History[ edit ] According to Oxford Dictionariesthe term post-truth was first used in a essay by the late Serbian-American playwright Steve Tesich in The Nation.
Woe to any author who mixes names or locations. However, it seems to me that any historic fiction that does not take place in Britain or North America post requires extra effort. Research books are available, of course, but these for the most part ignore all but Anglo-Saxon cultures.
The Orient especially seems to be susceptible to misinformation, ignorance and to some extent, smugness. This attitude dates back hundreds of years. A good example is the self-satisfied description of opium smoking in The Historical Encyclopedia of Costume by Albert Racinet. Aileen Ribeiro points this out in her introduction.
This seems to be the most common problem here in America, thus the subtitle of this article. I must admit that I was among the ignorant until recently.
This weapon is represented in movies most notably the Shadow and video games most notably Age of Empires II as a sort of medieval Chinese Uzi with the same power and destructive capabilities. It naturally never jams although that can be argued as being a cinematic necessity.
Another mistake that seems common is that even when Asian archery is represented it is assumed that European and Asian archery are exactly the same thing. This makes about as much sense as saying that since the Chinese and Europeans enjoyed silk their fashion is identical or that since Japanese and English swords are both made of steel then there is no difference between them.
The best idea for a historic novelist is to find an expert or a reputable history book and leave Hollywood out of it. The son of the family, a man in his forties, has now firmly taken up the task of learning bow-making from his father.
I feel rather like a monk who has taken vows. I am up at the flea market at five o' clock on Saturday mornings to see if there are any old broken bows about. When I can get them, I take them apart to learn how the old masters worked and then put them back together again. In the old firm, there were a number of people involved and we outsourced a lot of activities.
In the workshop in my father's day there were three or four people working on the bows, and then a number of people working on the decoration.
There was a tradition of keeping these activities separate: For the siyahs, we needed elm wood with a slight curve to the grain. The woodsmen knew what we needed and we could always get it. Now all we can get is industrially-cut wood. You're not allowed to go around Peking cutting up trees any more.
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That's a completely different situation from what happened in the past. A maker of horn and sinew bows has to be able to hear the bow as it is pulled. Imminent failure carries warning sounds, and you can detect defects by tapping the limbs.
But father can't tell me what to listen out for any more, so we sometimes have some dangerous catastrophes. I'm learning to pull a bow now: I can already manage fifty pounds. Arrow shaft in front of the string: Max width of limbs: This seems to be a Liao Khitan burial item dating from around 12th Century.
The Khitans were the political predecessors of the Mongols whose name gave rise to the word 'Cathay'. This little bow was once gilded and a lot of attention seems to have been given to detail. The grip and the relative thickness of the limbs look convincing, as does the twisted rawhide or gut string.
The arrowhead is typical of the Liao iron arrowheads I find in Peking. In the model, the arrow nock is a ring which fixes the arrow so that it can swing on the string.
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