pdf Ancestors Author Frank Ching – Sharkmotorcyclehelmets.co.uk

Frank Ching Brings To Life Years Of Chinese History Through His Own Fascinating Family Tree Beginning With His Search For The Grave Of His First Recorded Ancestor, The Th Century Poet Qin Guan, And Ending With A Moving Account Of His Relationship With His Father, A Victim Of China S Historic Upheaval, Frank Ching Introduces A Colourful Cast Of Characters His Unbroken Family Line Includes Among Many Others A Lovelorn Concubine, A Traitor, A Military Hero, An Imperial Ghost Writer, A Minister Of Punishments And A Woman Noted For Her Skills In Both Verse And Martial Arts There Is Scarcely An Aspect Of Chinese Life, From Shamanism To Violent Rebellion, That Ching Doesn T Touch Upon In This Fascinating Work Through His Vivid And Personal Portraits Of His Ancestors The History Of China Itself Unfolds From The Days Of The Ancient Empire To Its Radical Transformation Today

10 thoughts on “Ancestors

  1. says:

    It is a curious thing to me that I am non curious about my ancestors I read to discover literary ancestors predecessors and mentors who can give me help I cannot imagine spending years of my life, as Frank Ching did, researching actual ancestors, as if they have anything to do with me but for the accident of blood Would I feel different if I discover how illustrious my ancestors are, like Ching s list of top court officials, brilliant scholars, famous poets, noted failures, and even a notorious traitor Though illustrious, their lives in dynastic China followed the same basic pattern, which makes for dull reading These men for only scholar class men had their lives recorded in government, city or clan histories studied throughout their teens and twenties, and sometimes thirties and forties, for the civil service examinations When they passed them, they were posted to various government positions throughout the empire to carry out their various duties and effect their various reforms The pattern was so unremittingly set that when one ancestor spurned the examinations in favor of a life of poetic solitude, he became a hero in this reader s eyes.The founder of the clan was a poet Qin Guan was one of the famous four disciples of the Sung Dynasty poet Su Dongbo The story of how they met is charming Hearing that the master poet was passing through Yangzhou, Qin Guan was sure that he would travel to Daming Monastery and visit Pingshan Hall, erected by Su s late mentor To arouse Su s curiosity, Qin Guan wrote a poem in Su s style on a wall of Pingshan Hall The famous poet recognized the homage and subsequently asked to meet the writer The rest, as they say, is history I wish there were stories like this one in Ching s book, stories that reveal a cunning mind and a spirit of self promotion Instead, the ancestors are dug up from the graves of history and embalmed again in reverence.

  2. says:

    If you ve never read Chinese literature, Ancestors is a very good place to start This is genealogy brought to life by a very dedicated, expert researcher Frank Ching is a journalist, and he brings together a combination of modern research and the fantastic range of Chinese historical documents, family stories and historical contexts which makes this book exceptional in so many ways 900 years is a very tall order even for professional genealogists The basic rule is that the older the genealogy and the people involved, the tougher it is to write a history To get the degree of depth and context Ching has put together here is a literary and genealogical achievement in itself.The quality of material is by far the bigger achievement Ching manages to get the authentic Chinese literary standard into his descriptions of successive generations of his ancestors That s extremely difficult Chinese stories can make Russian tragedies look like soap operas The history of China is a brutal experience in so many ways, and expressing the experiences of people, if done properly, evokes an incredible degree of poignancy Ching charts the successes and disasters of his family with an objective but sensitive eye to truth, however tough that truth may be To his eternal credit, Ching also manages to get the extremely complex Chinese culture into a working perspective for non Chinese readers This history must be understood clearly Ching s ancestors played a big part in official imperial life, and the various roles of his ancestors in China s own history were even acknowledged by Chinese emperors The tricky and deadly world of Chinese politics is shown clearly, illustrating the hideous facts and sometimes bizarre circumstances of life at the top and the bottom In historical terms, there s another point to be made This is very good history, the sort almost never seen outside China His ancestors made history, and he s done a good job of writing it as history, beyond the purely biographical elements This is the real ancient China China the Dangerous, with his ancestors coping with the problems, bandits and wars The stories range from heroic events to bitchy politics, nasty officials and factional fractures in the imperial court with the personal events woven carefully in Forget Machiavelli Chinese imperial politics were so dangerous that Machiavelli wouldn t have got a job as a street sweeper in China He d have been too predictable Ching s abilities as a journalist and a writer come out plainly after his epic historical work His sympathetic, honest portrayal of his father is not to be missed, particularly by writers This is a lesson in writing for those who write biographies I can t help feeling that a lot of modern Chinese readers would be very appreciative of the honesty and portrayal of Chinese realities Just read it I ve scratched the surface here, and tried to give qualitative references, but there s so much in it, it s like trying to describe War and Peace on a post it note.

  3. says:

    Frank Ching has done a remarkable job of tracing his family tree back over 900 years of Chinese history and uncovering the stories of the many notable figures that he found there I was struck by the continuity of Chinese life over the years and the value placed on remembering and honoring those who have gone before The individual biographies and the overall picture of Chinese history that emerges are very interesting.

  4. says:

    My only regret while reading this thoroughly engrossing work the font is far too small for my semi ancient, failing eyes This is a real good page turner