“The Gold Silkworm” Extra

This post contains spoilers for “The Gold Silkworm” at Fantasy Magazine. Please read the story first. Thanks!

Tattoos of Chinese phrases play an important role in “The Gold Silkworm”. I had originally intended to include them as visual aids, but the story worked without them. Also, it was difficult to embed Chinese fonts for electronic submissions to magazines. So, here they are instead as story extras.

Yan Xue’s tattoo is líng dān miào yào:  “soul pill, mysterious medicine”:

Cao Shen, the Spirit of Grass, resides in the fourth word (‘medicine’) in the radical for ‘grass’, which looks like this:

Red-Chest’s tattoo is fó kǒu shé xīn: “Buddha’s mouth, snake’s heart”:

Hui Shen, the Spirit of the Worm, resides in the third word (‘snake’) in the radical that means ‘worm or insect-like thing’. This word can be pronounced as either huǐ or chóng. I decided to go with the more archaic pronunciation in this case. It looks like this:

The word for gǔ is literally ‘worms in a dish’:

Tattoo spirit magic is also featured in “The Character of the Hound”, another Strange Event of the Song Dynasty.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Linguistics, Writing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s