Sinica: An evening at the Beijing Bookworm
Jeremy Goldkorn hosts Chinese Characters contributors Ian Johnson and Christina Larson in a discussion about the book and what Johnson calls “the rise of the individual in China.” The discussion was hosted live at the Beijing Bookworm on Sept. 13, 2012.
It took eight years, but you can now read a Chinese translation of Ian Johnson’s amazing book: 苛稅、胡同和法輪功：底層中國的緩慢革命 － Wild Grass: Three Portraits of Change in Morden China @ 金石堂網路書店
At The Bookworm bookstore: Though China is currently in the global spotlight, few outside its borders have a feel for the tremendous diversity of the lives being led inside the country. Chinese Characters: Profiles of Fast-Changing Lives in a Fast-Changing Land is a collection of compelling stories challenges oversimplified views of China by shifting the focus away from the question of China’s place in the global order and zeroing in on what is happening on the ground. The collection includes profiles of people who defy stereotype - an artist who copies classical paintings for export to tourist markets, Xi’an migrant workers who make a living recycling trash in the city dumps, a Taoist mystic, an entrepreneur hoping to strike it rich in the rental car business, an old woman about to lose her home in Beijing, and a crusading legal scholar – written by some of the most talented and respected journalists and scholars writing about China today. Join us to celebrate the publication of this new collection and hear from contributors Ian Johnson (Wild Grass), Christina Larson (Foreign Policy), Evan Osnos (The New Yorker) and Ananth Krishnan (The Hindu) on the profiles they contributed.
Building 4, Nan Sanlitun Road,
Chaoyang District, Beijing
100027, P.R China
I admire Ye Shiwen’s performance but wonder more about why the country’s swimming coaches get paid almost as much as the central government spends on preserving the country’s dying folk culture. I think Phelps is a great physical specimen but wonder why Americans are getting fatter and fatter. And I look in bemusement at Great Britain’s sudden rise up the medals table—the telltale sign of a country with an inferiority complex that has decided to spend lots and lots of money on attention-getting elite sports: modern-day penis envy.
In the West, if people know anything, they might think of him as conservative. For example, he supported Reagan and, later, George W. Bush’s Iraq War. He was very similar in many ways to the Republicans.
So you can see that once you enter the system, you need to become bad. If you don’t become bad, you can’t survive.