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The Jin Yong Phenomenon: Chinese Martial Arts Fiction and Modern Chinese Literary Hi ...

Chapter :  Introduction
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The Jin Yong Phenomenon:

Introduction: Jin Yong and Martial Arts Fiction

In the 2000 film Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, director Ang Lee tapped the very “essence,” or “qi,” of Chinese culture as represented in the martial arts novel, synthesized it, distilled it, and created what to many seemed a watered down, feminist, anti-martial arts, breathtaking Hollywood extravaganza. Touted as deeper and more lyrical than the classic Yuen Wo-Ping choreographed films,1 Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon envelops Master Li Mubai and his heart, Yu Xiulian, as they slip across the screen with a majesty that only the cello of Yo-Yo Ma and the deeply haunting tones of composer Tan Dun can accompany. As one newspaper critic wrote, “Now that Lee has shown us this new realm, kickfests in the back alleys of Hong Kong are never going to seem the same.” This jianghu is not the place that seasoned wuxia readers remember. It is a jianghu foreign to Chinese eyes, a forest that gives domicile to characters only marginally recognizable to diehard martial arts fans.