White Horse Neighs in the Western Wind

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"White Horse Neighs in the Western Wind"
White Horse Neighs Western Wind ming pao 1960 nov 01.jpg
An excerpt of the novella from Ming Pao.
Author Jin Yong
Country Hong Kong
Language Chinese
Genre(s) Wuxia
Published in 1961
Publisher Ming Pao
Media type Print
White Horse Neighs in the Western Wind
Traditional Chinese 白馬嘯西風
Simplified Chinese 白马啸西风
Literal meaning White Horse Hisses West Wind

"White Horse Neighs in the Western Wind",[1][2] also translated as "Swordswoman Riding West on White Horse",[3] is a wuxia novella by Jin Yong (Louis Cha). It was first published in 1961 in the Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao.[4] The novella marks the only time Jin Yong featured a female protagonist in his works.

Plot[edit]

Li Wenxiu, a young Han Chinese maiden, loses her parents in the Gobi Desert while escaping from a group of bandits who are after a map of the Gaochang labyrinth. Placed on a white steed, she flees to Kazakh territory and is taken into the care of Old Man Ji, an elderly Han Chinese man. While growing up, she meets Supu, a Kazakh boy, and starts a romance with him. However, Supu's father disapproves of the relationship between his son and a Han Chinese girl, so they are forced to separate.

Several years later, Li Wenxiu meets Hua Hui, a hermit, in an oasis in the Gobi Desert, and helps him cure his wounds. Hua Hui feels grateful to her and accepts her as his apprentice and teaches her martial arts. She returns home in the midst of heavy snowfall and sees Supu, his father, and his new lover taking shelter in her house. Chen Dahai, the leader of the group of bandits who killed Li Wenxiu's parents, arrives at Li's home and suspects that the map he has been hunting for is inside the house. He ransacks the house for the map and eventually finds it. The secret of the map is revealed when blood is spilled onto the cloth. Chen wants to silence Supu and the others but is stopped and defeated by Li, who has disguised herself as an old man.

Chen Dahai flees with the map and finds his way to the labyrinth, while Li Wenxiu and Supu gather five others to join them in pursuing Chen and the bandits. The seven of them make their way to the labyrinth, where they are surprised to find ordinary items associated with Han Chinese culture instead of treasure and riches as they expected. To their horror, they encounter a "ghost" who haunts them by killing their companions without leaving any traces. Just as they are about to flee, Supu learns that his lover has been kidnapped by the "ghost" and he tracks the "ghost" to its lair in the labyrinth, where he discovers that the "ghost" is actually a martial arts expert in disguise.

The "ghost" tells his story and reveals that he was forced into exile because he was betrayed by his apprentice, who is actually Old Man Ji. The "ghost" is the hermit Hua Hui, whom Li Wenxiu saved earlier. To everyone's surprise, Old Man Ji is revealed to be actually a man in his 30s in disguise as an old man. Old Man Ji and Hua Hui start fighting with each other. Li is shocked to realise that the two, who are close to her, are actually enemies. Hua Hui eventually dies in his futile attempt to kill everyone in the labyrinth. After leaving the labyrinth, Li Wenxiu hears the true story behind the items hidden in the labyrinth and their origins. She decides to leave the land for central China as she feels miserable after the loss of two of her loved ones and the marriage of her lover to another woman.

Characters[edit]

Adaptations[edit]

  • In the 1970s, Hong Kong's RTV produced a television series based on the story, starring Sharon Yeung as Li Wenxiu.
  • In 1987, Taiwan's CTV produced a television series based on the story, starring David Chiang and Kwan Chung.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hamm, John Christopher (2007). Huss, Ann; Liu Jianmei, eds. The Jin Yong Phenomenon: Chinese Martial Arts Fiction and Modern Chinese Literary History. Youngstown, New York: Cambria Press. p. 65. Retrieved 26 July 2014.  It says "A White Horse Neighs in the Western Wind".
  2. ^ Paper Swordsmen: Jin Yong and the Modern Chinese Martial Arts Novel. University of Hawai'i Press. 2005. p. 312. Retrieved 26 July 2014.  It says "The White Horse Neighs in the Western Wind".
  3. ^ Baofu, Peter (2009). The Future of Post-human Martial Arts: A Preface to a New Theory of the Body and Spirit of Warriors. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Retrieved 26 July 2014.  This Wikipedia article started in 2006.
  4. ^ The date conforms to the data published in Chen Zhenhui (陳鎮輝), Wuxia Xiaoshuo Xiaoyao Tan (武俠小說逍遙談), 2000, Huizhi Publishing Company (匯智出版有限公司), pg. 58.