From the People’s Daily app.
This is Story in the Story.
Louis Cha, otherwise known as Jin Yong, one of the greatest Kung Fu novelists of the 20th century, recently passed away in Hong Kong at the age of 94.
Beginning in the late 1950s, Cha wrote 15 wuxia novels including the magnum opus “Legends of the Condor Heroes,” and later “Fox Volan of the Snowy Mountain” and “The Heaven Sword.”
Cha’s novels have sold more than 100 million copies world-wide. And although only four of them are available in English, adaptations of his work for TV, film, radio, and the stage remain just as popular today as they were decades ago in numerous international markets. Movie stars such as Brigitte Lin, Joey Wong, Jet Li and Andy Lau have starred in the screen adaptations of his novels.
Today’s Story in the Story pays tribute to one of China’s greatest wuxia novelists Jin Yong and looks at the influence his work and Kung Fu continue to have world-wide.
Wuxiaworld.com. (Photo: screen shot of wuxiaworld.com)
Wuxiaworld.com is a two-year-old translation platform designed for readers to share English versions of Chinese Kung Fu and fantasy novels translated by Chinese martial arts lovers. Many have been surprised by how popular it has become in the US.
According to data from Alexa, the website ranked 1,525 in the world and 986 in the US, with more than 3 million daily page views and almost a quarter of million daily and monthly unique visitors.
Thirty-year-old Lai Jingping, who started the website, is a faithful reader of Chinese martial arts novels. He has since discovered, and surprisingly so, that Western online readers are more interested in Chinese novels about history and Kung Fu.
He immigrated with his parents to the US from Chengdu in Sichuan Province when he was three.
When he watched “Return of the Condor Heroes,” a 1995 TV drama based on a Louis Cha novel, his curiosity in the Chinese language was aroused. In 2004, he studied Chinese at the University of California, Berkeley.
Lai first tried to translate Louis Cha's works by himself as English versions of Chinese Kung Fu novels were rare and expensive in the US.
"It was difficult to buy Chinese contemporary novels in America. And traditional Chinese culture is too complex for American people to understand. However, online novels about Chinese Kung Fu are easier to understand," Lai explained
At the Taihu World Cultural Forum in Beijing, Bollywood star Aamir Khan and filmmaker Stanley Tong discussed film cooperation and cultural exchanges during the two-day event.
In China, Khan is widely known for his hit films Dangal and Secret Superstar. He routinely appears as a cultural ambassador for Indian films at Chinese events.
Indian filmmaker Aamir Khan attends the Movies as Cultural Carriers for Building a Community of Shared Future for Mankind forum in Beijing on Friday. (Photo: Global Times)
The exchange of cinema across borders is important and is what helps bring cultures closer, the Indian star emphasized.
"At one time there used to be posters of Bruce Lee in every Indian household. I want to showcase Chinese culture and Chinese people's lives to Indian audiences. I think that will bring Indian people closer to Chinese people," Khan noted.
When asked if he has plans to make a film in China, Khan said he’s interested in adapting The Deer and the Cauldron, Louis Cha's renowned 1969 martial arts novel about a low-born man named Wei Xiaobao who manages to become a high-level official using only his cunning wits and instincts.
It was Stanley Tong who urged Khan to buy the film rights so that he could make an Indian adaptation with himself cast as the hero.
Tong is an award-winning director known for Kung Fu Yoga and Rumble in the Bronx, the film that launched Jackie Chan in the US.
"The key reason why Chinese Kung Fu movies became known to the world is not just due to the action scenes, but also because of the ethics and culture connected to those films," Tong emphasized.
It was also recently announced the director Xu Haofeng's award-winning martial arts film “The Final Master” will be made into an online series.
The director plans to reveal more details about the transitional era in Chinese history and the community of martial arts clans in Tianjin that existed during the period.
(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Lance Crayon, Brian Lowe and Da Hang. Music by: bensound.com. Text from Global Times and China Daily.)