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"Dongtian" is not "Dongtian", alas...

Recall the conjectural reading of the red weirdos on f1r as "dong1 tian1"
(lit "winter" and "heaven"; together "winter" or "winter day"),
Recall also the Google-found reference to a Chinese (Bai) medical
classic called "Collection of Secret Prescriptions" by a certain
"Chen Dongtian".

Someone in the list (I can't find the message) asked whether that
"Dongtian" was written with the same "winter-heaven" characters. 
That was a good question. 

Since I could not find anything else on the net about this book and
author, I wrote to a couple universities and isntitutions in China 
asking for dates and spellings. Here is an answer I just got:

  Date: Sat, 2 Mar 2002 22:53:49 +0800
  From: "zeng xiongsheng" <zen [at] publica.bj.cninfo.net>
  MIME-Version: 1.0
  Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
  Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
  To: <stolfi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  Subject: Re: Information on classical Bai books

  as i know, Zhou å?¨Silian æ??æ¿? and 
  Chené?? Dongtian æ´?天, all of them lived in
  the Ming SDynasty (1368-1644).
  Dong æ´? not means winter, but cave.

  zeng xiongsheng
The cave character is not "dong1" but "dong4" (a different tone):

The combination "dong4 tian1", the name of that author, apparently
translates as "cavern heaven", an ancient mystical/mythical concept of

Unfortunately the character for "dong4" looks completely different
from the f1r doodle. So the Google hit on "Chen Dongtian" was
probably funny coincidence.  Of well.

All the best,


PS. Some of you may recall the mystical experience I had, some years
ago, of dozing on the sofa and waking up just when Professors Richard
Burton and Liz Taylor were contemplating her artwork -- which looked
very much like an enlarged print of a VMS pharma page, but
unfortunately got thrown into the fireplace before I could have a
closer look. (That was the "The Sandpiper". Someday I will rent the
tape and check that out. After all, the VMS may be just an elaborate
prank by that irreverent college student of theirs, Charles Bronson.)

In this morning's mystical experience, I woke up just when the hero, a
cash-starved student at the service of a book-loving millionaire, had
just found the 4th or 5th piece of a magical print, reputed to have
been drawn in the 1500's by the devil himself. I had tried to watch
this movie a couple of times before, but always fell asleep after the
second grisly murder. This time the poor victim was a Chinese (well,
East Asian) gentleman. Unfortunately, again, he got dispatched before
he could reveal whether his name was, perchance, "Dongtian" --- 
hopefully with the correct tone and character.  Alas.  8-)