14 November 2009

The End of the Romance

What do you think the blog post is about? Worry not, there is no real romance involved here. The Romance I referred to is that in The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, a series of books in old Chinese literature. In Chinese it is known as 三国演义 (sān guó yǎn yì )My Chinese is never good enough to read anything more than comic book so I read the Vietnamese version years ago, in Viet Nam, when I was in my early teen. In Vietnamese, the title of the book is known as Tam Quốc Chí.

A long time ago when Oriental Culture Enterprise was still on Pell Street, I bought from it a 9-book set of Romance of the Three Kingdoms, quasi comic book version, in Chinese. Sure every page has two frames of pictures, but it is definitely not a comic book. I thought by reading it I would reinforce what little Chinese I know and perhaps learn some new characters. Already knowing the story in Vietnamese should help, right?

It turned out years later, as Oriental Culture moved to Elizabeth Street and I moved to a few different homes, the books just got moved along without ever being read. As I set the set of books aside to be photographed for this blog before I took it to the library for donation, I discovered a makeshift bookmark in it, so perhaps I did read a little bit. A very little bit. In the spirit of ridding myself of things I don't need, the set of books went to Ulmer Park Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. I know that branch has a set, or at least a few books from a set, of The Journey to the West. Or maybe even Water Margin. It would be only appropriate that the branch also has my Romance.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Qap - long time no comment! I gave myself a vacation day today - just breaking up the week and I badly need quiet time, being by myself :)
    Great minds think alike - last week I looked over my Vietnamese books collection and thought I should give the books to the Asian Center at my local library branch. 2012 is coming, so no need to hold on to too many earthly stuff - haa haa
    It is not raining today so it is a good day for me to just relax and do whatever I wish to do.
    Have a good weekend.
    TOTA in St. Louis (not Kansas)