Posters for Dark Tales (1996)
1. Chinese Verse of the Day:
王國維 (1877 - 1927)
2. This blog post is an exercise to exorcise a psychological ghost from my past.
Love from another Lifetime ("隔世情") is the theme song of Hong Kong TVB's TV drama Dark Tales and was sung by Cassapella Phang.
This 35 episodes TV drama was first aired in March, 1996 and was consisted of 6 stories - the first 5 stories are 5 episodes each and the sixth story 10 episodes.
The stories were taken from Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio by PU Songling (1640 - 1715).
These "strange tales" are ghost stories, fox-fairies stories and other stories of a similar kind.
Dark Tales was well produced and Cass Phang interpreted the song very beautifully.
Watching Dark Tales and hearing Love from another Lifetime in the 1990s plunged me into a deep depression that lasted for weeks.
I like to pay tribute to both the drama and the song - a lesser combination would not be able to have that effect on me.
In doing so I hope to exorcise this psychological ghost from my past.
3. I went through more than one spiritual and intellectual crisis in my younger days.
One such crisis was with Existentialism.
The fountainhead of Existentialism was Soren Kierkegaard (1813 - 1855).
According to Wikipedia, the concern of Kierkegaard was that "it is the individual who is solely responsible for giving meaning to life and for living life passionately and sincerely ('authentically')". ("Existentialism", Wikipedia)
Concepts such as "the absurd", "authenticity", "angst" and "despair" are among the basic vocabulary of Existentialism.
After Kierkegaard, Existentialism developed in two streams: an atheistic stream and a religious stream.
In my opinion, the atheistic stream of Existentialism reaches its logical end very quickly in the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 - 1900).
In a naturalistic universe in which (per Francis Schaeffer):
man = matter + energy + time + chance
there is no meaning and significance to man.
There is nothing but complete silence.
The logical end of atheistic existentialism is nihilism.
Yet according to existentialists, man must live courageously and authentically and give meaning to his own life when objectively there is nothing but complete silence.
Is it any wonder that the basic vocabulary of existentialism consists of words such as “absurd", "angst" and "despair"?
To this day, I have admiration for Nietzsche because he knew the implications of his philosophy and he plunged into the nihilistic void with his eyes wide open.
I have only compassion for Nietzsche when later on in life he suffered complete mental breakdown.
4. Coming back to Dark Tales, there is something very sad when love gives meaning to life but love in life is unfulfilled or unrealized.
"Love from another Lifetime" is a very sad idea.
The human heart yearns for meaning through love and even hopes the love to be eternal.
Yet man dies and love is not completed.
The stories in Dark Tales tried to complete love through magic, coming back from the dead, and love that spans more than one lifetime.
This is hand-waiving and it brought deep sadness in me when I watched this drama in the 1990s.
5. Cassapella Phang singing Love from another Lifetime:
6. The Lyrics in Traditional Chinese:
隔世情 -- 彭羚
在今夜 望清這癡心女人 HA
* 紅是杯酒 我心口
讓思念 轉身走 還有
# 一首歌 一闕詩
Repeat *, #, #
7. The Lyrics in Simplified Chinese:
隔世情 -- 彭羚
在今夜 望清这痴心女人 HA
* 红是杯酒 我心口
让思念 转身走 还有
# 一首歌 一阙诗
Repeat *, #, #
8. Names, Words and Phrases:
Cass Phang (Traditional Chinese: 彭羚; Simplified Chinese: 彭羚)
Dark Tales (Traditional: 聊齋: Simplified: 聊斋).
PU Songling (Traditional: 蒲松齡; Simplified: 蒲松龄).
Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio (Traditional: 聊齋誌異; Simplified: 聊斋志异).
"Existentialism", Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia,
"王國維", Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia,
"蒲松齡", Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia,
"聊齋志異", Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia,
"聊齋 (1996年電視劇)", Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia,