Pakistani diplomat translates Chinese novel

ISLAMABAD (PEN): The book ‘Teen Sultnaoun Kee Daastan’ is an Urdu translation by Zahoor Ahmad of a famous historical novel of China credited to Luo Guanzhong. It is an impressive story of sparring cliques in the era of China’s Han dynasty.

The novel covers the period 168 AD to 280 AD. It narrates the kingdoms of Wu, Wei, and Shu competing to control China proper after the fall of the Eastern Han dynasty, and their ultimate amalgamation by the Jin dynasty.

Urdu translation is flowing without superfluous embroidery. The writing is unblemished and crunchy – no verbosity and no archaisms – which certainly keeps the story, animated, and lets its comedy and tragedy, sparkle through.

Somewhat historical and somewhat fable, ‘Teen Sultnaoun Kee Daastan’ sensationalizes the lives of feudal lords and their retainers, unfolding their personal and military battles, conspiracies, and brawls to get power for nearly a hundred years. It is one of the most prized works of East Asian literature, and the most celebrated historical novel in China.

The novel refers to vibrantly the melting Han dynasty’s kingdoms, though you can face some very parched pieces of portrayals of army actions and intricate battle plans. Classic and gallant are words that have seen a more fitting place in the novel of fidelity, deceit, uprightness, and treacherous that pulls you into an very fascinating description of the heroes who have become cultural symbols.

Additionally, it is not a relaxing read, at least at first. The first several hundred pages can be very puzzling with dozens upon dozens of characters whose names you cannot recollect, coming and going, and difficult to tell whether they will be significant characters or not. Once you go through all that, it becomes an amazingly exciting story.

Remarkably, the novel signifies a case where a dramatized history is more vital than real history. That is, if you need to know more about the Chinese, it is more imperative that you read this book than to read the history of the three kingdoms’ epoch. Nonetheless, it is said that the novel is seven parts fact and four parts fiction.

The book will perhaps not attract the women, as feminine characters play simply negligible roles and sometimes face maltreatment. This novel, one of the great classic Chinese novels, is one of the most difficult texts for readers. A feeling of disbelief is common in the initial stage for the reader because the story has no introduction.

Surprisingly, dozens of heroes make their entry. The reader will come across almost over twelve hundred individuals, some of them with even numerous names, and it becomes difficult to keep track of all of them. However, the reader should not get nervous at the early stage, as soon he will get used to the tidal wave of people.