feliciter (feliciter) wrote,
feliciter
feliciter

those 80s shows: 懐かしいね

While looking for that other CCTV show with Uncle Ming and Hu Jun in it, 一江春水向东流 (from the last line of the poem 虞美人 by Li Yu aka 李煜, last poet-emperor of the Southern Tang state in the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period immediately preceding the Song dynasty), came across links for ancient (shown in 1987) Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) Mandarin drama series 绝代双雄, about the lives of said emperor and the founder of the Song dynasty Zhao Kuangyin (赵匡胤), and their vaguely slashy (though I was alas far too young to appreciate it) tragic lifelong friendship/enmity with each other.

一江春水向东流 (the 2003 series with our pair) has nothing to do with the poem, though it is a rather depressing (ending = rocks fall etc)story based on the vicissitudes (such as they are) of a schoolteacher-turned-capitalist-prisoner of the Communists, his faithful abandoned wife, a cynical scion-of-wealthy-family-turned-patriotic-spy, and a socialite femme fatale in 1930s-40s China.

Having failed to complete an episode of aforementioned as download keeps stalling on tudou and youku (thus preventing adequate appreciation of sunglasses!cooler-than-thou!equestrian!Uncle Ming in tight-fitting waistcoat and trousers), was distracted by mentions and pics of other SBC dramas and artistes of yore, including this very popular actor then, which sort-of explains why I found Fan Li's interpreter vaguely familiar in more modern dress sans facial hair. Huang Wenyong made his name in the first SBC drama I remember watching, The Awakening (雾锁南洋), which marked the beginning of a prolonged period of fascination with SBC Mandarin dramas, using the excuse of improving spoken and listening comprehension skills and also reading their synopses in the weekly entertainment rag (shame!).

Anyway:

虞美人

春花秋月何时了,往事知多少。
小楼昨夜又东风,故国不堪回首月明中。

雕阑玉砌应犹在,只是朱颜改。
问君能有几多愁,恰是一江春水向东流。

The Beautiful Lady Yu

When did the time of spring flowers and the autumn moon end, so much is past?
The east wind blew again through the balcony last night, with unbearable memories of my old country in the bright moon.
The finely-carved jade stairs should still remain, only the vermillion faces have changed.
How many cares must one have, just as a river of spring flowing eastward!

(Lady Yu: the concubine of the conqueror Xiang Yu, of Farewell My Concubine fame.
East wind: of springtime;
Jade stairs: in the palace of Jinling, the capital city of the state of Southern Tang where Li Yu was emperor;
Vermillion faces: referring to the murals faded with time, as well as the aging faces of the deposed exiled emperor and his household;
River of spring: a metaphor for endless tears, flowing eastward from the Song capital Kaifeng where Li Yu was held, to his home country)

It is said that Li Yu's sentiments displeased the second emperor of Song (the younger brother of the founder) who coveted Li Yu's empress and who had advocated his execution - for which this poem gave him the perfect reason.
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  • Om du var här

    Finally getting round to posting about Stockholm (46th Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, September 2010). One of the…

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