Category Archives: Contemporary Culture

Book launch: The woman from Taichung meets the little French prince《臺中一姊遇到法國小王子》

Went to an enjoyable book launch today. The book is called 《臺中一姊遇到法國小王子》(The woman from Taichung meets the little French prince). I read the first few chapters when I was waiting to meet the author, 宋念華. The book seems like a charming, light … Continue reading

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What I’m reading 我在讀什麼?

I have been jumping from book to book lately, so going to post what I’m reviewing next in the hope that this will put a little pressure on me to stick with one all the way through. I started I Am … Continue reading

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Book Review: Evan Osnos ‘Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China’

This is a great, accessible read, that offers a map for those interested in picking their way through the minefield of press reports on China, ranging from the ”China threat” myth perpetuated by some of the Western press and the “China is the best … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Dream Devourer by Egoyan Zheng 伊格言《噬夢人》書評

I was first asked to translate an excerpt from this book by author Egoyan Zheng for eRenlai, and it was only later that I realized that it was in fact an excerpt from a full-length novel – somewhat of a rarity … Continue reading

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The Sunken and Forbidden Islands – Huang Yuqian 沉沒與禁閉之島——黃郁茜

There are many islands strewn across the Pacific, they withdrew from the world, and hoped never to be found. The footsteps of the Han quietly snuck up upon them however, their persuasive words laced with the rhetoric of modernity and … Continue reading

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‘The Blue Child’ by Egoyan Zheng 〈藍孩子的故事〉伊格言著

Zheng Qianci (鄭千慈), whose pen name is Egoyan Zheng (伊格言)is a prominent science fiction writer and poet from Taiwan born in 1977. After dropping out of medical school, he completed his masters in Chinese Literature at Tamkang University. He’s won … Continue reading

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About to Awaken / 將醒 by MuXin (木心)

Mu Xin is the pen name for author, painter and poet, Sun Pu (孙璞). He came from a wealthy family in Zhejiang and was the nephew of the famous Chinese author Mao Dun (茅盾). After graduating from art school he … Continue reading

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Film Review: No Man’s Land (2013) 影評:寧浩的《無人區》

I heard about this film on the Sinica podcast, where it was described by a critic as a Coenesque dark comedy. When I heard Coenesque I was thinking Burn after Reading, The Hudsucker Proxy or Fargo, not No Country for Old … Continue reading

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‘The Pretty Boy from Hanoi’ by Roan Ching-yue 阮慶岳的〈河內美麗男〉

Translated from the Chinese by Conor Stuart. This is a short story taken from City of Tears (哭泣哭泣城 kuqi kuqi cheng, 2002) by Roan Ching-yue (阮慶岳) , an architect and professor based in Taipei. For more posts from Conor visit … Continue reading

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余華之《活著》書評 A Review of To Live by Yu Hua

余華的短片小說我念大學時就讀到幾篇了,讀到時候感覺很新鮮——尤其是〈現實一種〉這篇——人物跟敘事者對小說中的血腥行為保持客觀的距離、漠不關心的態度,似乎主角在害他弟弟時也沒有多留意就心被分到光線那邊去。讀了許多年的刻版式的課文的我突然感覺有了活力——原來中文也有不濫情的、現代主義小說。不過,看《活著》看到一半又有一點失望,余華在這個作品中的敘事形式很像寫實主義的那派「傷痕文學」或賽珍珠的《大地》,只是以平民的視野去敘事內戰、文化大革命時期的那段歷史。這當然不見得是不好看,只是我在念高中時看這類型的小說看膩了,例如《野天鵝》、《落葉歸根》等等。 然而到最後(死了很多人之後)又讓我想到史坦貝克之《憤怒的葡萄》悲觀的收場。只是余華似乎跟史坦貝克的意圖不同,到最後富貴還是以正面的態度繼續活著。他那樣地接受所謂的「天意」令人想到台灣新電影的風格,尤其是《戀戀風塵》。 This was a an average but ultimately disappointing read from an author whose short stories promised something more. ‘A Kind of Reality’ had an interesting narrative style, completely unengaged from the tragedy that occurs in the story, To … Continue reading

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