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The ten thousand things and the one true only.

by Kip Manley

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Things to keep in mind:
The secret of translation.

This novel Dee Goong An is offered here in a complete translation. Possibly it would have had a wider appeal if it had been entirely re-written in a form more familiar to our readers. Then, however, much of the genuine Chinese atmosphere of the original would have disappeared, and in the end both the Chinese author, and the Western reader would have been the losers. Some parts may be less interesting to the Western reader than others, but I am confident that also in this literal translation the novel will be found more satisfactory than the palpable nonsense that is foisted on the long-suffering public by some writers of faked “Chinese” stories, which describe a China and a Chinese people that exist nowhere except in their fertile imaginations.

Robert Van Gulik


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