Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Sun Fin » Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:04 am

That doesn't surprise me, I was dubious about that book, which is why its not on any lists anywhere else!

I frequently forget that KMA has content beyond SGZ biographies, and I really shouldn't :oops:.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Jia Nanfeng » Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:11 pm

I used to have that book. (I ended up giving it to a friend who is a Zhuge Liang lover.) There’s nothing in it that confirms it’s actually ZGL’s work so I’m inclined to agree with zirroxas that it is likely a later attribution.

I liked the book though, mainly because It reads well; easy to follow. Other Art of War-related books I’ve read tend to get overly dry.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby mendedties » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:15 am

Thanks friends. I've seen sporadic quotations from him, and some Chinese editions of his collected writings, but don't know how broad the sources for them reach. I'm hoping the fact that the anthology I mentioned was compiled by Chen Shou means it still survives along with SGZ. I would love to know if I can look forward to reading it in full once I finally resume learning the language.

zirroxas wrote:From what I can tell this particular work is not actually his historical writings preserved by Chen Shou but a much later Taoist tradition popularly attributed to him. There aren't any direct references back to the SGZ or other historical texts.

Here's another link: http://kongming.net/novel/writings/wotg/


Thanks for that! I notice in his introduction Cleary mentions this one was "preserved in the Taoist canon." Given Cleary also attributes Mastering the Art of War to Zhuge, any idea if this one is of similarly dubious authorship?
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby zirroxas » Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:32 pm

mendedties wrote:Thanks for that! I notice in his introduction Cleary mentions this one was "preserved in the Taoist canon." Given Cleary also attributes Mastering the Art of War to Zhuge, any idea if this one is of similarly dubious authorship?


This is Mastering the Art of War, technically. Mastering the Art of War is the name of Cleary's book in which he compiled these essays.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby mendedties » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:35 am

zirroxas wrote:This is Mastering the Art of War, technically. Mastering the Art of War is the name of Cleary's book in which he compiled these essays.


Ohhhhhh.

Okay. Thank you!
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Qin Feng » Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:27 pm

How do you guys judge Zhuge Liang on the battlefield?
Clearly, the novel portrays him as a man who can do anything and excel at it, but I've heard that in history he defeated Sima Yi a couple of times across his expeditions. Considering the situation Shu was in, do you think Zhuge Liang performed well or was he just a bad general?
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby zirroxas » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:21 pm

Qin Feng wrote:How do you guys judge Zhuge Liang on the battlefield?
Clearly, the novel portrays him as a man who can do anything and excel at it, but I've heard that in history he defeated Sima Yi a couple of times across his expeditions. Considering the situation Shu was in, do you think Zhuge Liang performed well or was he just a bad general?


It's difficult to say. My general impression is that while he wasn't incompetent by any stretch of the imagination, he ended up having the wrong priorities at a time when Shu really couldn't afford to be wasteful with its resources. It's not so much that he bungled the Northern Campaigns. The Northern Campaigns probably went about as well as could be expected; he just had unrealistic expectations for them.

He seemed to have excellent ideas for larger objectives and military organization, which was admired by later academics, but his micromanagement of his campaigns became an issue because it caused him to lose sight of the details and misjudge the reality of his situation in a haze of planning for the future. I'm not sure if it was determination or fatalism, but he became unreasonably fixated on a specific operational vision even as circumstances made it increasingly untenable.

I haven't gotten a chance to do a deep dive into his campaigns yet. I hope to someday be able to write a fully evaluation of his expeditions, which have gotten more interesting to me as time has gone on.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Qin Feng » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:44 pm

Well, I'd love to read anything you can write about it because I do find them really interesting myself. Would you recommend any particular sources for this topic?
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby zirroxas » Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:37 pm

Qin Feng wrote:Well, I'd love to read anything you can write about it because I do find them really interesting myself. Would you recommend any particular sources for this topic?


There's only been one Western paper I've read on the subject, by one John Killigrew. However, I have several issues with some of the assumptions and inferences he makes on the subject, and in a couple areas, I believe his version of events is just plain wrong, so I can't say I recommend it very much.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:47 pm

Qin Feng wrote:How do you guys judge Zhuge Liang on the battlefield?
Clearly, the novel portrays him as a man who can do anything and excel at it, but I've heard that in history he defeated Sima Yi a couple of times across his expeditions. Considering the situation Shu was in, do you think Zhuge Liang performed well or was he just a bad general?


His early efforts against Wei were bad, his inexperience (one half command leading reinforcements and against tribe) told, after he learnt I think he did fairly well. He and his generals seem to have won the minor battles, his armies were well organized, didn't suffer heavy defeats and could take the toll of the camapigns, master of retreat. He does seem to have been easy to read for Wei commanders and Shu lacked a tactical flair to hope to really change things, his armies got stalemated.

If this was on the defensive, the results are great. As he was the attacker, they were well organized nibbles that had their moments without giving Wei a real scare.
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