Written by Wang Jian-guo.
In Document N there is a short piece which is a version of the first section of the narrative written by Wang Ming-ji, the story of the recovery of the stolen crossbow strings. Here it has been set out in lines as though it were a song, when, in fact, it is a piece of contemporary prose. Why it should have been printed in this way is not at all clear, for no one would ever mistake it for Miao verse. For the most part the text follows Wang Ming-ji sentence by sentence, but there are several significant alterations.
Firstly, the story has been detached from the rest of Wang Ming-ji's manuscript, so that none of the references to local places in the Zhaotung - Weining area remain.
Secondly, the reference at the beginning of the story to A-nzhi-di, a region in northern Yunnan and Guizhou, has been replaced by "lines" 7 to 9, setting the story in an entirely different context, namely that of the ancient Miao Homeland.
Thirdly, "lines" 17 and 18, which are to be found in a number of the old songs describing the annexation of the ancient Homeland by the Chinese, have been inserted into the text, although the passage which immediately follows them makes it perfectly clear that this was in no sense a concerted attack by Chinese military forces, but a local raid by a small band of Chinese robbers.
The story stands perfectly well in its original context, and it is hard to see what has been achieved by uprooting it and replanting it in an entirely incongruous setting.
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