Wuxia Documentary Previews

Below are a couple clips from an upcoming documentary on the history and development of wuxia literature in Taiwan. No word yet on when the documentary will be ready for release. Below each video I have posted a rough translation, with the names of the people featured in each clip listed in order, followed by a translation of what they say.

Su Xiaohuan (蘇小歡) – wuxia author

Wuxia novels’ most charming aspect is that it’s a magnificent imaginary world

Qin Hong (秦紅) – wuxia author

Wuxia novels are a kind of “not have” thing, in Taiwanese we say, “you have no rice but want to cook a rice cake”. It’s a thing that is totally unlike real life.

Di Yi (荻宜) – wuxia author

In wuxia novels, there is a broad, expansive world.

Yu Lingyan (玉翎燕) – wuxia author

Wuxia novels can let you feel powerful and unconstrained, can let you put yourself in the role of main character. Ai Ya! Elated, the gratitude and enmity. The male characters are all very heroic and strong, the female characters are all beautiful, so good, inside [the novel] I can travel to the very firmament, very happy.

Liu Canyang (柳殘陽0 – wuxia author

The difference between writing wuxia and writing other novels is the difference in time and space, you can use your own thinking, or method to create this big development.

Shangguan Ding (上官鼎) – wuxia author

We feel that the most important word regarding wuxia novels is “Xia” (俠). If in the novel you cannot express “Xia”, this concept of chivalric justice/righteousness, then I don’t think it can be called a wuxia novel.

Jin Yong (金庸) – wuxia author

By writing novels I hope to promote the essence of chivalric justice

Wen Rui’an (溫瑞安) – wuxia author

At the bottom of your heart there is this chivalrous sentiment, the hopes of the people, the righteousness of the world, this is from the very beginning what I was searching for in writing wuxia novels.

Ni Kuang (倪匡) – wuxia author

Wuxia is a suitable genre for Chinese people because in wuxia the bad people always come to a bad end.

Zhang Zongrong (張宗榮) – wuxia director and actor

Ni Kuang (倪匡) – wuxia author

Wuxia is a suitable genre for Chinese people because in wuxia the bad people always come to a bad end, while in real life bad people often don’t come to a bad end, so wuxia is a way for people to escape from reality

Wen Rui’an (溫瑞安) – wuxia author

During the 60s-70s to the beginning of the 80s, all of wuxia literature rose from Taiwan authors. You can’t say Hong Kong had Jin Yong, “one person can defeat ten-thousand”, is he Xiang Yu? Xiang Yu didn’t come to a good end. He certainly can encompass each writer’s achievements, that’s what everyone says, but how many writers is that? Most of them came from Taiwan.

Jin Yong (金庸) – wuxia wuthor

By writing novels I hope to promote the essence of chivalric justice, can sacrifice oneself or not be concerned about oneself’s own benefit, but instead help others, do the things you’re supposed to do.

Shangguan Ding (上官鼎) – wuxia author

We used to grab a wuxia novel and read in our spare time, often hiding somewhere to read. A lot of people read during class. That kind of joy now is almost non-existent.

Ye Hongsheng (葉洪生) – wuxia scholar

The Jade Hairpin Oath can be regarded as Wolong Sheng (臥龍生) most famous and popular novel. Starting from that novel, all of wuxia literature came to know the Damo Yijin jing (Dharma Muscle/Tendon Change Classic), then the Shaolin Temple’s consummat martial arts, the 72 Secret Arts, then at that time wulin has nine big main martial arts schools, those were all organized and set up by Wolong Sheng. Including later on the descriptions of unifying the wulin, that concept also was first conceived by Wolong Sheng. Jin Yong had those ideas later than Wolong Sheng, three, four, or maybe even five years later.

Gong Pengcheng (龔鵬程) – wuxia scholar

Taiwan’s literary circle never looked at the literary achievements of popular fiction, it was just used fun literature, just read for pleasure, among the literati no one ever talked about wuxia literature. So Gu Long said, people who write wuxia, we should regard as literary writers, don’t look at him and say he is not literature, this, this issue, Gu Long all his life struggled in his heart with, he cared about it, he always hoped he could breakthrough so that people would recognize his work as literature.

Li Ping Nuoni (李馮娜妮) – Gu Long’s close friend

Actually, at the time Gu Long was writing novels, one time he had nowhere to go, so Sunday he went with my husband an I and we took our kids to the movies. To Ximending. My husband was leading the kids in front and I was walking with him a little behind, and we bumped into an old co-worker from Guangzhou. He told him we were taking the kids to the movies. And your wife? My husband introduced us, and he said, oh! the young master is so big (meaning Gu Long). So I said to Gu Long, I’m your mother…

Every week he would go with us to watch movies. One time we were see a 007 film, my husband said, he said these wuxia novels, if they aren’t about avenging a father’s death they are about avenging the theft of one’s wife, all day long these old things, he said look at nowadays, such as 007, he used all these new weapons, you can use that kind of thing in your writing. Later he did write like that, with the result that he created somethign new, right? Because it wasn’t avenging a father’s murder or stealing someone’s wife, these two storylines, but rather he used a completely new style to write, just like my husband wrote a novel called Purple Drifitng Fragrance, he said that fragrance was great, I just used a Chu Liuxiang, in the end Chu Liuxiang became popular.

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