Commemorating Jacques Pimpaneau

The Best China Pierre Ryckmans, better known to readers under the pen name of Simon Leys, valued Jacques Pimpaneau as ‘a colourful character, original, a non-conformity, an oddball, cultivated, generous.’ (As quoted in Philippe Paquet, Simon Leys: Navigator Between Worlds, p.230.)… Read

The Right to Know & the Need to Lampoon

Spectres & Souls The following essay is Part Two of ‘The Fog of Words: Kabul 2021, Beijing 1949’ and the Prologue to ‘The Xi Jinping Restoration’. It should be read in conjunction with ‘Prelude to a Restoration: Xi Jinping, Deng Xiaoping, Chen Yun & the Spectre of Mao Zedong’ (China Heritage, 20 September 2021).… Read

Remembering Harold Bloom, at a remove

Spectres & Souls A few days after the death of Harold Bloom on 14 October 2019, I listened to an interview with him recorded by Phillip Adams, an old friend and a remarkable interlocutor, on Late Night Live, the program that Phillip has hosted on ABC radio for three decades.… Read

How Steel is Tempered — Chen Qiushi Returns

Viral Alarm
Spectres & Souls The lawyer Chen Qiushi (陳秋實, 1985-) was one of the autonomous citizen-journalists who attempted to report on the outbreak of ‘Wuhan Flu’ 武汉肺炎 (武肺) — later known as ‘Corona Virus’ 新冠病毒 or Covid-19 — in February 2020.… Read