China & Wuxia

Sady

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Jan 21, 2020
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28
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13
HAVE I UNCOVERED THE MYSTERY OF LIFE in China partly?


MY OBSERVATIONS:


A lot of Chinese novels, particularly in the wuxia genre, have MCs that usually only have the singular goal of being powerful enough to 'escape' the system or become part of it in someway; becoming the bully etc. Ok, it's not really that abnormal to want to become strong enough to not be taken advantage of, but it is weird, or maybe unsurprising, that I haven't read a single Chinese novel that brought up the idea of standing up to injustice for others—not family members, just others in general—because of a thing called empathy. Also there's just absolutely no mention of the actual government of China in a bad light—not even allogorically. So maybe the authors there were taught to believe that it's not the system's fault you're were you are, no, it's your own fault for being born weak and failing to change your circumstances. Obviously giving the more powerful the right to exploit you.

Then there's the idea of fighting the establishment, which unless it's fundamentally different to the Chinese government, the focus is almost always fighting for honor, being badass, being shameless, getting revenge, getting pussy, getting doted on by big dick psychotic emperor, or trying to dote on a psychotic female because it's so kinky; almost none of these MCs, after fighting 'injustice', don't try to do their best to not spread further injustice, or try to help the 'common folk' by initiating change from the ground up, it's almost always left as it is, Hurrah the MC became the supreme divine overlord godling emperor monarch daddy of the Omniverse, changing absolutely nothing. It almost always ends in these MCs fitting into the mold of the previous tyrant or god, i.e. continuing to oppress others because power flex so cool, and the audience supports them because they are mildly nicer or look 'cooler' or we can 'empathize' more with them—because we didn't have a ounce of good POV from any other.


MY REASONINGS FOR WHY THIS IS:

Just the existence of the CCP explains most of it away—no dissenting opinion should be spread for the good of 'China' etc etc—but there are some aspects so engrained in the existing culture which could be blamed partly on the residents of Chin—no. No, that's a bit too deep of a rabbit hole.

Anyways, it always comes back to pride in authoritarian regime being trampled easily, both of the people and the party, and the 'only way' the residents see to vent this frustration without changing anything to a semblance of positivity, is to become more 'powerful'; the idea of helping the less fortunate to the level of revolting against the CCP is probably outlandish or just plain mocked. And this can be done by condition the 'powerful' residents to not empathize too much with the suffering, with the most basic explanation as: they should grow by themselves, and stop complaining—but if they are hot or share the same bloodline or something equally out of their control then it's fine to help them.


TO REITERATE:

Wuxia novels from China probably perpetuate apathy, and the focus is usually always placed on gaining personal power over bringing any sort of meaningful change to stop the cycle of suffering. The response to helping fix the system to benefit everyone being that the fortunate should surely just focus on selfish gains and leave the helping of these dregs to the good old CCP or die...


—––—


Came to this realization while overdosing off Cola, and reading Unordinary in webtoon; this conclusion just felt right or logical back then. I mean, it still does, but it can be debated whether the Wuxia genre showcases the popular mindset of the populace, or it is an active brainwashing tool funded by the CCP or those benefiting off this system. It's probably a mix of both, being a self-fulfilling prophecy kind of shtick.
 
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Pujimaki

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Nov 2, 2020
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You got a point, actually I never even thought about that. I just read every Chinese novel that I found interesting. As for the apathy or not, perhaps the government is encouraging the people to become self centered? Anyway, I'm not from China, and I don't know how the government work there. Still, I appreciate your effort in writing this. Yeah, my favorite novel is LOTM, by the way.
 

Fromage

Peerless member
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Sep 4, 2020
Messages
114
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43
HAVE I UNCOVERED THE MYSTERY OF LIFE in China?

MY OBSERVATION:
A lot of Chinese novels, particularly the wuxia genre, have MCs that have the singular goal of being powerful enough to escape the system or be above it. Ok, not really that abnormal to want to become strong enough to not be taken advantage of, but it is weird, or maybe unsurprising, that I haven't read a single Chinese novel that brought up the idea of standing up to injustice for others—not family members, just others in general—because of a thing called empathy. Instead it's usually just absolutely no mention of the actual government of China—not even in allogorically. Basically, the idea of fighting the establishment, unless it's fundamentally different to the Chinese government in reality, and the focus is almost always on fighting for honor, being badass, being shameless, getting revenge; almost none of these MCs, after fighting 'injustice', don't try to do their best to not spread further injustice, or try to help the 'common folk' by initiating change from the ground up. It almost always ends in these MCs fighting in to the mold of the previous tyrant or god they overthrew, but because they are mildly nicer or look 'cooler' or we can 'empathize' more with them—because we didn't have a ounce of 'good' POV from others.

MY ASSUMPTIONS:
Just the existence of the CCP explains most of it away—dissenting opinion should be spread for the good of 'China' etc etc—but there are some aspects so engrained in the culture which could be blamed partly on the residents of China for—no. Too deep of a rabbit hole. Anyways, it comes back to pride in authoritarian regime being trampled easily, and the 'only way' the residents see is to become more 'powerful', the idea of helping others is outlandish or mocked or both. Can't have the 'powerful' residents empathize too much with the suffering, as they should grow by themselves—unless they are hot or share the same bloodline or something.


AGAIN, TO REITERATE:
Wuxia novels from China probably perpetuate apathy, and focus on gaining personal power over bringing any sort of meaningful change to stop the cycle of suffering, just purely selfish gains and leave the helping of these dregs to the good government or die.

Came to this realization while overdosing off Cola, and reading Unordinary in webtoons, so just felt right or logical. Still does.
No truer words were ever spoken
 

Sady

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Joined
Jan 21, 2020
Messages
28
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13
I am probably correct but still take it with a pinch of salt.
 

CheertheDead

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The CCP is a totalitarian government. Do u think they would allow any belief that challenges their throne of power to be released publicly? They have their own system of facebook and other kinds of social media to control all that lived in their nation.
 

Tabula_Rasa

Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2020
Messages
15
Points
13
HAVE I UNCOVERED THE MYSTERY OF LIFE in China?

MY OBSERVATION:
A lot of Chinese novels, particularly the wuxia genre, have MCs that have the singular goal of being powerful enough to escape the system or be above it. Ok, not really that abnormal to want to become strong enough to not be taken advantage of, but it is weird, or maybe unsurprising, that I haven't read a single Chinese novel that brought up the idea of standing up to injustice for others—not family members, just others in general—because of a thing called empathy. Instead it's usually just absolutely no mention of the actual government of China—not even in allogorically. Basically, the idea of fighting the establishment, unless it's fundamentally different to the Chinese government in reality, and the focus is almost always on fighting for honor, being badass, being shameless, getting revenge; almost none of these MCs, after fighting 'injustice', don't try to do their best to not spread further injustice, or try to help the 'common folk' by initiating change from the ground up. It almost always ends in these MCs fighting in to the mold of the previous tyrant or god they overthrew, but because they are mildly nicer or look 'cooler' or we can 'empathize' more with them—because we didn't have a ounce of 'good' POV from others.

MY ASSUMPTIONS:
Just the existence of the CCP explains most of it away—dissenting opinion should be spread for the good of 'China' etc etc—but there are some aspects so engrained in the culture which could be blamed partly on the residents of China for—no. Too deep of a rabbit hole. Anyways, it comes back to pride in authoritarian regime being trampled easily, and the 'only way' the residents see is to become more 'powerful', the idea of helping others is outlandish or mocked or both. Can't have the 'powerful' residents empathize too much with the suffering, as they should grow by themselves—unless they are hot or share the same bloodline or something.


AGAIN, TO REITERATE:
Wuxia novels from China probably perpetuate apathy, and focus on gaining personal power over bringing any sort of meaningful change to stop the cycle of suffering, just purely selfish gains and leave the helping of these dregs to the good government or die.

Came to this realization while overdosing off Cola, and reading Unordinary in webtoons, so just felt right or logical. Still does.
Interesting point of view.

tho Just to say... from what I have seen what is translated is only as a single fraction of the Wuxia genre... the theme you describe I feel are more fringe plotlines than common ones. Perhaps more common in web fiction, but as a whole its not the majority of the genre. (tho I have not read ALL Wuxia)

Having read a lot of Wuxia growing up, and still sample a few on occasion, more often than not Wuxia novels have challenged norms of tradition, question teacher-student dynamics, problems with hierarchy and dissect Confucius ideas.

I guess being bilingual allows we a different perspective of the genre... and I find recently there are more self-referential humour and parody novels in Wuxia than a few years ago, which is also interesting.... but a doubt those jokes will translate well to English tho...

Tho I am reluctant to say Wuxia novel perpetuate apathy, I would rather say the novels reflect the apathy that exists in the authors' world views and is not isolated to the wuxia genre but in various other genres as well. I have read plot you describe in sci-fi and modern adventures as well. So it just feels like a bit incomplete an ideas to isolate Wuxia on its own.

As a side note, I often find it very fascinating... if only what is popular to the audience gets translated, and unpopular ones get axed or untranslated, resulting in more power fantasies and revenge plot translated than other plots... isn't that a horrible inditement of the translators and audiences rather than the country it originates from?

Are we, the consumers ourselves, looking to be numb and we want to perpetuate apathy? Cause supply and demand, otherwise more stories of other themes/plot would get translated too or at lease more often.

I mean, if only smut gets translated from English to other languages, would non-English countries all think English speakers are all sex-deprived, thirsty for booty perverts? Or would the translators be the thirsty ones?

Interesting right?

Disclaimer: My view of the wuxia genre as a whole is not complete enough, so I can not say any of what you said is incorrect, tho I experience the genre very differently since I don't tend to read plots you describe. In fact, I'd say, my view of wuxia tend to be closer to the heroics tale/epics, about good people doing good in a wider sense, pretty much polar opposite of what you have been reading.
 

NotYourTypicalMan

Lassitude
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Aug 3, 2020
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430
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93
slap weak to strong, raped victim become lovers, and Nationalism tags.

Congrats you got yourself some xianxia/wuxia.
 

NotaNuffian

The Boyle of SH 99
Joined
Nov 26, 2019
Messages
572
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63
Then Sword of Coming is trying something with the MC being an illiterate hardworking guy occasionally tries to uphold justice. For the record, the amount of deus ex machina from the first arc on is solely thanks to the omnipotent guy (he dead) who tries to guide MC.

Daoist Gu probably gets banned because it is way too much commentary on their society plus not "positive energy".

But yeah, mostly what you read in wish fulfilment CN WN are like that, to escape CCP... hell, even Mages are OP's MC made an offhand remark on how scary the party is.
 

OneSixSeven

Wants To Sing Dame Da Ne
Joined
May 26, 2019
Messages
111
Points
28
The CCP is a totalitarian government. Do u think they would allow any belief that challenges their throne of power to be released publicly? They have their own system of facebook and other kinds of social media to control all that lived in their nation.

Yes.

You got a point, actually I never even thought about that. I just read every Chinese novel that I found interesting. As for the apathy or not, perhaps the government is encouraging the people to become self centered? Anyway, I'm not from China, and I don't know how the government work there. Still, I appreciate your effort in writing this. Yeah, my favorite novel is LOTM, by the way.

I know the government form of it. It's horrifying for me at least.
 

OffTrackReader

New member
Joined
Apr 5, 2020
Messages
1
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3
HAVE I UNCOVERED THE MYSTERY OF LIFE in China partly?


MY OBSERVATIONS:


A lot of Chinese novels, particularly in the wuxia genre, have MCs that usually only have the singular goal of being powerful enough to 'escape' the system or become part of it in someway; becoming the bully etc. Ok, it's not really that abnormal to want to become strong enough to not be taken advantage of, but it is weird, or maybe unsurprising, that I haven't read a single Chinese novel that brought up the idea of standing up to injustice for others—not family members, just others in general—because of a thing called empathy. Also there's just absolutely no mention of the actual government of China in a bad light—not even allogorically. So maybe the authors there were taught to believe that it's not the system's fault you're were you are, no, it's your own fault for being born weak and failing to change your circumstances. Obviously giving the more powerful the right to exploit you.

Then there's the idea of fighting the establishment, which unless it's fundamentally different to the Chinese government, the focus is almost always fighting for honor, being badass, being shameless, getting revenge, getting pussy, getting doted on by big dick psychotic emperor, or trying to dote on a psychotic female because it's so kinky; almost none of these MCs, after fighting 'injustice', don't try to do their best to not spread further injustice, or try to help the 'common folk' by initiating change from the ground up, it's almost always left as it is, Hurrah the MC became the supreme divine overlord godling emperor monarch daddy of the Omniverse, changing absolutely nothing. It almost always ends in these MCs fitting into the mold of the previous tyrant or god, i.e. continuing to oppress others because power flex so cool, and the audience supports them because they are mildly nicer or look 'cooler' or we can 'empathize' more with them—because we didn't have a ounce of good POV from any other.


MY REASONINGS FOR WHY THIS IS:

Just the existence of the CCP explains most of it away—no dissenting opinion should be spread for the good of 'China' etc etc—but there are some aspects so engrained in the existing culture which could be blamed partly on the residents of Chin—no. No, that's a bit too deep of a rabbit hole.

Anyways, it always comes back to pride in authoritarian regime being trampled easily, both of the people and the party, and the 'only way' the residents see to vent this frustration without changing anything to a semblance of positivity, is to become more 'powerful'; the idea of helping the less fortunate to the level of revolting against the CCP is probably outlandish or just plain mocked. And this can be done by condition the 'powerful' residents to not empathize too much with the suffering, with the most basic explanation as: they should grow by themselves, and stop complaining—but if they are hot or share the same bloodline or something equally out of their control then it's fine to help them.


TO REITERATE:

Wuxia novels from China probably perpetuate apathy, and the focus is usually always placed on gaining personal power over bringing any sort of meaningful change to stop the cycle of suffering. No, the fortunate should surely just focus on selfish gains and leave the helping of these dregs to the good old CCP or die...


—––—


Came to this realization while overdosing off Cola, and reading Unordinary in webtoons; this conclusion just felt right or logical back then. I mean, it still does.
I was born, raised and educated here but my parents are both Chinese.

I said the above first, because I haven't experienced living or being raised in China for a long period of time before. But I think I can understand how the leads in some of the novels may have their current mindset.

Like how one tree doesn't describe a forest, so does one family not describe the people of the country.

ie. my family teachings doesn't mean it's the same for everyone else.
I was taught to be pragmatic, my family have average or below average income. So you shouldn't expect us to donate large amounts of money to charity and stuff, but we do give a few pounds btw and I've participated in all fundraising and charity events available at school.

I've seen and even helped my family when working before, so I know how hard it is to earn and well... survive in society.

I know it looks like how my POV doesn't seem to have any relation to OP's original point.
But as a matter of fact, it does.
Any one writing these novels are probably doing this for a living, and most rich people won't do this for a living as there is a limit to the amount earnable.

So from a poor person's point of view, can you expect that the first thing they do when rich, is donating and helping the poor?

We are humans, social creatures and have families. We will always think our parents, siblings and extended families first. Is it wrong that the starting goal may not be idealistic like 'save the world' and 'help the weak'?

I know this is a novel we're talking about, but like I said, most starting authors are poor. They (should) think for themselves first, so their main characters may not always have that... ideal mindset. (Their own beliefs and thoughts unconsciously influence their work.)

Although I'm not saying that China's government and policies doesn't have any involvement, but we're all (and nearly) adults here.

In most cases, there's always an unclear distinction between right or wrong. Benefits are placed first, morals are second.

You could say that only the talented and born silver spoons live well, but if the talented don't get their just rewards, than what's the point of trying. If you're children and grandchildren can't enjoy the fruits of your labour, than is there a meaning to work hard?


Helping others is a wonderful mindset and without these people, the world will be a dark place where slavery and other disgusting stuff still exist.




Just like how I can't decide if to be kind or pragmatic is better, I believe everyone should have a choice and the chance to have it.
(I mean by education and obtaining awareness btw!)

Thanks for reading! How'd I do?😃

Just saying, but I never read replies...

Edit: I said all the above, but I don't agree with [Rape victims become lovers] and other similar stuff btw.
 

Aaky

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Jul 31, 2020
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You are right, and I was in fact thinking about this same issue yesterday.
 

K5Rakitan

Level 31 💍 Pronouns: she/whore ♀
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So maybe the authors there were taught to believe that it's not the system's fault you're were you are, no, it's your own fault for being born weak and failing to change your circumstances. Obviously giving the more powerful the right to exploit you.
That's what they say about Tibetan Buddhism and how they "liberated" Tibet.
 
Joined
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I haven't read a single Chinese novel that brought up the idea of standing up to injustice for others—not family members, just others in general—because of a thing called empathy.
There's actually a Holy Mother/Virgin Mary trope (and its male equivalent Holy Father) in Chinese webnovels where such characters do stand up to injustice for total strangers. So the idea does exist. Though, it is apparently now painted in a bad light as such characters are so self sacrificing to the point where they hurt the people close to them in their campaign to save the world and complete strangers. Such an MC would not be popular anywhere, not just China I think. Because we are humans and not saints and therefore cannot empathize with such a mindset.
Also there's just absolutely no mention of the actual government of China in a bad light—not even allogorically.
This is very true but I doubt this has anything to do with the trend of having MCs who are self serving and pragmatic. Unless of course you mean the author's sense of self preservation in not criticising their authoritarian government leaks over to their MCs causing them to also place importance on self preservation?
 
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i have heard about a lot of arrogance, selfishness, and mc picking up fights in c novels. i don't really think its connected to ccp. i don't think they always have to connect to govt? think some parts is because sometimes thats what they want in life: some want love, some want riches, some want to be a badass punk..etc. and they put that in their story. i think arrogance probably bc of the face and reputation. on top of that if one story turns out a lot of reads, then people will follow the trend hence a lot of cliche plots and stories which i also see elsewhere. (werewolf, badboy, rich ceo). and ofc, wherever you are, there's always gonna be bad and good writers out there.

then again, i haven't really read much of wuxia. maybe a few xianxia so i can't say how good my knowledge is.
 

Aelius

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Jan 25, 2019
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In case people want to understand China better, here's a slightly more nuanced explanation of Chinese "freedom" of speech. A person in China generally can't: organize competing political groups (proto-parties), publish/endorse a call to political action (against the government or CCP), say bad things ("spreading rumors") about CCP leadership, or get a significant amount of people really angry. So you can badmouth the CCP or government at home or with friends, but if you started shouting it on the streets you'll get arrested and if you're in any way famous and you post it to your WeChat then you're going to have a bad time.

Basically the average person in China has fewer freedoms in the political realm, while the legal system is more for placating anger and grievances to get people to not protest or organize against the CCP.
 

Discount_Blade

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as far as the protagonists go, while I hate the majority of Chinese novels I read, I prefer their MC's to say, Japanese types. That shounen-save-the-world nonsense is just that...nonsense. I don't believe in the concept of white Knight-ing because I don't accept the possibility of anyone being completely altruistic like Japanese Shounen tend to do. Then Japs have this festish for "you should never kill" protags...and personally I wish they would just die because realistically, those kinds of heroes would ALWAYS fail in their missions, or succeed at the cost of everyone and everything they loved being killed....which to me isn't much of a victory.

I like Chinese-sty;e progags because at least they are realistic in the sense that they acknowledge being "saint-like" is a laughable concept. Proper enemies will just crush you, step over your remains, and move on to someone else you care about and crush them as well. Anyone else isn't really your enemy. Morality is mostly pointless in arguments of opinions because no one cares about what is right or wrong, only who is right or wrong. And you don't neccssarily have to be wrong, to actually be wrong. You just have to convince enough people to the contrary. Actual right and wrong are often meaningless. And believe it or not, todays world is run by thew powerful. All these laws? Easily broken by individuals with great wealth or great power. Laws only truly matter to those who lack the political or financial connections to do otherwise. And if you know someone, that tends to work to your favor just as much.

Even simple things like getting a job, if it comes down to it, how attractive you are, or how well-connected you are, will often help you overcome a educational/academic weakness. Thats why its normally, who you know in a highly competitive market that helps, not what you know. The only times this doesn't apply is when everyone is on equal footing, and lets be honest, this isn't very often.

Xianxia/Wuxia stories just accept the innate unfairness of the world, (ex. might makes right) and continues it in fiction. Whereas money and political power or other similar things, in Xianxia/Wuxia worlds its who can break whose body in the most/smallest pieces. Regardless of my dislike for the Chinese to barely be able to craft a halfway functioning plot, they do make for the most realistic MC's, personality wise at least. I would only argue this point in regards to personality. Nothing else. Or if nothing else, they are more realistic than a Shounen protag.
 
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