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Rebecca F. Kuang

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i have just translated an old Chinese poem that went something like "the girls were so hot we partied all day we were racing horses and i shot two rabbits and i was the best archer and everyone said i was so cool and amazing and then we drank a lot of wine"

honestly this made me very happy because I always thought premodern Chinese poetry was so boring and stilted (modernist bias!!!) and it turns out I was completely wrong and it's actually so vibrant and deeply emotional and at times completely ridiculous

it's 曹植's《名都篇》if anyone is curious

this feels a bit like my spiritual journey last year when i thought Victorian fiction was all repressed and boring and then I read Wuthering Heights and you all had to hear me screaming about it

lots of people are finding this funny and that makes me happy! i should clarify i only paraphrased the gist of the content, not the tone or structure - the original is written in very pretty five-character lines. the proud lustiness and enjoyment of life remains!

i will happily post my translation here on Tuesday after we've gone over it in class :) this is my first premodern poetry class so I want to polish it before I show it all to you! reading about all the fine dishes and exciting sport in poetic detail makes this even more fun

Having a similar reaction to The Decameron, which sounds like it might be a similar vibe

"ToDAY we will tell morally uplifting stories." [10 stories later] "Today we're gonna get really crude."

Didn’t Li Bai write a few of those?

*Lil Bae 😉

Hahhahhha the best