Monday, January 23, 2012
"we can't always use pandas and tea"
this is the sort of writer I've always wanted to be, not necessarily the voice of a nation but the writer who can direct readers to that voice, the writer who makes note of what the nation has become and points up both its foibles and its beauty. han han, who I had not heard of until I'd read this essay (my link is to the digital new yorker copy from last july and may prove unnavigatable and you may need to go to the paywall at the new yorker website), is publishing in english soon and I look forward to finding his essays, perhaps his fiction. I love too that in his native china he's better known as a racer than an author. shades of buckaroo banzai. I'm currently in a fiction mode, reading novels that make a comment on their times, from les miserables by hugo to neuromancer by gibson. these are the sorts of works that move down the centuries.