Kai Lung

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Kai Lung (開龍 [1]) is a fictional character in a series of books by Ernest Bramah, consisting of The Wallet of Kai Lung (1900), Kai Lung's Golden Hours (1922), Kai Lung Unrolls His Mat (1928), The Moon of Much Gladness (1932; published in the USA as The Return of Kai Lung), Kai Lung Beneath the Mulberry Tree (1940), Kai Lung: Six (1974) and Kai Lung Raises His Voice (2010).

Character introduction[edit]

Kai Lung is a Chinese storyteller whose travels and exploits serve mainly as excuses to introduce substories, which generally take up the majority of a Kai Lung book.

Character sketch[edit]

Motivations[edit]

Kai Lung is a man of very simple motivations; most frequently, he is animated by a desire for enough taels to be able to feed and clothe himself. Otherwise, his main motivation is love for his wife, Hwa-mei, and he seeks nothing more than a simple, sustainable lifestyle. Generally, he does not intrude in other people's affairs unless he thinks it necessary to teach them the rudiments of classical proportion with one of his fables.

Conflicts[edit]

This character usually comes into conflict with barbarians, bandits, and other people who are not classically educated, as well as various unscrupulous individuals who are intent on taking away his property.

In other authors[edit]

In The Stray Lamb by Thorne Smith, the character Mr. Lamb relaxes while reading Kai Lung.

In chapter IV of Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers, Lord Peter Wimsey says that Harriet Vane's ability to quote Kai Lung is a sign that they "should certainly get on together." In chapter XV of Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers, Lord Peter Wimsey tells Harriet Vane that Kai Lung is an author who suits his tastes: "My tastes are fairly catholic. It might easily have been Kai Lung or Alice in Wonderland or Machiavelli --"