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[TVB drama] 蔡锷与小凤仙 vs In the Chamber of Bliss

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发表于 2010-1-10 23:04:30 |显示全部楼层

Audience get their first impression of a drama from the themevideo and perhaps, from the first episode. Does anyone then wonder the impact of drama titles? More specifically, how translated titles come about? Most of the time, both the Chinese and English titles in TVB dramas are somewhat related. For example, 翡翠恋曲 (Hard Fate), 男人之苦(Men In Pain), 原来爱上贼 (Catch Me Now). How about 蔡锷与小凤仙?


I believe the Chinese title is very straightforward: 蔡锷与小凤仙- the drama revolves around these two characters. But the English title appears to be a far cry from that of the Chinese and there doesn’t seem to be any association. In fact, for anyone knowing the history, wouldn’t use “bliss” to describe the relationship of 蔡锷与小凤仙, for they were never together in the end.


On second thoughts, let’s take a broad-minded perspective to look at this drama again. A general from Yunnan and famous courtesan in Beijing; These are two classes of people whom would not seem to cross their paths anyway. Courtesans gave me a feeling of physical intimacies without emotions. This was the case when 小凤仙 first got to know 蔡锷; she didnt really like him but had to serve him at the brothel in the first few episodes. Similarly, 蔡锷 didnt have good impressions of her in the beginning- being greedy, accepting the police officers money etc.


Emotional

As the story progressed,  凤仙 was less of a courtesan and蔡锷 less of a general. They appeared to be emotional connected when they discussed their political views and actions to be taken to prevent Japanese attacks. It was also during this time that蔡锷 learnt that 凤仙 threw in her life for her family. I would believe the whole train trip garnered all sorts emotions and admirations they would have for each other.  I meant emotional connections almost as analogous to close buddies.


After their trip,  凤仙 started developing fantasies and dreaming of 蔡锷 in various snow scenes. However, she was not one without any sense of shame, in fact she was constantly at many cross-roads whether she should express her feelings for  蔡锷, eventually she did.  Actually, I do not understand why she did that openly, couldnt she have written a letter for him or asked him personally before she did so in public? Perhaps, thats one gimmick in the drama to make her appear more open and brave in relationships. Anyway, I do admire her dare-to-love spirit especially for a woman of her status. 


Dependence…

The second half of the story got more exciting when 蔡锷 failed to assassinate 袁世凯 for the sake of his family. This was where 蔡锷 and 小凤仙’s relationship grew stronger. His dejection was all an act to divert the president’s attention. In order to accomplish this, he had to put up this act with 凤仙, who did not know of his motives at first. For a woman who loved him so deeply, it must be very hurting for her to learn that 蔡锷 was making use of her all this while. But for the sake of the country and also 蔡锷’s character, she carried on the act. At this point in the story, I felt there was still an emotional distance between蔡锷 and 凤仙。The country was still 蔡锷’s priority, while蔡锷 was 凤仙’s priority. I tend to feel that凤仙 did according to the general’s plan because of him and not because he was doing it for the country. Remember the part where凤仙 thought the general was going to leave without first informing her; she got so angry that she stayed over at the brothel and messed up the shirt or scarf she was going to make for him. We may think she was quite petty to do that but in fact, she was merely a woman yearning for trust and love from 蔡锷. From their time in the second half of the story, they’ve developed from just emotional connections to dependence, one step deeper. Although 蔡锷 refrained from acknowledging his emotions, we could see from his expressions that sometimes, it was difficult for him to do so.


So where is the “bliss” we are talking about?  Whose happiness are we describing here? We do not know what’s bliss without sadness or anger.

While the feelings of 蔡锷 to 小凤仙 is disputable, his reactions in the drama were manisfestation of how he felt. The letter from 凤仙 to 蔡锷 further amplified how short but memorable their times were. I wish I could represent my description of their relationship by the illustration of fireworks. Though short, it was lovely and memorable. Somehow, their relationship was more than that, beyond my vocabulary of description. Their journey, in this respect, I think 凤仙 would have the best memories of her life- her “Chamber of Bliss”. (not so sure if you would think it was also 蔡锷's bliss )

While the Chinese title 蔡锷与小凤仙 is straightforward, the English title appears to be more romantic and truly representative of the drama.


I like this scene in the last episode!



P/S: I wanted first to start a small discussion on the drama title but ended up typing a few paragraphs on my own perspective. Apologise for any poor grammar as I didn’t re-read them. Let's discuss.

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发表于 2010-1-11 00:00:43 |显示全部楼层
Your analyse is very thorough and detailed! *two thumbs up* I agree that the english title has a much deeper meaning into it.
To凤仙, her chamber was only filled with bliss when 蔡锷 was by her side...
How I wish i can be in her shoes.. *heart melted...*
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发表于 2010-1-11 00:36:07 |显示全部楼层

Hi, I think your analysis is very thorough. As a person who does not read Chinese at all, I depend on the English title although I can understand the Chinese title when it is read out to me. I agree that there is no connection at all between the chinese and the english title. A few other TVB drama is the same. The Drive of Life for example, the chinese title "Lau Kam Sui Yuet".

 

Coming back to the The Chamber Bliss, the love expression was short, only in the episode 19 but it was beautiful. I think Fung Sin was not angry when she thought choi ock was leaving without telling her. She was not able to face the fact, therefore she was in denial. She was trying to reduce the emotional pain by not seeing his going away. In real life that is how some people handle emotional pain. Like you, I like the last scene too. It is as if Choi Ock's last thoughts were about Fung Sin. That made it worthwhile isn't it? I really like this drama, although I wished the ending could be slightly different but then again, history cannot be rewritten!

 

Finally, I think your English is good, Nothing to worry about the grammar. English is not our first language and therefore, we are bound to make small mistakes here and there. I hope to see you more in the English forum.

[ Last edited by VictorPenny at 2010-1-11 00:41 ]
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发表于 2010-1-11 00:46:13 |显示全部楼层
Penny is right, I think denial is a more appropriate word than anger.
凤仙's state in denial caused her to be venting frustrations for no apparent reasons.

Original posted by VictorPenny at 2010-1-11 00:36 The Drive of Life for example, the chinese title "Lau Kam Sui Yuet".


Penny, the Chinese title of Drive of Life is "Sui Yuet Fung Wan".
"Lau Kam Sui Yuet" was an earlier TVB drama without Damian.:P
While the Chinese title "Sui Yuet Fung Wan", does have implications in life, it doesn't say any about the theme in cars.
The english title "Drive of Life" seems to combine both cars and life, though in a less glamorous way.
I guess it's nice to know both the English and Chinese titles were thought through carefully by the production team.

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发表于 2010-1-11 01:23:01 |显示全部楼层
Oh, Yes, thanks Sharon, I keep mixing up those two.
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发表于 2010-1-11 08:40:09 |显示全部楼层
蔡的英文意思实在是,怎么说呢,主要是以风仙的身份命名,忽略了蔡…
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发表于 2010-1-28 02:11:13 |显示全部楼层
After watching so many series, I have always wonder how they came up with the English titles for the Chinese series.  I concurred that they have nothing to do with each other and at times the English titles confuse me as to what the story is about such as The Morning of the Flying Fish in Hanami.  Obviously now, I know what the drama is about so the title is less confusing but if I didn't know the story line and just read the title my head would be spinning.     

I think your analysis is very thorough and excellent.  I agree that the "bliss" that they found is short and memorable.  Perhaps that why it is "In the Chamber of Bliss" rather than "In the World of Bliss" where chamber is symbolizing the four chambers in the heart (right atrium, left atrium, right ventricle, and left ventricle).
[ Last edited by aznawm at 2010-1-27 14:31 ]
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发表于 2010-1-28 10:31:00 |显示全部楼层
Original posted by aznawm at 2010-1-28 02:11 After watching so many series, I have always wonder how they came up with the English titles for the Chinese series.  I concurred that they have nothing to do with each other and at times the Eng ...


Awm. I like your analogy of chambers, very biological:[42]

As for "The Morning of the Flying Fish in Hanami" it's a direct translation by fans from the Chinese title. The Chinese one is confusing too.

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参与松居书籍:《碧海情天》,《男人之苦》, 《原来爱上贼》和 《天地孩儿》http://bbs.lauchungyan.com/viewt ... &extra=page%3D1
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发表于 2010-1-29 13:51:56 |显示全部楼层
Original posted by sharonpek at 2010-1-27 09:31 PM Awm. I like your analogy of chambers, very biological:[42]As for "The Morning of the Flying Fish in Hanami" it's a direct translation by fans from the Chinese title. The Chinese one is confusing too.


Thank you!  I just found a clip to hear the Chinese title and I agree that it is confusing too. 
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