In Memoriam — Pierre Ryckmans (Simon Leys)

An Early Lesson in New Sinology   Today, 11 August 2021, marks the seventh year since Pierre Ryckmans passed away. The following essay was composed to honour his memory and published in The China Story on 30 November 2015.… Read

Outside the Pigsty Looking In, Two Views

In 2019, the Fifteenth Day of the First Month 正月十五 falls on the 19th of February. It marks the first full moon of the Lunar New Year and it is a festive day generally known as Yuanxiao 元宵, literally ‘First Evening’.… Read

Sic transit gloria mundi — Ten Years of A Prosperous Age

Translatio Imperii Sinici It is a decade since the appearance in Chinese of the novel In an Age of Prosperity: China 2013 《盛世:中國、2013年》 (translated into English by Michael S. Duke and published under the title The Fat Years in 2011).… 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

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

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

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

Homo Xinensis

Drop Your Pants!
The Party Wants to
Patriotise You All Over Again
(Part III)   This is the third installment in 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.… Read

Other People’s Thoughts, XIII

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

The Party Empire

Drop Your Pants!
The Party Wants to
Patriotise You All Over Again
(Part II)   ‘The Party Empire’ is the second part 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.… Read

The Golden Flower

‘Chrysanthemums’ 黃英 — ‘The Golden Flower’ — 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

Imminent Fears, Immediate Hopes — A Beijing Jeremiad

This is the corrected and updated version of the bilingual text of Xu Zhangrun’s 24 July 2018 essay ‘Imminent Fear, Immediate Hope’, published in China Heritage on 1 August 2018. This material also features an expanded introduction and a link to an essay written by Xu Zhangrun to commemorate the third anniversary of his Jeremiad.… Read

Discursive Heat — Humanism in 1980s China

The following essay by Gloria Davies 黃樂嫣 is from A New Literary History of Modern China, edited by David Der-wei Wang, Belknap Press/Harvard University Press, 2017. We are grateful to the author, David Wang and to Belknap Press for permission to reprint this material.… Read

Red Prison Files

The following essay by Jie Li 李潔 is from A New Literary History of Modern China, edited by David Der-wei Wang, Belknap Press/Harvard University Press, 2017. We are grateful to the author, David Wang and to Belknap Press for permission to reprint this material.… Read

On Literature and Collaboration

The following essay by Susan Daruvala is from A New Literary History of Modern China, edited by David Der-wei Wang, Belknap Press/Harvard University Press, 2017. We are grateful to the author, David Wang and to Belknap Press for permission to reprint this material.… Read