The famous dissident artist Ai Weiwei, who as of June this year is allowed to leave Beijing (though not China), has slammed the decision to award the 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature to Mo Yan, saying:
“Giving the award to a writer like this is an insult to humanity and to literature. It’s shameful for the committee to have made this selection which does not live up to the previous quality of literature in the award.”
Ai Weiwei cites Mo Yan’s lack of involvement in “the contemporary struggle”, stating, “You can never separate literature and struggle from today’s current political situation. China is a state with no freedom of expression.”
The government-run People’s Daily newspaper celebrated the award saying:
“Mo Yan wins the Nobel Prize for Literature! This is the first Chinese writer who has won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Chinese writers have waited too long, the Chinese people have waited too long.”
Which curiously neglects Gao Xingjian, a Chinese-born and raised author whose Nobel prize winning novel Soul Mountain, written in Chinese, about a journey on foot through China in search of a mythical Chinese mountain, was partly written in France, where Gao Xingian took citizenship, and first published in Taiwan due to political pressures.
In an interview with the Hong Kong newspaper, East Daily, Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji gave these gushing words of pride:
“I am very happy that works written in Chinese can win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Chinese characters have a history of several thousand years, and Chinese language has an infinite charm, (I) believe that there will be Chinese works winning Nobel Prizes again in the future. Although it’s a pity that the winner this time is a French citizen instead of Chinese, I still would like to send my congratulations both to the winner and the French Department of Culture.” [via wiki]
Perhaps Ai Weiwei has a point.
You may remember him from such historical events as the founding of the United States, the invention of the lightning rod, and being money. In addition to these fine achievements, Franklin published in the Pennsylvania Gazette, 1737, a list of 200 synonyms for ‘drunk’ that were, in his words, “gather’d wholly from the modern Tavern-Conversation of Tiplers.” Check them out here. I think ‘Wamble Crop’d’ is due for a resurgence.
“Gray’s Anatomy is a “classic” book on Anatomy. Unusual for a classic, it is everything you have heard. The drawings are beautiful, accurate, and interesting. This book has been a standard text for Anatomy since 1901. As such, the drawings are only part of this book. The book’s main effort is an explanation of human anatomy. It does so wonderfully and clearly.” [via Amazon user review w/edits] This copy is a facsimile of the 15th edition that revised and updated the original version in 1985. It contains the original drawings but perhaps not to be used for performing surgery.
Available instore for the privately insured price of $5
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The Orwell Diaries is a blog that posts daily entries from the diaries of George Orwell between the years of 1938 and 1942 in which his political ideas and fears for the future congealed into what would become two of the most influential, entertaining and chilling novels of the past century – Animal Farm and 1984. It also gives a detailed, intimate picture of civilian life during WWII. In Orwell’s private reflections there is insight into then-current world events and surprising, even shocking revelations of his personal beliefs and impressions. And these expressed in the same fluid, economical style of his published novels. The diaries are a portrait of a vigorous and radical mind.
From the 9th of August, 1942:
“Open-air church parade in Regents Park yesterday. How touching the scene ought to be – the battalion in hollow square, band of the Coldstream Guards, the men standing bareheaded (beautiful autumn day, faint mist and not a leaf stirring, dogs gambolling round) and singing the hymns as best they could. But unfortunately there was a sermon with the jingoistic muck which is usual on these occasions and which makes me go pro-German for as long as I listen to it.” [via]