Flights of fantasy

Shan•gri-la (ˌʃæŋ grɪˈlɑ, ˈʃæŋ grɪˌlɑ)

n. an imaginary paradise on earth, esp. a remote and exotic utopia [after the fictional Tibetan land of eternal youth in the novel The Lost Horizon (1933) by James Hilton]

definition at http://www.thefreedictionary.com

 Peach-blossom Shangri-la

peach blossom shangri-la web

 Image at http://www.chinancient.com/peach-blossom-spring-chinese-shangri-la

‘During the Taiyuan era of the Jin Dynasty there was a man of Wuling who made his living as a fisherman. Once while following a stream he forgot how far he had gone. He suddenly came to a grove of blossoming peach trees…

…The peach trees stopped at the stream’s source, where the fisherman came to a mountain with a small opening through which it seemed he could see light. Leaving his boat, he entered the opening. At first it was so narrow that he could barely pass, but after advancing a short distance it suddenly opened up to reveal a broad, flat area with imposing houses, good fields, beautiful ponds, mulberry trees, bamboo, and the like. The fisherman saw paths extending among the fields in all directions, and could hear the sounds of chickens and dogs. Men and women working in the fields all wore clothing that looked like that of foreign lands. The elderly and children all seemed to be happy and enjoying themselves…

…After several days there, the fisherman bid farewell, at which time some villagers told him, “It’s not worth telling people on the outside about us.”

The fisherman exited through the opening, found his boat, and retraced his route while leaving markers to find this place again. Upon his arrival at the prefecture town he went to the prefect and told him what had happened. The prefect immediately sent a person to follow the fisherman and look for the trail markers, but they got lost and never found the way…After that no one else ever looked for the place.’

From Peach Blossom Shangri-la by Tao Yuan Ming, naturalist, poet and government official, c365-427

Read the full text at Project Gutenberg: www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/2090/pg2090.html

Lost Horizons: other versions of Shangri-la

 The novel:

Lost_Horizon_(James_Hilton_novel)_coverart

 First edition 1933, MacMillan

 The film:

LostHorizon1937

LH1937

Directed by Frank Capra, 1937

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rt79tqEzt1o

The musical movie:

lost-horizon-1973

Directed by Charles Jarrott, 1973

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTFS4MSKgH8

 

 

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