Just finished reading Verukal
. It's only 132 pages long (or perhaps technically less), and I read it every day, yet it took me over a month to finish reading it. Hmm.
I've read the first three chapters of 《赵氏孤儿》, adapted by Wang Jianping (王建平) and Ren Yutang (任玉堂) with a side-by-side translation into English by Paul White (保尔•怀特
). I also finally read Lu Xun's famous short story "狂人日记" on zhongwen.com in tandem with a translation into English from the Selected Works of Lu Xun
by Yang Xianyi
and his British but Beijing-born wife, Gladys
. Apparently, the title of that story is usually translated as "A Madman's Diary" to avoid confusion with "Diary of a Madman
" (which inspired it), but on zhongwen.com, it's called "Diary of a Madman" in English anyway.
Another book I've started reading is all in Chinese, but it's a bunch of simple cartoons from Singapore (the simplest cartoons I've ever seen in Chinese so far, in fact) retelling Buddhist stories that an Indian monk named Sanghasena introduced to China during the Southern Qi dynasty between 479 and 492 CE. It's called 百喻经的智慧: 佛教寓言故事
was a nice read, though I'm not quite sure what to make of the ending, and honestly, 《赵氏孤儿》 is far more exciting. I mean, some guy visiting his family home vs. sex! Violence! Political intrigue!
"狂人日记" was, surprisingly, not that hard to read; I read it within a few days...interesting story. 百喻经 is fun and pretty lighthearted; basically, every story starts with "once upon a time, there was an idiot who..." (and then they tell you what dumb-ass thing the idiot did so you'll learn not to do such things). Unfortunately, I've read very little of it so far.
I'm thinking of reading another novel in Malayalam called അനുഭവങ്ങൾ [əˈnubʱəʋəŋəɭ] 'Experiences', Nandanar
's autobiography and the last novel he wrote before committing suicide. The title of the novel reminds everyone in my family of this song
, which is perhaps appropriate given its strident notes and the general despair expressed in the lyrics. EDIT2: In a way, this would be coming full circle for me because Nandanar also wrote the first novel I ever read in Malayalam. It was a much more lighthearted novel about an ordinary (though fictional) Malayalee kid's life.