Kevin sent me this book review. I’d like to read this book.
China’s Big Lie
Such Is This World@sars.come
by Hu Fayun, translated by A.E. Clark
(Ragged Banner Press, 536 pp., $38;
also available as an e-book from Ragged Banner’s website, $14)
There has never been a good time to be an honest writer in Communist China, but the present is an exceptionally bad time. Spooked by the “Arab Spring” and jostling for position in next year’s scheduled leadership changes, the Party bosses have been coming down hard on every kind of independent thinking. The cases of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo and artist Ai Weiwei have been well publicized, but there are many others.
Essayist Liu Xianbin, released in 2008 after nine years imprisonment for “inciting subversion of state power,” was re-arrested last summer. In March this year he was given a new ten-year sentence on that same charge. Along with this lawless brutality towards their own citizens, China’s rulers do all they can to intimidate foreigners who seek to help dissident writers. A Chinese writer needs a translator, and those best equipped to translate are Western scholars making a career in China studies. Such a career will be handicapped, though, if the scholar is denied visas to enter China. The communists make sure Western Sinologists know this. Chinese-literature specialist Perry Link, blacklisted since 1996, has written a fine essay about the problem: “The Anaconda in the Chandelier.”
The misfortunes that have afflicted Hu Fayun’s 2004 dissident novel Such Is This World@sars.come have therefore been nothing out of the ordinary. The manuscript was posted on a website in 2005; the website was quickly shut down. A Beijing publisher brought out a bowdlerized version in 2006, but the book was proscribed the following year as the communists tightened controls prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. A Princeton sinology graduate considered making a translation, but backed off on learning that the book was banned in China.
To read the rest of the original review, click here.