Unless you live under a rock like me, you might have heard of the plagiarism scandal involving TQGZ by now. I heard from Peanuts who heard from Lidge >_< I suppose my fellow bloggers had not said anything out of consideration for me, so as a translator of T7 novels, I shall be bearer of unpleasant news.
To be accurate, this scandal is not “news” per se. It started in 2008 and persisted over the years among the Chinese literary community. From the very beginning when T7 started to write Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms, a BL (yaoi/shounen-ai) author with the pen name Dafeng Guaguo 大风刮过 and her fans had alleged that T7 had plagiarized her BL work titled Taohua Zhai 桃花债 or Debt of Romance that was published in 2007, earlier than T7’s 3W3L that came out circa 2008-2009. How T7 was allowed to publish and this never blew up until now are beyond me.
As someone who had spent 3 years translating these books, it is an understatement to say what a shock and disappointment it has been for me. I speak in fairness from what I see. Everyone else is free to do your own research and come up with your own conclusion. I don’t wish to dig up the drama and dirt that goes all the way back to 2008 in this post. I have my opinion of the whole brouhaha, but none of it is really my business to discuss on a public platform. I will, however, touch upon the accusation, the reply, and the (very damning) evidence just to let everyone know why I have chosen to take down my hard work and two of my favorite books, lest anyone think I’m doing this on a whim.
The latest weibo statement which came from Dafeng Guaguo (DF) was posted on June 29th of this year. I’m not sure what brought it about, but something had led her to speak up again about this matter.
“To be honest, I don’t personally think the plagiarism is particularly heavy in the piece of writing that is currently being talked about. Just a line here, a description there, a few names and the ending. Otherwise, story setup and background are very different from mine.”
(Fans beg to differ, Miss Dafeng Guaguo!)
Then came Tangqi Gongzi’s (T7) weibo reply on July 5th:
“Because there was an author I really admired, I imitated her style to write a long story and posted it on an online forum.
Additionally, you should know best whether I copied your work or not. Seven years ago they accused me. Seven years since they began to copy one another like crazy, and now you tell readers I am copying you.
I imitated author D’s style to write a book because I was young and ignorant…”
There is obviously a lot of emotions behind both writers’ posts that I haven’t included, but yeah, let’s not get embroiled in them.
From what they say, we find that DF accused T7 of plagiarizing her work, including details such as names and phrases. But T7 maintains that the only thing she borrowed was the style of writing, and nothing else.
Well, what are fans for but to do tedious work like compilations of similarities in a time like this? I haven’t translated everything as it’s awfully long. The original source is here for anyone wanting to be Sherlock: http://tieba.baidu.com/p/3573276406?pn=1
Again, keep in mind that DF’s book came out first while T7’s book was still in progress.
DFGG wrote The Peach Blossom Debt.
TQGZ wrote Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms.
DF’s genre is xianxia
TQGZ’s genre is also xianxia
DF wrote about going down to the mortal realm for a trial.
T7 also wrote about going down to the mortal realm for a trial.
There is Zhuxian Terrace in DF’s writing.
There is also Zhuxian Terrace in T7’s writing.
DF’s male lead dreamed he was in a peach orchard and knew he was dreaming, then hazily saw someone’s figure.
T7’s female lead also knew she was dreaming whilst inside a peach orchard, then hazily saw someone’s figure.
DF’s story has debts of romance.
T7’s story also has debts of romance.
DF’s story has Donghua Dijun.
T7’s story also has Donghua Dijun.
DF’s story has Bai Hua, Bi Hua.
T7’s story has Ye Hua.
DF’s story has Mu Ruo Yan
T7’s story (HXY) has Mu Yan.
DF’s story has Mo Yuan (摩渊).
T7’s story has Mo Yuan (墨渊).
DF’s story has Furball (Maotuan).
T7’s has Little Dough (Nuomi Tuanzi).
DF came up with a tiger guarding South Heaven Gate.
T7 also wrote about a tiger guarding South Heaven Gate.
DF’s male lead gifted feathers to those he likes.
Bai Qian’s admirer also gifted her feathers.
In the war between the gods and demons, Danzhu turned into an egg.
Moyuan’s younger brother (YH) also got turned into an egg by Fushen.
Danzhu is an ancient phoenix from the Times of Emptiness.
Zhe’yan is a prehistoric phoenix.
DF’s character said: “Mortals pray to Heaven for blessing, but now that we are in Heaven, who should we pray to?”
T7’s female lead said: “Mortals pray to the gods for blessing, but who should the gods pray to?”
DF’s male lead said: “What’s yours is mine, what’s mine is yours. What’s there to be said about debts?”
T7’s female lead said: “After all, he and I are husband and wife. Between husband and wife, there’s no need to clearly distinguish who owes whom.”
Hengwen waved his tattered fan and said, “I don’t care anyway. So what if you paid me and so what if you didn’t?”
I clutched his shoulder: “That’s right. Between you and me, there is no debt to be said.”
“As long as our side breaks off the engagement this time, neither of us will owe each other anymore.”
He straightens himself and clutched his head, “It was always a futile hope of mine. What I owe you or what you owe me has been impossible to count from long ago.”
DF’s male lead’s “old face” frequently “turns red” (老脸微热)
T7’s female lead’s “old face” frequently “turns red” (老脸微热)
DF’s male lead says: “What a sin I’ve committed by separating these lovebirds.” (做打鸳鸯的那根大棒子, 本仙君实在造孽啊)
T7’s female lead says: “What a sin I’ve committed by separating these lovebirds.” (去当打鸳鸯的那根大棒子本上神实在造孽啊)
DF’s writes this about her supporting female: “’A chaste widow who raises her two children after her husband of three years died’ is how Widow Sun describes herself.”
D7 writes this about her supporting male: “’A God who has retired from the three realms, who does not ask about worldly matters, and who has an elegant taste’ is how he describes himself.”
There is a magical shield to protect spiritual energy in DF’s story.
There is a Jiepo Lantern in T7’s story to piece together the soul.
DF’s male lead says: “I am a generous fairy, I am a compassionate fairy.” (本仙君是个大度的仙，本仙君是个慈悲的神仙)
T7’s female lead says: “If I am a generous god, then of course I am a merciful one.” (然则我是个大度的神仙，我自然是个慈悲为怀的神仙)
DF’s male lead says: “I’ve chosen Tianshu. He is my heart, my soul, no one can take him away from me.”
T7’s female lead says, “Your father is my heart my soul, how could I not want him?”
DF’s male lead ate a bowl of wonton noodles and his life changed thereafter.
T7’s female lead ate a bowl of braised pork she shouldn’t have eaten and her life changed thereafter.
DF’s male lead recalled young days of fun-seeking and laziness.
TQ’s female lead recalled young days of fun-seeking and laziness.
There was always an official standing in front of Hengwen’s desk working diligently. Whenever Hengwen wasn’t in Heaven, he’d bring him documents for him to review.
There was always an official standing on front of Yehua’s desk. Whenever Yehua wasn’t in Heaven, he’d bring a stack of documents for him to review.
Under DF’s pen, Hengwen gained a mortal admirer, namely a fox demon.
Under T7’s pen, Yehua gained a mortal admirer, namely a nun.
DF’s demon fox is very perceptive. She could see that Bi Hua was a fairy and even hoped she would get to meet Hengwen again after ascending to Heaven.
T7’s nun wasn’t any ordinary nun. She could recognize YH’s fairy origins and also hoped to meet him again after ascending to Heaven.
DF’s Ming’ge told Song Yao: “First, win his heart with fake feelings. Then you can trample on him all you want.”
T7’s Siming told her side character (FJ):”First, get him to like you. When Dijun falls head over heel, you can trample on him.”
DF’s Hengwen scaled the wall and said, “Too much trouble going through the front door. I’d have to let too many people know I’ve come.”
T7’s Yehua scaled the wall and said, “It’s annoying to go through the front door. I’d have to alarm the whole courtyard.”
The first time DF’s OTP had sex, Song Yao felt very happy. After waking up, he only saw the bed curtain and didn’t find the other person. Thereafter he made up his mind (about the relationship).
The first time T7’s OTP had sex, Bai Qian felt very happy. After waking up she only saw the bed curtain and didn’t the other person. She made up her mind from then on.
DF’s OTP had sex the second time, Hengwen said, “Give me the best you’ve got.” They went to bed at dawn, lamented spring night is too short.
The second time T7’s OTP had sex, Bai Qian said, “Can you be quicker.” They went to bed at dawn, lamented spring night is too short.
DF’s side character reincarnated into a child prodigy, born to a courtier family, got bullied by jealous classmates, became valedictorian at 16, joined the Imperial Academy and died young.
T7’s YH reincarnated into a child prodigy, born to a courtier family, got bullied by classmates, became valedictorian, joined the Imperial Academy and died young.
When the Snow Lion went mad, Song Yao was kept still by Hengwen’s magic so that he alone would battle the lion. After a loud explosion, Hengwen was nowhere to be found.
When Qingcang broke out of the Donghuang Bell, Bai Qian was kept still by Yehua’s magic so that he alone would battle Qingcang. After a loud explosion, Yehua was gone.
DF’s male lead reminisced that he had written many love letters to the person he liked. When that person later fell in love with someone else, he joked to himself that he had played matchmaker unwittingly for other people.
T7’s female lead reminisced that she had written many love letters to the person she liked. When that person later fell in love with someone else, she joked to herself that she had played matchmaker unwittingly for other people.
After rebirth, DF’s male lead met his love at the market and went to the restaurant for drinks.
T7’s female lead heard the male lead wasn’t dead while listening to opera at a restaurant.
After returning to Heaven, DF’s male lead recalled the past and went to look for his love. When he met Bi Hua, he tells us: I turned around and saw Bi Hua Lingjun, I immediately rushed over, grabbed his arm and asked, “Where’s Hengwen?” Bi Hua said, “… When Hengwen arrived, you could not be saved anymore. You were fast turning to dust. Donghua and I rushed there, each of us giving you a little of our spiritual energy. We also went to Laojun’s place and asked for medicine, then we went to the Far West seeking some relics from the Buddha and thus was able to keep a little fragment of your soul.”
T7’s female lead was told: …when Zhe Yan rushed there, Ye Hua had long stopped breathing… After knowing Yehua didn’t die, she went to look for him and met Moyuan on the way: I turned around and grabbed his wrist, anxiously asking: “Where’s Yehua, Master? Where’s Yehua?” Moyuan said, “Fushen had given him half of his spiritual energy… we had all thought he would be dead, but he is only sleeping…”
The ending for Peach Blossom Debt: he stood under a tree right outside of the manor on the fairy island, gently smiling at me like an eastern wind sweeping by. Three thousand peach blossoms flowered brilliantly.”
The ending for Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms: He slowly turned around. A light breeze passed us. The sunlight danced atop the red sea of blossoms. He smiled. He looked exactly like the first day I met him, painted eyebrows and jet black hair. A few of the blossoms fell down from the red waves but there was no longer any color or sound in this world. He called softly, “Qianqian, come here.”
Of course, some of these at first sound like laughable coincidences. “They both write xianxia.” Well so does she, and she, and she. But the growing list, down to word-for-word dialogues, soon does not seem to be mere coincidences anymore. There is also a difference in being inspired by a piece of work and blatantly lifting everything you like from said piece of work to pass it off as your own. DFGG’s Peach Blossom Debt was also not the only book alleged to have been plagiarized. There are scenes and details from other books that apparently had also been used, but I’m too tired to cite them as this is getting 11 pages long already.
This, dear readers, is why 3L3W is not on the menu tab anymore. Since I choose to believe that the series is a product of plagiarism, it is not right to circulate and promote it at the expense of another writer’s hard work.
I haven’t looked up for detailed evidences against her other books but I’m not holding my breath. One is really enough to knock me blindsided.
Sorry if I had ruined anyone’s Thursday night. You’ll have Friday happy hours to recover, I hope >_<