Sunday, 23 August 2015

Book #32

Wailing Ghosts by Pu Songling

Some of the most macabre and wonderful of all Chinese stories, including 'The Golden Goblet', 'Scorched Moth the Daoist' and 'The Black Beast' 

These little Chinese stories of the supernatural are quaint, yet incredibly abrupt. They are nothing like Western tales of the supernatural; there's no suspense, no psychological twists, and no tales of the unknown as we've come to understand them. Instead, the stories are laid bare before us in a flash, and before we can come to terms with what we've just been exposed to, the next story comes along to hurry its wonder at us.

Each of them had what I assumed to be a moral message, however it was difficult to understand what the message was in some of them.

I'm slightly disappointed in these, purely because I felt they lacked any real impact. They were nonsense tales, with each one being more head-pickling than the last. I wonder if this is down to the translation, the affect time has on the way we find ourselves entertained, or both.


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