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Sino-Gallic firecrackers

monkeyking.jpg

 Mr Muo’s Travelling Couch (or The Complex of Judge Di) by Dai Sijie 戴思杰 (2005). Born in China, writes in French. Dai Sijie is also a film-maker.

Imagine Monkey (above from Aaron Shepard’s retelling) from The Journey to the West meets Cervantes and Rabelais via Freud and Lacan in modern China, ranging from the Cultural Revolution to Falun Gong, from Hainan Island in the south to Sichuan and Chengdu in the west, to Beijing. Imagine a sex scene punctuated by ruminations about Shanghai dumplings. Imagine bizarre scenes evocative of Grand Guignol. Imagine the damsel in distress is called “Volcano of the Old Moon”. Imagine the grotesque Judge Di who fashions art objects from the shell casings of bullets fired in executions. All are in this utterly delightful, very funny novel. The constant uncertainty whether psychoanalysis (whether Freudian of Lacanian) is or is not fortune telling is just one of many cross-cultural jokes that run through Mr Muo’s Travelling Couch. I loved it.

Definitely one of 2007’s top reads.

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Posted by on August 23, 2007 in Cultural and other, Multiculturalism and diversity, Reading

 

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Banned in China?

Remember when we all checked to see if our blogs were banned in China? See Found on John Baker’s blog, and in Marcel’s email. I said then I am told the Chinese nanny can be variable… So look at the last 100 visits here:
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Posted by on May 22, 2007 in blogging, Computers and WWW, Marcel, my sites, Web stuff

 

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Found on John Baker’s blog, and in Marcel’s email

First item: one of my favourite crime fiction writers has just died at the age of 60: Michael Dibdin Dies. I love the Aurelio Zen books.

Second item: Great Firewall of China:

You can use this site to check if your blog or website is available in China. I don’t know why you would want to do that, but maybe you do.

I am interested. Here is the result for this blog.

chinafirewall.jpg

So, according to the test, is the English and ESL Blog, but a couple of hours ago, according to Sitemeter, visit #101,847 arrived from CHINANET Guangdong province network. I am told the Chinese nanny can be variable…

The third item: “Marcel Proust” emailed an interesting set of links on Zona Europa, beginning here. Two more are at the foot of that page. It requires considerable familiarity with Chinese history and literature in the past sixty years really to get what they are about, though they also bear on the phenomenon above. I was especially interested in the second page as in my 1994 book From Yellow Earth to Eucalypt I used the wonderful poem “If Lu Xun Were Still Alive”. Lu Xun was a great 20th century Chinese poet and essayist of the Left who is still much revered in China, deservedly so; he was also, it may be argued, fortunate enough to die before the Communists came to power.
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Antony defends Chinese censorship

Antony of AntBlog701 has, I think, a curious attitude to Chinese government censorship and human rights abuses. Essentially he thinks the Chinese government acts within its rights when it does a Mugabe on such matters and tells the rest of the world to “go hang”. See Wang Xiaoning arrested, wife sues Yahoo! Antony says:
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There are still treasures to be seen and read…

Despite my quite sincere dark thoughts about the effects of the current (to me) extreme right’s trampling all over the ABC, I have to admit that there are and, one hopes will continue to be, treasures to be had on that network. Just pray that those who can’t see beyond “bottom lines”, narrowly defined in “market” terms rather than cultural terms, will not get their way. Go to Friends of the ABC. Get active in defence of the ABC.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingBut to one of the treasures, tonight’s Talking Heads on the remarkable (and beautiful) Li Cunxin (pronounced Lee Tsoonshin, a point Peter Thompson seemed to have a slight problem with, though I note Thompson did follow the advice on Li’s own site there. Curious. A dialect issue perhaps?).

PETER THOMPSON: Let’s go back, then, for a moment, to that consulate in Houston, where… when after this political drama around this defection you were told you were a person with no country. What did that mean to you?
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Posted by on October 16, 2006 in Aussie interest, Cultural and other, Films, DVDs, TV, Reading, Surry Hills

 

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