Tu Fu and Wu Song

Wonder of wonders, a second bean has emerged. I’ve named him Wu Song after a hero in The Water Margin which is a rollicking good adventure novel. Among other things, Wu Song, with his bare hands, killed a tiger that was attacking him. Normally, AS a tiger myself, I’m not too keen on anyone killing tigers, but this is a special case.

I named this bean Wu Song for a couple of reasons. Obviously, I like the book but also because Wu Song is strong, handsome, brave and good and the same can be said for Scarlet Emperor Beans. The first beans to emerge are the bravest especially when it has taken them SO LONG to break through. I figure they really want to. Pearl Buck did a translation which is known as All Men are Brothers. I think the title came from her fervent wish that all men WOULD BE brothers. Here’s part of the entry from Wikipedia if you are curious about the book and its heroes. I’ve left the links in the quotation below because they lead to very cool places.

Water Margin is one of the earliest Chinese novels written in vernacular Mandarin and is attributed to Shi Nai’an.[1] It is also translated as Outlaws of the Marsh and All Men Are Brothers.

The tragic story, set in Northern Song dynasty (around 1120), tells of how a group of 108 outlaws gather at Mount Liang (or Liangshan Marsh) to rebel against the government. Later they are granted amnesty and enlisted by the government to resist the nomadic conquest of the Liao dynasty and other rebels. While the book’s authorship is attributed to Shi Nai’an (1296–1372), there were references laid out in the book that did not exist until the Jiajing reign (1521-1567) of Ming dynasty, sparking a long-lasting academic debate on when it was actually written and which historical events the author had witnessed that inspired him to write the book.[1]

It is considered one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature.[2] It has introduced readers to many of the best-known characters in Chinese literature, such as Wu SongLin ChongPan JinlianSong Jiang and Lu Zhishen.

16 thoughts on “Tu Fu and Wu Song

  1. Yay! More success! Well done, Martha, you’re obviously doing something right. And I love the name you’ve given him. Very apt. 🙂

      • I’ll bear that in mind. It’s funny how we tend to forget that there was a world outside Europe that was also going about its business in the Middle Ages. 😀

        • I know. it’s crazy. I read the Shui Hu Chuan a long time before I became a Swiss Medievalist History 😉 and it really dawned on me suddenly that I was looking at people who were living at the same time. I distinctly remember going “Whoa….” Ha ha ha ha!

  2. Water Margin is one of the (several) classics that I haven’t read. Come to think of it, I’ve read only two, and this would be a good one to read next.

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