Categories
China Hong Kong

The 36 stratagems

The 36 Stratagems is an ancient Chinese text. Like Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, it is a guide on military tactics. The 36 Strategems teaches us that deception is how to win a war. Supposedly, anyone in China (or raised in a Chinese household) would know this. Chinese children learn the 36 Stratagems the […]

Categories
Books

Memory

A writer friend recently asked me to recommend books about memory. I ran into my basement to pore through my collection. Some books I can remember by title or author, some by their memorable characters, all of them by the look of a cover. Memory is a sensory act. For me, visual clues evoke memories. […]

Categories
Geen categorie

Listening Pleasures

I live in silence. I can’t write if music plays, let alone while someone talks. Listening with my nose in a book gets a little easier as long as the lyrics don’t distract me. If it weren’t for my husband, I’d probably live out my days in absolute quiet. He listens to music as he […]

Categories
Censorship China

A Boot in the Face

On Sunday afternoon, 2 June 2019, the Asian Cha blog went dark. Owner Tammy Ho Lai-Ming panicked. This was the message that appeared. When the site went dark, Ho was busy uploading texts for a reading she was to moderate. There were less than 12 hours to go. She couldn’t delay the event. Its purpose […]

Categories
Censorship China

Uncle Xi Wants You!

In the 1780s, Samuel Bentham got a job supervising workers on a Russian estate. To keep his eye on all of them, he made them sit in a circle with himself in the center. His brother, Jeremy, stole that idea and called it a panopticon. a central tower surrounded by cells. In the central tower […]

Categories
China Politics

Maps of China

Two maps of Shanghai hang on the walls of my study. One is an 1875 reproduction. Frenchtown curls around the Chinese City while the International Settlement sprawls on top. The other map is handmade, enlarged so that it covers my bulletin board. I’ve superimposed the names of the past onto the streets of the present. […]