin) or by being at a numerical disadvantage. Think about it - how many times did XF have a real 1v1 fight against someone, as opposed to just one or two palm clashes? Similarly, he uses mechanisms to nerf LHC in XAJH for most of the novel.
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    Senior Member CC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Wo Xing View Post
    Agree that DGSD without XF would suck!

    That said, I think your example would be true of any protagonist who starts with elite internals and elite techniques - the book would be boring AF without plot devices to hold them back! It would be even shorter: 1. Overwhelming Dragon Palms! 2) Instant KO.

    In XF’s case, Jinyong gets around that by having him fighting at a forced disadvantage at all times, either self-enforced (Founder Fist vs Shaolin) or by being at a numerical disadvantage. Think about it - how many times did XF have a real 1v1 fight against someone, as opposed to just one or two palm clashes? Similarly, he uses mechanisms to nerf LHC in XAJH for most of the novel.
    Now that I think of it, this seems to be exactly what GL did with FHX in Tianya Mingyue Dao!

    Every single fight, opponent is overwhelming with blade energy that chops down forests of trees or FHX is outnumbered and ambushed with all sorts of tactics or FHX is weak from days of drinking and no eating or whatnot but BAM, the Sabre slashes and instant KO.

    Until the very last fight where GL pulls off a masterpiece final fight twist. BAM! Screw you readers! No fight!
    Last edited by CC; 11-01-21 at 02:31 PM.
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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CC View Post

    Until the very last fight where GL pulls off a masterpiece final fight twist. BAM! Screw you readers! No fight!
    Gu Long: the "Soup Nazi" of wuxia writers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    Gu Long: the "Soup Nazi" of wuxia writers.
    If JY did the Protagonist 1 slash and beats every single fight I would be annoyed (kinda like how I get so very annoyed with DG9J) and if he copped out of the final fight (again like how RWX did not fight LHC) I feel cheated but Gu Long... ah Gu Long. He pulled it off well in TYMYD. I loved that final fight in its own way. In some ways, it is the best final fight in all of wuxiadom.

    Certainly makes more sense than Yan 13 slashing his own throat!
    Last edited by CC; 11-01-21 at 02:33 PM.
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    Well
    As @Ren Wo Xing somehow said before SPW has the different format and settings of writing

    But before the most important part let me say some things

    If you lock at Ode to gallantry you can easily see some initial steps of born of SPW idea in JY mind
    It is true that OTG doesn't have different from other novels at the end but JY tried some things in it
    OTG ended in 19 April 1967 and SPW started in 20 April 1967

    But the important part
    I think at that time( I mean when he was in middle of OTG) JY was heavily influenced by bruce lee and that influence created the some idea(as I said before) and in final it created SPW.
    SPW is about bruce lee
    Actually the principle of 9SOD is very similar(almost the same) with bruce lee's Be like water as he said
    "Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend."
    Not only 9SOD you can see the footprint of Bruce lee , his ideas and his JKD in all chapters and lines and format and settings of SPW,from hybrid MA , speed , strong offense , not fix or patterned MA , aliveness , effectiveness , ......
    If I said SPW is about bruce lee and his thought and is some kind of tribute for him,I was not wrong

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    Senior Member CC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reydge View Post
    Well
    As @Ren Wo Xing somehow said before SPW has the different format and settings of writing

    But before the most important part let me say some things

    If you lock at Ode to gallantry you can easily see some initial steps of born of SPW idea in JY mind
    It is true that OTG doesn't have different from other novels at the end but JY tried some things in it
    OTG ended in 19 April 1967 and SPW started in 20 April 1967

    But the important part
    I think at that time( I mean when he was in middle of OTG) JY was heavily influenced by bruce lee and that influence created the some idea(as I said before) and in final it created SPW.
    SPW is about bruce lee
    Actually the principle of 9SOD is very similar(almost the same) with bruce lee's Be like water as he said

    Not only 9SOD you can see the footprint of Bruce lee , his ideas and his JKD in all chapters and lines and format and settings of SPW,from hybrid MA , speed , strong offense , not fix or patterned MA , aliveness , effectiveness , ......
    If I said SPW is about bruce lee and his thought and is some kind of tribute for him,I was not wrong
    I used to think that way too but Bruce (and by extension JKD) only got explosively famous worldwide after 1970. He was famous in HK earlier due to 'The Kato Show' but that also only started airing in 1966 in the US (not sure when it hit HK) and Bruce started JKD around 1967. So there doesnt seem to be much time for JKD (hey there was no internet back then) to get famous before SPW was written.

    Unless JY had very early access to Bruce Lee's teachings.
    Its BIxie Jianfa Gawdammit you guys!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CC View Post
    I used to think that way too but Bruce (and by extension JKD) only got explosively famous worldwide after 1970. He was famous in HK earlier due to 'The Kato Show' but that also only started airing in 1966 in the US (not sure when it hit HK) and Bruce started JKD around 1967. So there doesnt seem to be much time for JKD (hey there was no internet back then) to get famous before SPW was written.

    Unless JY had very early access to Bruce Lee's teachings.
    This level of similarity can not be accidental.
    I think JY Became aware about BL and his ideas before that date

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    Quote Originally Posted by CC View Post
    If JY did the Protagonist 1 slash and beats every single fight I would be annoyed (kinda like how I get so very annoyed with DG9J) and if he copped out of the final fight (again like how RWX did not fight LHC) I feel cheated but Gu Long... ah Gu Long. He pulled it off well in TYMYD. I loved that final fight in its own way. In some ways, it is the best final fight in all of wuxiadom.

    Certainly makes more sense than Yan 13 slashing his own throat!
    I agree, and I think the reason that GL made it work because it was the narrative that really drove that novel, as opposed to the martial arts per se. TYMYD was about perseverance and struggle and maintaining faith in yourself and your beliefs, which made it all the more apropos that Fu Hongxue won without needing to fight - because his opponent had already lost those things.

    On a different note, TYMYD almost reminds me of One Punch Man in a way - we know Fu Hongxue's gonna **** shit up with one chop of his sabre, but each time we can't help wonder if this is the time it is going to go different because of A/B/C reasons...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Wo Xing View Post

    On a different note, TYMYD almost reminds me of One Punch Man in a way - we know Fu Hongxue's gonna **** shit up with one chop of his sabre, but each time we can't help wonder if this is the time it is going to go different because of A/B/C reasons...
    And the final fight was so very.. King?
    Its BIxie Jianfa Gawdammit you guys!!!!

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