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Fox Volant of the Snowy Mountain Paperback – June 28, 1996
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About the Author
Jin Yong is one of the best-known Chinese writers of this generation. He is an honorary fellow of St. Antony's College, Oxford and Wynflete Fellow of Magdalen College, also at Oxford.
Olivia Mok teaches translation at the City University of Hong Kong.
Top customer reviews
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Why does Ms. Mok translate the book the way she did? Is it perhaps she feels that Chinese culture is such a mystery that everything needed to be translated, even using archaic and strange terms? Or is it also that since the Chinese language is inflexible in using foreign words, that she feels English is just the same (i.e. the Sanskrit word Yoga in English, Japanese, and French is 'Yoga', whereas in Chinese it's 'Yu Jia')? These are the reasons as to perhaps why she chose the words 'endomart' and 'pneuma' instead of more popular terms like 'nei-gong' or 'chi/qi' and why she prefers to translate names such as the character Ruan Zhongshi to Valour Ruan. I can't say as to the reasons, but the translation in the end is horrific. What makes it worse is how she seems to try to show off how erudite her vocabulary is by using words like 'volant' instead of 'flying' and 'myrmidon' instead of 'bodyguard'. And the biggest mistake is translating the word 'dao' to knife, which in Chinese the character is used for both sabre and knife.
As for the book, the story is good, but not Jin Yong's strongest novel. The novel is more like written in this order: There's a fight, there's some action going on and then a character decides to talk about the past. After the talk about the past, we go back to the present and then some other character talks about the past. Back to the present, alright someone else talks about the past, etc. This goes on until the very end of the book when the plot moves foward.
To Jin Yong's credit, this is a good novel in terms of action and how he constructs his character. To Ms. Mok's credit, she does provide a map, illustrations of weapons and dim mak/dian xue points to descibe the martial arts and techniques, as well as a family tree and a good introduction in order to explain the background of the plot in terms of history.
You're better off, however, getting this book used or from the library as this is not Jin Yong's strongest work.