luo guanzhong as literature

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luo guanzhong as literature

Unread postby nanban » Mon May 20, 2019 3:50 pm

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hey guys is luo guanzhong's books even worth reading???

like seriously, after years of playing dynasty warriors on my playstation i picked up this book recently and read about some people called the "Yellow Scarves"...what is that supposed to be like the Falun Gong or something?

i really wasn't feeling it...it was like i was watching a cartoon...should i give it an honest read? i will most certainly if you guys think it is worth it like there is some real cultural merit or even real lessons to be learned and philosophy and quality literature and stuff within its contents
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Re: luo guanzhong as literature

Unread postby Jia Nanfeng » Mon May 20, 2019 8:27 pm

The Yellow Scarves are the Yellow Turban Rebellion. They appear in the Dynasty Warriors games you’ve played, as the Yellow Turbans of Zhang Jue.

There is of course cultural merit — the Romance of the Three Kingdoms is considered to be one of the four great Chinese classics for a reason!

It can be “cartoony” in that there are mystical and fantastical elements added to the history, but personally I don’t find it off-putting. The historical accuracy of the novel varies from page to page — you’ll get a foundational understanding of the time period and figures, but much additional research would be needed beyond the novel if you’re looking for a history lesson.

Given the nature of this forum, I think most of us will recommend reading it because, well, it’s part of our hobby. But if you’ve found it to be a struggle to read so far, then no point in being miserable. Find something else you enjoy.
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Re: luo guanzhong as literature

Unread postby Sun Fin » Mon May 20, 2019 8:33 pm

Personally, I've read it more times than I can count on my fingers and love it! I would recommend giving it a proper go. You'l certainly learn more about the history from the novel than you have from DW games. You'll discover that some people that Koei write of as minor characters are actually important and there are some people that Koei love that really don't matter much at all!
Have a question about a book or academic article before you buy it? Maybe I have it!
Check out my library here for a list of Chinese history resources I have on hand!
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Re: luo guanzhong as literature

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue May 21, 2019 12:47 pm

Welcome to forum nanban

Falun Gong wasn't around at the time

I would more says Arthurian legend rather then cartoon if describing style but in terms of worth reading? I would say so yes or at least giving a proper try (there is no book that will appeal to everyone). It has an eye for the cliff hanger, it's main characters are well written with compelling antagonist, it covers politics, plotting, lots of battles (it tends to go for duels and grand strategy), friendships and rivalries. It does have romance and magic but that only in limited amount, it still has the ability to pull people towards it's cause. A few things haven't aged well (or culturally, some examples of goodness just feel odd now) but it's readability still does.

i will most certainly if you guys think it is worth it like there is some real cultural merit or even real lessons to be learned and philosophy and quality literature and stuff within its contents


It does have cultural merit. It, as one of the biggest sellers, one of the most important novels of not just Chinese history but the world, it has hugely shaped not just views about the era but culture, it is telling of the culture of when written and shaped what is to come. It has a lot of poetry in it, for some it is their intro to the history of the era (though history and novel very different)
“You, are a rebellious son who abandoned his father. You are a cruel brigand who murdered his lord. How can Heaven and Earth put up with you for long? And unless you die soon, how can you face the sight of men?”

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Re: luo guanzhong as literature

Unread postby Deej » Fri May 31, 2019 12:11 pm

Hello and welcome Nanban,

Most points have been covered really but I thought I'd add my piece.

The books material is what inspired all of us hobbyists in one way or another, it inspired Dynasty Warriors and the TV show. It inspired ROTK video game series as well as multiple prominent movies.

I think you'd be doing yourself a disservice not giving it an honest rear. That being said, it can be a tough read for some and as such, I thoroughly recommend you pick up an abridged version. Moss Roberts has a very readable version and it's readily available on Amazon.

I hope you enjoy your time here!
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