Other People’s Thoughts, XVII

Other People’s Thoughts is a section in the Journal of the China Heritage site. It is inspired by a compilation of quotations put together by Simon Leys (Pierre Ryckmans), one of our Ancestors, during his reading life.… Read

Hong Kong Outsiders

The Best China XVIII The following essay was inspired by Ying Liang’s 應亮 recently released film A Family Tour 自由行. It appeared on 21 December 2018 in ‘Ways of the World’ 世道人生, the regular column Lee Yee 李怡 writes for Apple Daily 蘋果日報.… Read

Parthenogenesis

This is another ‘letter from a godless grandfather’. As John Minford noted when we published ‘Easter Resurrected: a letter from David Hawkes’ (China Heritage, 13 April 2017): In the 1980s, after completing his monumental translation of the first eighty chapters of The Story of the Stone 紅樓夢, David Hawkes retired with his wife Jean to an old stone farmhouse called Bryn Carregog (Stony Hill), in the mountains of Mid-Wales.… Read

The Alpha and Omega of Personality Cults

This is another ‘letter from a godless grandfather’. As John Minford noted when we published ‘Easter Resurrected: a letter from David Hawkes’ (China Heritage, 13 April 2017): In the 1980s, after completing his monumental translation of the first eighty chapters of The Story of the Stone 紅樓夢, David Hawkes retired with his wife Jean to an old stone farmhouse called Bryn Carregog (Stony Hill), in the mountains of Mid-Wales.… Read

The Kremlin Then, Zhongnanhai Now

Watching China Watching (XXXV) The following essay is the latest addition to Watching China Watching, the theme of China Heritage Annual 2018. In it Robert Conquest — a noted historian of the Soviet Union who Timothy Garton Ash said was ‘Solzhenitsyn before Solzhenitsyn’ — defends Kremlinology as a viable approach to the study of the Soviet Union.… Read

Living with the Tao

The Tao and the Power 道德經, attributed to Laozi 老子 (5th or 4th century BCE), is one of the most famous Chinese works. Previously, China Heritage has introduced chapters from a new translation of this classical text by John Minford.… Read

Other People’s Thoughts, XVI

Other People’s Thoughts is a section in the Journal of the China Heritage site. It is inspired by a compilation of quotations put together by Simon Leys (Pierre Ryckmans), one of our Ancestors, during his reading life.… Read

To Summon a Wandering Soul

This is the third essay by Professor Xu Zhangrun 許章潤 to appear in China Heritage. The first — Imminent Fears, Immediate Hopes (1 August 2018) — was written in the style of a 諫書 jiànshū, an Admonition or Petition to the Authorities.… Read

Tao Te Ching — a new translation of a Chinese classic

The Tao and the Power 道德經, attributed to Laozi 老子 (5th or 4th century BCE), is one of the most famous Chinese works. Previously, China Heritage has introduced chapters from a new translation of this classical text by John Minford.… Read

And Teachers, Then? They Just Do Their Thing!

The refusal of one decent man
outweighs the acquiescence of the multitude.
千人之諾諾,不如一士之諤諤。 — Sima Qian, ‘Biography of Lord Shang’
司馬遷著 《史記 · 商君列傳》
trans. G.R. Barmé In November 1978, Beijing audiences flocked to ‘Where Silence Reigns’ 於無聲處, a play first staged in Shanghai that addressed the question of the repression of the ‘Tiananmen Incident’ two years earlier.… Read

Travelling in the Opposite Direction — Jin Yong & Me

The Best China XVI Jin Yong’s fictional world was enthralling. Although I first encountered the work of Louis Cha (查良鏞, 1924-2018), better known as Jin Yong 金庸, in the late 1970s, the first martial arts novel of his that I read — The Deer and the Cauldron 鹿鼎記 — was his last (it appeared between 1969 and 1972).… Read

Other People’s Thoughts, XV

Other People’s Thoughts is a section in the Journal of the China Heritage site. It is inspired by a compilation of quotations put together by Simon Leys (Pierre Ryckmans), one of our Ancestors, during his reading life.… Read

In the Consequences of Poetry — Ai Weiwei Interview Part 1

Ian Boyden is an artist, writer, translator and curator whose work investigates the relationship between the self and the environment, in particular how art and writing can shape human ecology. His work reflects his abiding interest in material relevance and place-based thought, as well as an awareness of East Asian thought and aesthetics.… Read

An Afternoon in Beijing, September 1978

A Prelude to ‘Not Yet Not Yet Complete’ An Interview with Ai Weiwei in Five Parts
by Ian Boyden   For nearly a century, Communist regimes have employed damnatio memoriae, literally ‘condemnation of memory’, to deal with the ever changing terrain of history.… Read

Louis Cha’s The Deer & the Cauldron in English

鹿鼎記 The Deer & the Cauldron, the last in a series of martial arts novels by Louis Cha (Cha Leung-yung 查良鏞, 1924-), is regarded by many readers as his best. Between 1997 and 2002, John Minford brought out a three-volume translation of the novel with Oxford University Press Hong Kong (OUP HK).… Read

China Watching — Language Wars, from Montreal to Beijing

Watching China Watching (XXXIII)   In January 2018, when we launched Watching China Watching, the theme of the year’s China Heritage Annual, we said that in producing this series we have been: interested in the professional China Watchers, a once nearly-defunct claque of people working in government for national political ends, journalists, academics, ne’er-do-wells, as well as the talented curious and literary dilettantes.… Read

Speaking for the State

The Best China (XIV) In The Best China we introduced readers to essays, literary works and art produced in Hong Kong. The veteran journalist Lee Yee 李怡 (李秉堯) was the founding editor of The Seventies Monthly 七十年代月刊 (later renamed The Nineties Monthly).… Read

Homo Xinensis Militant

Drop Your Pants!
The Party Wants to
Patriotise You All Over Again
(Part V) ‘Drop Your Pants! The Party Wants to Patriotise You All Over Again’ is a five-part overview of the background and significance of the Patriotic Education Campaign launched by China’s Communist Party Central on the last day of July 2018.… Read

Other People’s Thoughts, XIV

Other People’s Thoughts is a section in the Journal of the China Heritage site. It is inspired by a compilation of quotations put together by Simon Leys (Pierre Ryckmans), one of our Ancestors, during his reading life.… Read

Mao Haijian and the Beginning of the End of Dynastic China

Mao Haijian (茅海建, 1954-) is a noted historian of the Qing dynasty (1644-1912) based at East China Normal University in Shanghai. In March 2018, an English translation of The Collapse of the Heavenly Dynasty 天朝的崩潰, Mao’s celebrated account of the First Opium War (1839-1842), was published by Cambridge University Press.… Read

Three Dreams

Three Dreams 鳳陽士人 translated by John Minford from Pu Songling’s (蒲松齡, 1640-1715) Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio 聊齋誌異 is the latest addition to Nouvelle Chinoiserie 奇趣漢學 and Wairarapa Readings 白水札記 in China Heritage.… Read

Homo Xinensis Ascendant

Drop Your Pants!
The Party Wants to
Patriotise You All Over Again
(Part IV) In part four of Drop Your Pants!, our overview of the Patriotic Education Campaign launched by China’s Communist Party on the last day of July 2018, and the latest in our series of Lessons in New Sinology, we discuss the make-up of Homo Xinensis, the comrade-consumer of Xi Jinping’s vaunted New Epoch 新時代.… Read

The Frog Bride

The Frog Bride 青蛙神 translated by John Minford from Pu Songling’s (蒲松齡, 1640-1715) Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio 聊齋誌異 is the latest addition to Nouvelle Chinoiserie 奇趣漢學 and Wairarapa Readings 白水札記 in China Heritage.… Read

A People’s Banana Republic

After sharing with friends a copy of the front page of People’s Daily dated 3 September 2018 as marked up by the canny and caustic comrades with ‘The Relevant Organs’ (@relevantorgans) — ‘China’s soft power vanguard, rectifying your thought since 2010’ — Orville Schell and Susan Jakes of ChinaFile asked me to write a few words of commentary.… Read