1. The worlds created are real, not illusory
The worlds created by Feng Hua aren’t dreams. He created the worlds in a large wasteland. Although the matter that constitutes the world are almost all replicas, we can see from the effect of the new world (the world in the final chapter) that these creatures have life. From this point of view, he is no different from the Creator. About the end of the world, time and so on, they’ve been clearly explained in the chapter “The Truth”.
2. The structure of this text
Feng Hua can’t accept Feng Yeran’s death, so he chooses to forget Feng Yeran’s death and the love connected with death, and chooses to use his painful obsession as a motivation to keep creating and destroying worlds. For him, love represents the end, and it is what he tries to forget and avoid. (see Chapter 31 Truth II for details)
The first part of this text, “The Wall” (Christmas 2232 to winter 2239), is a complete world created by Feng Hua. At the beginning of this world, the piece of rotting flesh already has a smell of burning, indicating that this isn’t the first story created. At the end, Feng Hua burns everything. He generally creates worlds similar to “The Wall”. The time may be longer or shorter, the storyline more or less distorted, and the events after the winter of 2239 mixed, but they all end in destruction.
“The Roof” is not a complete world, but more like source material. It is still partly true and partly false (the distortion is mainly at the end of the story). The white shadow (Feng Yeran’s will) guides Feng Hua and lets him know that something else happened between the beginning of 2240 and July 2240.
“The Door and Window” is still not a complete world. For the source material, this part is almost true, but incomplete. With Feng Hua’s perspective, the description spans from about September 2240 to January 2242. This period, in fact, is what Feng Hua resists describing the most, the part he chooses to forget. Feng Yeran died in December 2241, and he couldn’t accept it at all. When he described it, he’d gone mad, so the time and logic were a bit disordered, which was rather stream-of-consciousness.
“The Chimney” is not a complete world. Time and space are chaotic. Feng Hua is in the wasteland (he creates worlds in the wasteland). He sees the end of the world (the worlds he created at that time, with his own perception as the end, also have the end of time, ending on the day of Feng Yeran’s death). The rose garden and the castle are more like a combination of reality and illusion. The two cruel and sweet fairy tales of the chimney tell the story from different perspectives and tell Feng Hua what he’d always forgotten:
That is, in whichever world, in whichever material, he would have forgotten Feng Yeran’s death, and the experience of being loved. And it was only by remembering it that he could get the key, truly build the house, gain the truth, and save himself.
Feng Yeran had tried to save him in other ways, such as making him lose his memory and so on, but failed. Finally, in order to stop his self-torturing obsession, Feng Yeran wrote the Golden Notebook, providing Feng Hua a blueprint to create a new world. In this world, the “monster who craved love but never got it” can truly get love, can obtain a lifetime of happiness, and fulfil their wishes.
3. In the created worlds, is Feng Yeran a new individual, or does he retain the emotions of the original “Feng Yeran”?
The answer to this is given by the conversation between the director and Old Zhang in the final chapter.
If you look closely at “The Wall”, you will find Feng Yeran’s “imposed emotions” mentioned in the text. For example, when he is confessed to by Feng Hua in front of the whole world, it reads:
“Ahhh, a voice was screaming and shouting inside his body. Not a voice of pain, but of ecstasy. A strange sense of ecstasy swelled and surged in his body, making him feel frightened. He rushed into the bathroom, looked at himself in the mirror, and was almost startled. His face muscles rose and he was smiling, almost unbridled, exuberantly smiling, uncontrollable―it was clearly still his face, but he felt strange. He rinsed his face with cold water over and over again, trying to cool the inexplicable, imposed emotion. Within ten minutes, this bizarre emotion receded like a tidal wave. (Chapter 14 Temptation)”
Also, you should remember that Feng Yeran would crave Feng Hua very much when he was drunk. These emotions, in fact, originated from the original, real Feng Yeran. His memories and emotions were buried in the “replicant”. When stimulated, they would slowly revive and accelerate the love of the “replicant” for Feng Hua.
That’s why, in the final chapter, in the new world with the Golden Notebook as the blueprint, Feng Yeran always feels that he is waiting for someone and quickly feels a strong urge: “He wanted to protect the person in his arms and give everything to him. (Chapter 32 Gift)”
Symbols are found everywhere in this text.
The most obvious, for example, is the sound of the bell. This is Feng Hua’s fear, because at the moment of Feng Yeran’s death, he happened to be near the chapel and heard the bell.
Another example is the cross: “I had a dream. I dreamed of countless little people dancing on a cross. They danced for ten whole years, starting from December 20th. But, in the end, the cross fell to the ground and shattered. The little people shattered too. Bang, bang, bang. Splat, splat, splat. Crash, crash, crash (Chapter 28 Door and Window).” The cross refers to the cross in front of Feng Yeran’s grave. Dancing on the cross is to keep dancing the dance of death, tirelessly, for ten years since Feng Yeran’s death. Yes, he kept creating and destroying worlds, tirelessly, but if he went on like that, only a painful death awaited him. So, in the end, the little people shattered. He believed that everything was vanity.
… (too much)
5. Feng Hua actually wanted to die all along
If you’re attentive, you may see many similar scenes.
“He had many, many dreams, most of which he couldn’t remember clearly. Occasionally, he could only recall some fragments—he dreamed that his other vague self was standing in the room and observing him, with a withdrawn look, his expression full of sarcasm [questioning the meaning of the world]; he dreamed that the iron railings on the barred window were gone and the turbulent autumn wind was coming in from outside, seemingly inviting him cheerfully… [death impulse] (Chapter 8 Punishment)”
“He walked towards the window, the flames seeming to spread around him, and this sensation made him free carefree. [A morbid nostalgia and longing for fire]
He stood by the window and opened it.
The wind was in his face, blowing his hair, as if warmly inviting him: Jump! Jump!
Feng Hua frowned, wanting to get rid of that inexplicable impulse. [Death impulse]
He looked downstairs inadvertently.
In the white snow, he saw himself.
He saw himself lying on the snow, head broken and bleeding. The blood was red and the brain was pink and milky. And around, there were more and more of himself, big and small. They were wandering in the snow, like walking corpses. [The schizophrenia is very serious]
A few researchers were standing not far away, but no one thought it strange.
No one even seemed to notice the dead body on the ground. [The dead body is the ego, the master personality]
His youngest self looked to be only four or five years old.
He knelt down in front of his dead self, got down and stuck out his tongue, licking the brain on the ground.
A look of relish on his face.
As if it were a pile of strawberry ice cream. (Chapter 20 Panic)”
The interpretation of the second passage varies from person to person. To me, this passage not only contains Feng Hua’s death impulse, but also demonstrates his increasingly serious split personality. He feels that his true personality isn’t accepted, so he is erasing his master personality. Here is the preparation for his later madness and outburst: “What is Feng Hua like in your mind? An obedient experiment? A mindless little baby? A puppet who can’t get angry or resist? You don’t know me at all. Just because you can’t accept my horrible side, you deny my existence? (Chapter 21 Warmth)”
So, why does Feng Hua want to die in the worlds he created? In fact, it is because he knows that all this is a cycle of suffering, essentially devoid of meaning.
6. About the ending
Feng Hua squandered too much of his own power. Early on, it was to treat Feng Yeran, and later, after ten years of repeatedly creating and destroying worlds, he had a head of white hair.
All the power he had left was only enough for him to create one last world.
The length, completeness and so on of this world are all unknown.
But, it’s already the best possible ending for them. They fulfil their common wish in this world.
Feng Yeran’s gift saves Feng Hua, and Feng Hua fulfils Feng Yeran’s wish.
In the wasteland, the monster created the last “paradise”.
This story took a long time to write, starting in November last year and continuing until August this year, when it’s finally finished.
Thank you very, very much for waiting for me to update this.
The structure of this text is the most complicated I’ve written so far. I have experimented a lot with writing techniques. For example, the chapter “The Door and Window” uses the stream-of-consciousness technique to make the time completely disordered, writing from the patient’s perspective. The chapter “The Chimney” tells fairy tales about “the monster and the prince” from different perspectives. Speaking of which, Silkworm 1蚕食 is another of the author’s works, but it’s locked on jjwxc.is also a dark fairy tale, haha.
I quite like the scenes in this text. I feel like I am there every time I write it. It’s a very magical feeling.
The inspiration for the structure mainly comes from Doris Lessing’s Golden Notebook. Lessing is the 2007 Nobel Prize winner. The structure of her Golden Notebook impressed me deeply. She writes back and forth in a sequence of Free Women (written novel), black notebook (memories), red notebook (political life), yellow notebook (novel written by the main character Anna), and blue notebook (diary). She goes mad in the middle and late stages, and finally, she lives with Saul. They’re both writers. They heal each other after the madness and give each other a sentence with which to begin writing, and the Golden Notebook becomes a blueprint for the future. The Golden Notebook not only inspired me in the structure, but also in the content. For example, the crazily mating grasshoppers (Chapter 13) and the scene where Feng Yeran and Feng Hua elope were inspired when I read The Golden Notebook.
It’s really so much sweeter compared with Silkworm and Psycho.
I personally like this very much.
Also, it was written without any website recommendation whatsoever, which seems to almost never happen (excluding short stories). In the past, Psycho was at least recommended a bit in the early stage. So, I’m really grateful to the kids who commented and cast votes for me. Seriously, I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep it up if I had to stay alone here. Life in the third dimension is too busy. I still have a paper due at the end of the month ==
I’ll have to finish my paper and then slowly begin work with a new article.
I personally still like suspense. I’m not limited to the sexual orientation of the new article. I’m a bit all-loving. I love BL, BG and GL. My previous ideas were Yin Marriage, Twins, Useless Child, Diary, etc., but I’m a bit of a changeable person, so it’s still subject to the final opening article. Well, if you find that the new works you bookmarked are suddenly replaced with other new articles, don’t beat me.
You can see what I’m up to on my Weibo “小妖子的窝”!
Love you all! Muah ><
Little Devil (小妖子)
- 1蚕食 is another of the author’s works, but it’s locked on jjwxc.