Wuxia novels succeeded the long tradition of Chinese classical novels. The earliest wuxia novels in China were probably the brilliant literary works among Tang legends, such as The Legend of Qiu Ranke, Red String, Nieyinniang, and The Slave of Kunlun. These were followed by Water Margin, The Three Heroes and Five Gallants, Legend of the Heroic Sons and Daughters, and others. The more serious modern wuxia novels place greater emphasis on the themes of justice, integrity, self-sacrificing, eradicating the powerful and protecting the weak, national spirit, and traditional Chinese concept of ethics.
Readers do not need to excessively question and analyse the exaggerated descriptions of martial arts in the novels. Some things are impossible in reality, and are merely traditions of Chinese wuxia novels. Nieyinniang shrunk her body to sneak into another person’s guts, then she leapt out from his mouth. No one would believe this is real, yet the story of Nieyinniang has been enjoyed by people in the past millennium or so.
My early novels held a very strong sense of legitimacy of the Han people’s imperial dynasties. In the later years, the equality of all the races of the Chinese nation became the main theme. That was due to the progress in my perception of history. This was especially apparent in Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils, White Horse Neighing in the West Wind, and The Deer and the Cauldron. Wei Xiaobao’s father could have been a Han, Manchu, Mongol, Hui, or Tibetan. Even in my first novel The Book and the Sword, the protagonist Chen Jialuo eventually converted to Islam.
Good and bad people exist in every ethnicity, religion, or profession. There were bad emperors, and there were good ones. There were dreadful officials, and there were good officials that really cared for the people. The Han people, Manchu people, Khitan people, Tibetans in the novels… there were good and bad people. Among monks, priests, lamas, scholars, and warriors, there were also all sorts of personalities and moral values.
Some readers liked to divide people into two categories to differentiate the good from bad, and at the same time made deductions about a whole based on an individual. That is definitely not the author’s intention.
Historical events and characters need to be viewed based on the circumstances back then. There had been fierce battles along the borders between Song and Liao, Yuan and Ming, Ming and Qing, Han and other ethnics such as Khitan, Mongol, and Manchu. The Mongols and Manchu people used religion as a political tool. The novels depicted the views and mentalities of people back then, so they cannot be judged from the perspective of later generations or modern people.
My purpose in writing novels is to depict characters and write about the human emotions. The novels do not allude to anything. If there were any rebuke, it would be directed at the foul and dark nature of humanity. The popular ideologies in society are always changing, but humanity hardly changes.
There had been many changes, additions and deletions since the novels were completed, but numerous errors and inadequacies inevitably remain. I treat every reader as a friend. Comments of friends are naturally always welcomed.