TL;DR – Because Chinese novels have died long ago in Singapore.
That’s the 14 first characters of the first 14 titles that Jin Yong wrote . It was only discovered that they can be joined together to form a couplet with seven characters on each line after his books were completed. How many of you can actually name all the 14 books? Of course, I do not expect everyone of you to know every book but Jin Yong’s classics is something that everyone should at least know or have read a few titles.
When I saw the news on Facebook about his death, I was with a group of early 20s.
“Oh my, Jin Yong died!” I exclaimed.
“Who?” was the reply I got from them.
From the response, it’s obvious that they have never read his novels. I tried explaining to them who he is using some pop culture and TV references since many of them were made into movies over the years and surprisingly I only got a handful of nods. I was then hit by this wave of emotions. Not too sure if it was because or his death or was it the fact that people no longer read Chinese novels. I am not picking on the younger generation as I myself am just as guilty. I stopped reading Chinese novels probably twenty years ago after I left secondary school. And I still fondly remember the days in school when his books are probably the must widely-read amongst my peers.
These days? It’s a shame that we as Chinese has lost interest in our own culture. Yet on the other hand we spend so much time on Netflix. I’m not saying Netflix is bad, I’m just saying that it is what it is and how our society is these days. That despite Jin Yong’s accomplishment and legacy, all it takes is no more than one generation for him to be forgotten just like that.
RIP my forever hero.
(And Chinese novels too.)
Featured image via