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Book 1 Chapter 15's title foreshadows the Chinese subtitle of Book 2.

Origin of the Chapter's Title

The title 思往事,易成伤 (sī wǎng shì , yì chéng shāng) are lines 5 and 7 from the poem 訴衷情 (sù zhōng qíng) by Ouyang Xiu (歐陽修).

訴衷情 (sù zhōng qíng) can be translated as Telling of the Sorrowful Love or A Recital of a True Heart and is the Chinese subtitle of Book 2.

The poem is about a man missing a woman after they have parted and the sorrow that accompanies as he touches her make-up and retraces the eyebrows he used to draw for her.

This is another instance of Tong Hua using a Song poem as a chapter title. All Song poem usages deal with separation and longing; for example, Book 1 Chapter 9 and Book 1 Chapter 14.

思往事,易成伤 can be translated as these:

  • Recollecting bygones predisposes me to suffer pain.[1]
  • Thinking of the past is easily sorrowful.[2]


The context of the line in its passage:

都緣自有離恨, 

故畫作遠長。 

思往事, 

惜流光, 

易成傷。 

A translation of the passage:

Feeling surrounded in sorrows of parting, 

The brows I drew were long like mountain ranges.

Recollecting bygones and bemoaning loss of time predispose me to suffer pain.[3]

Chapter Content

References

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