Sha Ding: The Magnet

Snip20180118_1Deal Me In Challenge- The Six of Clubs

This short story book of Chinese tales was published back in the 1930’s. The stories are quite short.  I have had a look at several and they are fairly obscure and the themes are sparse.  I am not finding them to be of a depth of thought I am currently craving.  I am thinking as it is the beginning of the year I am going to swap this book out for another book of short stories.  The Magnet is a simple tale of a teenage boy during the 1930’s named Yuan who wants to leave home, leave school in winter and join the rebellion against the Japanese.  Not much is said about the actual revolution. The title refers to him being attracted to the new adventure “like a magnet”.  The magnet is a very obscure theme related to his attraction to do something he feels is important rather than his uncles telling him he will become a teacher, which he doesn’t want to do.

His mother doesn’t want him to go, he has no money to do so and he won’t accept money from anyone who might want to give him some. He feels angst about the whole situation and in the end he leaves home.  The story is only about 4 or 5 pages long and the conflict was simply stated.

I realise Japanese literature at times can be quite obscure but this was so obscure it almost doesn’t exist.  After reading this tale I read some other tales from this book and decided the overall book is not what I am looking for in a book of short stories. I want something that is a bit more applicable to my sometimes obtuse mind.

The book has already been consigned to the bag headed for the Tip Shop Book sale, where it came from in the first place.  Snip20160609_6

I doubt Yuan will spend many years in my mind as I continue through life.  What do you do with books you begin to read when they just don’t stack up (no pun intended) ?  Now, to go back to my shelves and find another book of short stories to replace the Ace to the King of clubs.

5 thoughts on “Sha Ding: The Magnet

  1. Speaking of Japanese literature, have you read any of Haruki Murakami’s short stories? He’s been a perennial “go-to” guy when I need a good short story…


  2. i’ve read some classical Japanese lit in translation but that’s all… and that’s a problem: what to do with books you’ve started but can’t quite get into but maybe sometime… i have a large stack of them…

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  3. Yup, this is the overall impression I have got from reading Japanese Lit… admittedly not much of it, but hey, why would I if it’s not very appealing to me. The one exception is Kenzaburo Oe, but it’s his novels I like…


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