April 29, 2006

The Four Beauties of Ancient China (larger pictures), one of whom may have been fictional. Two were patriots who sacrificed themselves for their country, while the last was traditionally blamed for almost toppling a dynasty.

Other famous women in classical China have included the mythical, the tragic, the talented, and ambitious. I have this book, which contains excellent illustrations and short descriptions of the 100 more famous women in China. If I can, I'll scan a few of the pictures and put them up.

  • let me tell you something i learned from experience...being that beautiful is a HUGE cross to bear...imagine being the center of attention ALL the time...*sigh*
  • and yet you handle it with SUCH grace. I could use a few pointers, as I am still overwhelmed by the adulation of the masses ;) seriously tho, alnedra, those pictures are BEAUTIFUL. thanks for posting such an interesting story about such gorgeous art!
  • alnedra, this is feckin' cool stuff.
  • )))!!! I look forward with interest to seeing the other ladies. Thanks for a most picturesque post.
  • Lovely, Alnedra!
  • Wonderful, Alnedra. I'd love to see the others you speak of. *watching sexyrobot preening and simpering phuttt!
  • Kindly take that to tracicle's "my blog", BlueHorse, because we don't need it here.
  • And in fact we may not need me here. I'm going to take a break now fromn the crap here.
  • Need to apologize to 1. Alnedra 2. BlueHorse Two of my favorite monkeys. YOu guys are great. /emotional creature, in spades /sorry
  • A garden without bees has no prospect of honey, and the flowers would blossom in vain.
  • What happened? Nice stuff, Alnedra. Interesting that beauty in such stories appears to be primarily a destructive quality (though it can be used against evil people and so turned to good).
  • No apologies needed, bees, as long as you don't really go away. True, Plegmund. One of the biggest faults of a ruler is to indulge in physical pleasures and neglect his duties, and naturally, beautiful women are one of biggest temptations. In fact, one way to talk about an exceptionally beautiful woman in Chinese is to say that her beauty can "tear down countries and cities" 倾国倾城.
  • Geez, Beez. I'm sorry. I was just teasing that silly sexywobot. Didn't mean to upset you. /puts arms around monitor, comforting pats to hard drive
  • Shanghai woman make the emperor Move the town Mongolian woman'll make a mule kick 'is Yurt right down
  • In fact, one way to talk about an exceptionally beautiful woman in Chinese is to say that her beauty can "tear down countries and cities" 倾国倾城. Neat. The only obvious Western beauty metaphor I can think of is that one about "launching a thousand ships". Mild sidetrack: I'm curious - how do you put those Chinese characters into your post?
  • pleas don't buzz off bees wack! y not come back?
  • cherchez la femme unfortunately its a very common motif that women bring destruction n catastrophe, they don't even have to be beautiful, but it makes a better story.... Eve. apple, anyone? Discordia. apple, anyone? of course, this leads directly to Helen, and all those blasted ships... look at the Hunchback of Notre Dame. look at King Kong. Samson n Delilah. I could go on, you get the point. In many 'gendered' languages words for death, catastrophe, destruction etc., are all feminine. woohoo! I'm off to cause some mayhem with my vagina!
  • some fascinating examples from European history (the Medievally kind) Heloise if you are interested in additional material on Heloise, let me know, I'll recommend some books for ya. Eleanor of Aquitaine if you doubt that she incited catastrophe, look into the burning of Vitry le Brule. (scroll down for a brief mention of the town, the church of which was burned to the ground with all 1300 or so citizens inside, by Eleanor's first husband, Louis VII, over a familial spat concerning Eleanor's sister.)
  • The ten signs of beauty note was pretty interesting. Seems not much has changed today (in Asia at least).
  • StoryBored, I use Microsoft's language options: Control Panel --> Regional and Language Options --> Languages tab --> Details --> Add... But you'll have to know either the Taiwanese Bopomofo system, the Chinese stroke system, or Hanyu Pinyin to input Chinese text.
  • More beauties, including Diao Chan and Wang Zhaojun. Also, Chang E, goddess of the moon.
  • Thanks for that Alnedra. Unfortunately my old Win98 system doesn't seem to support it...Although that's a small problem compared to my knowlege of the stroke and phonetic systems.
  • I'm not quite sure that this really needs the immortalization by tagline, but what the heck: MonkeyFilter: Woohoo! I'm off to cause some mayhem with my vagina!
  • Try this out, StoryBored.