Day 45, 29 April 2020

Sneak peek for the second edition of China’s Magical Creatures!

The first edition has been openly available for a couple of months now, but the students have been working really hard and I will soon be able to release the second edition. At least, if I get a chance to tidy up and do the light editing as soon as we finish the semester. (More about summer plans tomorrow, I think)

The new edition will be so new and improved it’s newproved!!! (as an old UK advert once said). Now with added pandemic!!!!

No, not really; our textbook is guaranteed free from harmful corona virus (or corona pirates, if you prefer)

We had already a pretty neat start with chapters on various beliefs, locations and animals, but we are expanding all parts of the first edition. There is even a whole new part on tombs and ideas of the afterlife. The famous terra cotta warriors have no fewer than three chapters now! There is also a multi-chapter exploration of the Buddhist views of the afterlife, with a closer look at its depictions of Hell.

New to the second edition will be two chapters about foxes, who are beguiling and sometimes evil creatures in the Chinese tradition. A chapter on the Classic of Mountains and Seas explains why this ancient text really should be our guidebook for the entire course.

And then for your entertainment and education, we have chapters on origin myths, calendrics, and the basics of Daoism, and much much more.

Are you as excited as I am yet? I can’t wait to get it all ready to share! And considering the circumstances the authors (my students) are working in, I never cease to be amazed at how they have just stared this pandemic in the face and decided it’s not going to ruin the work they did this semester. Not this time, not this pandemic. This second edition is testament to the tenacity and resilience of these young people, and it’s going to have a very special place in my heart, and on my digital bookshelf.

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