Monthly Archives: September 2012

Hable con ella. Talk to her, my gentle reader.

It’s Moon Feast this weekend, an ocassion to celebrate harvast in China, my native land. I have been thinking for a while to treat you to something special. No digital moon this time but something utterly different and awfully wonderful. So. The name is David Rochelero: I’m coming straight for his heart, your heart. I’m a reputed heart thief, this gotta hurt! 🙂

For the past two months, David Rechelero, the Spanish translator has worked on a Spanish translation of my latest novel BUTTERFLY.  When we had a short exchange yesterday, he casually dropped something in my email inbox, which turned out to be this:

Butterfly, a novel by Julie O’Yang, Chapter 4

No se le olvidó a ella. Hoy, hace exactamente seis años.

Esa mañana despachó a su hijo con un pergamino destinado al señor Lau, un cliente regular y patrocinador. De hecho, Sheng insistió en ir a solas a Nankín. -Para ver a un amigo,- le dijo a su mamá. El joven iba a cumplir dieciocho años después de la celebración de la luna.

-A su edad el joven necesita tener sus propios secretos.- Ella había intentado persuadir a su esposo que permitiera que su hijo viajara. -Él conoce la ciudad, creció allá. De no haber sido por la guerra, aún estaría viviendo en Nankín.

Algunos meses antes su esposo había decidido que la familia se fuera de su hogar. El Ejército Imperial Japonés ya ocupó el noreste y rápidamente se le acercó a la Gran Muralla de Beijing. En las ciudades mayores como Shanghai y Nankín, aumentó la tensión dramáticamente dentro de pocos días; la gente tenía miedo. Y aunque las autoridades se negaron a proporcionar una imagen clara de la realdad, los chinos estaban preparados y prevenidos de la llegada de soldados armados marchando en sus vidas, aclamados por una asamblea animada de admiradores y oportunistas como suele pasar en Manchuria. Les resultó a ellos obvia la guerra pero la política era otra cosa. Varios periódicos que reportaron la guerra y la defensa revelaron muy poco con su melancólico y monótono aspecto de gris que imitaba realismo y para ocultar la verdad. La realidad y la verdad son dos personajes ficticios en una novela que no tienen nada en común.

-Con los japoneses o sin ellos, nos debe quedar igual la vida,- y así dio su sermón su esposo. -Debemos escoger colaborar, todas las familias ricas lo hacen. ¿Por qué debe resultarles diferente a los Fu? He oído decir que los japoneses son una gente muy cruel. Después de todo, uno no se enriquece por ahorrar, ¿verdad?

Pero un día, cambió de opinión su esposo.

-Pronto cada chino va a beber del mismo río que los erizos del mar. ¡No yo! ¡No los Fu! Odio a los ingratos imitadores. Una víbora de fosa simulando un dragón…

Se le ocurrió un plan.

-Una vez fui a pescar allá. Wuan es una pequeña aldea en la curva del río Yang-Tsé, no muy alejada de aquí por si cambies de opinión. Es un paraíso, protegido por una vegetación exuberante allende el horizonte montañoso; un paraíso de hierba perfumada, escondido muy, muy lejos del azufre de las armas. Así que, ¿qué dices, Mariposa? ¿No suena el lugar tal como los poemas de Tang que escribiste en tu caligrafía? Y contestó ella, imitando la alegre voz melódica que había utilizado como riza: -Ríen y lloran los lotos. Shalala. Descansa la golondrina debajo del alero, fijada la mirada más allá de los cerros a dos pájaros amarillos cantando dentro de la una pulgada de la sombra del amor. Hagamos las maletas.

No mencionó que el poema no era de Consort Ban ni de Li Po, sino uno de sus propios, ni conocía sus consecuencias. No tenía idea que, mientras redactaba las palabras realizadas sin esfuerzo aparente, alguien le saludaba muy de cerca.

Era la mano del Destino.

(Look for original story in English under the cherry tree if you don’t read Spanish)

Happy Moon feast!

—————-

Butterfly, a novel by Julie O’Yang, Chapter 4

She didn’t forget. Today exactly six years ago.

In the morning she sent her son away with a scroll to bring to Mr. Lau, her regular client and patron. In fact, Sheng insisted that he wanted to go to Nanking alone.       “To see a friend,” he told his mother. The boy was to become eighteen after the moon feast.

“At his age the boy needs to have his own secrets,” she had tried to persuade her husband to allow their son to travel. “He knew the city, he grew up there. If it hadn’t been for the war we would still be living in Nanking.”

Some months before her husband decided that the family should leave their home. The Japanese Imperial Army occupied the Northeast and quickly approached the Great Wall north of Beiping. In the major cities such as Shanghai and Nanking, tension increased dramatically within a matter of days, people were afraid. And although the authorities refused to give a clear picture of reality, the Chinesewere prepared in expectation of armed soldiers marching into their lives, hailed by a cheering assembly of well-wishers and opportunists as happened in Manchuria. For them the war was obvious, politics anything but. Various newspapers on war and defence revealed little with their dull grey, gloomy looks to imitate realism and to hide the truth. Reality and truth are two fictitious characters in a novel who have nothing in common.

“Japanese or no Japanese, life for us should stay as ever,” her husband had delivered his sermon. “We should choose to collaborate, all rich families do. Why should it be different for the Fus? I heard the Japanese are very cruel people. After all, one doesn’t become wealthy by saving, does he.”

But then one day, her husband changed his mind.

“Soon every Chinese is going to drink from the same river as the sea urchins. Not me! Not the Fus! I hate the ungrateful imitators. Pit viper playing dragon.”

He came up with a plan.

“I once went fishing there. Wuan is a small village on the bend of the Yangtze river, not far from here in case you change your mind. It’s a paradise, sheltered in the lush green beyond the hilly horizon; a heaven of scented grass, hidden far, far away from the sulphur of arms. So what do you say, Butterfly? Doesn’t the place sound just like the Tang poems you wrote in your calligraphy?” And she answered, mimicking the light-hearted, tuneful voice he had employed for a laugh: “Lotuses lean on each other, laughing and weeping. Shalalala. Under the eaves the swallow rests, looking over the hills to two yellow birds singing in the one inch of love’s shadow. Let’s pack.”

She didn’t mention that the poem was not by Consort Ban or Li Po but one of her own, neither did she know of its consequence. She had no idea that when she drafted the effortless words, someone was saluting her from a close distance.

It was Fate’s hand.

———–

Well, it looks like a fabulous harvest season! David is happy to announce that he has finished the first draft of the translation of my novel, the entire book!

Happy Moon Feast, dear David♥

Happy Moon Feast, dear friends, readers and audience♥

>>>Butterfly, a novel by Julie O’Yang is available on amazon.com as Kindle Ebook and in print and on Kobo. Don’t forget to check it out. We will be seeing it in Spanish, hopefully soon!!

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When I had a bad headache

A dance scene I drafted on 15 September when I had a bad headache. Sharing with you on this Monday morning:
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“…
The man led her to the marble dance floor, as he studied her through his quizzical eyes. With her 5feet 6 inches, Katerina was rather more impressive than what’s marked “beautiful” in the company that mainly consisted of Chinese and Japanese guests; beau monde of Harbin who didn’t particularly stand out in height. Among the showy flock of scarecrows, her tidy silhouette reminded him of a Greek statue, rising, flower-like, from floor in a cascade of shadow and light, and unfolding a graduated lavender field in the bleak midwinter. Soft, pleating jersey wound around her body like a snake, watering down the sculpted arrangements of liquid, brilliant silk emphasizing her rational shoulders. How could he think of “rational”, he asked himself, in a scenery whose living palette is to hide or reveal the surface polite, savage underneath?”
China Noir is an unpredictable spy novel set in present day China, WWII; a thrilling quest to witness the birth of a mysterious ancient manuscript. WORK IN PROGRESS. ©2012 Julie O’Yang

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Below is to show you how “dance” is written in Chinese. So next time when you are having a headache, go prancing and shuffling:)

“Dance” in calligraphy style

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Read this on your Desktop, eReaders, Smartphones, Tablets, Kobo Vox. Order today on Kobo>>>Click link below>>>

http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/fb/book-hS-mq6YgGU6n4np3IqQ29w/page1.html

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