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So while brainstorming ideas as to potential mythological and supernatural creatures/villains to populate an original urban fantasy piece that I'm working on, I was skimming through Wikipedia's "Chinese mythology" article for ideas, specifically the bit on Chinese mythological creatures.

(I would like to note how ironic it is that I have much of Greek/Roman/Norse mythology internalized, can bullshit about the "Sidhe" and Celtic mythology, all from osmosis via reading so much fantasy in my entire life, yet I have to resort to Wikipedia when it comes to what can be referred to as "my own mythology." Despite all the 武侠 flicks, and the passing familiarity with the characteristics of 妖精 and 神仙, I still know so little and have to Wikipedia it.)

Anyways, so one thing led to another, and while I was speeding through the 妖精 and 神仙 bits, even resorting to Chinese Wikipedia when information became scarce, it occurred to me that this whole pantheon of mythology (wrong 量词 I know, bear with me) took place within Daoism, if my memory served me right.

And then, while typing "Daoism" into Google, Google did that thing it does so often, where it completes the sentence with "Does Daoism have a main god?"

Curious, I let it auto-complete, and checked out the first link, an response which boiled down to ... "No."

And I thought, "That's not right, is it ...?"

And that leads me to this rant with all sorts of parenthetic side notes brought about by the fact that I never actually did a Chinese studies major so all the burning questions I have and half-baked theories I have were never answered/confirmed/invalidated ... )

That being said, if anyone has any articles/books they recommend that I can read in my spare time about the portrayal of Daoism in the West vs. what it's like in the East, I'd appreciate it. Nothing with too much academic babble, please, I have a short attention span and a low tolerance for excessive use of the word "postmodernism". Also, less on the theoretical principles of the philosophy/religion itself, and more on its perceptions/portrayals or how it is actually practiced would be interesting.

I am trying to educate myself more on the matter right now by slowly and painstakingly and character-by-character wading through the 百度 article on both 道教 and 道学, because I feel like if I'm going to go with a collaborative-information English-language encyclopedia as reference, I might as well also check out the collaborative-information Chinese-language encyclopedia as reference.


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April 2017

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