• bysea
  • 注册于:2004-09-20
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  • 所在地: Boston
发表于: 9/28/2005 12:36 发表主题: 北大生物系华裔女作家李翊云获国际短篇小说大奖(ZT)
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送交者: 爱荷 2005年9月27日13:51:27 于 [教育与学术]http://www.bbsland.com


李翊云早前接受中国媒体采访时透露说,她在国内时从未想过要当作家,也没写过什么文
学作品,1996年从北大生物系毕业后来到爱荷华城,原本打算攻读生物学博士学位,然而
她在爱荷华大学听说了该校着名的作家工作室(The Writers' Workshop)种种轶事之后,
发现自己对用英文写作的兴趣与日俱增。


特稿:华裔女作家李翊云获国际短篇小说大奖

多维社记者纪军编译报导/1996年赴美留学、从2000年才开始用英文写作的华裔女作家李
翊云(Li Yiyun),在去年荣获美国着名文学杂志《巴黎评论》的年度新人奖后,9月25日
,其首部短篇小说集获得了首届爱尔兰法朗克.奥康纳(Frank O'Connor)国际短篇小说奖
。这个奖金达5万欧元的奖项,据称是世界短篇小说创作的奖金最高的单项大奖。(
chinesenewsnet.com)


据英国卫报和法新社报导,首届法兰克.奥康纳国际短篇小说奖,也是当今世界奖金最高
的小说奖,9月25日颁发给了李翊云所创作的首部短篇小说集《千年的祈求》(A Thousand
Years of Good Prayers)。

在爱尔兰考克(Cork)举行的颁奖仪式上,评委会女主席迈克德米德(Val McDermid)对李翊
云的小说集给予了极高的评价。迈克德米德说,经过评委们的热烈讨论,最新全体同意《
祈求千年》赢得此项大奖,因为“它展示出一种对短篇形式令人钦佩的驾驭,不断展现出
非常绚丽的瞬间。这是一部富有历史感和人性的小说集。”

报导介绍说,李翊云在1996年赴美国留学前一直在北京生活,她曾在美国爱荷华大学作家
工作室和非虚构写作项目攻读艺术硕士学位(Master in Fine Arts),期间她用英文创作
小说不时刊登在《纽约客》和美国着名文学杂志《巴黎评论》上。她的第一部小说集《千
年的祈求》共有10篇短小说,描写的是中国人和华裔美国人的故事,从北京喧嚷的中心,
到芝加哥的快餐店,再到内蒙古贫瘠的大草原,讲述了有关神话、家庭、历史和阶层的问
题。

评委会评价说,李翊云的短篇小说集“用令人心碎的诚实和美丽的散文语言,展现了异国
和熟悉的世界”。法朗克.奥康纳国际短篇小说奖,是为纪念爱尔兰着名小说家、剧作家
、戏剧导演和文学评论家奥康纳而设立的。奥康纳于1903年出生在爱尔兰的库克市,他曾
把大陆现实主义与本土口头传统融合起来,并因创作了现代爱尔兰短篇小说,在爱尔兰文
坛上享有着极高的荣誉。

多维社从爱荷华大学官方网站检索到有关李翊云的档案显示,在爱荷华大学获得艺术硕士
学位李翊云,已该校的米尔斯学院(Mills College)聘为tenure-track助理教授,教授小
说和非虚构类写作。李翊云曾荣获《巴黎评论》设立的“普林姆顿年度新人奖”,也曾被
洛杉矶时报列为2005年“新人观察名单”,同时她还同兰登书屋签订出版小说的合约。此
外,她的小说曾在《纽约客》和《巴黎评论》上发表。

创刊于1953年的《巴黎评论》(The Paris Review)是美国最着名的纯文学杂志,一向以挖
掘新人着称。《巴黎评论》在2004年设立的“普林姆顿年度新人奖”颁发给了李翊云。而
菲利普.罗思、杰克.凯鲁亚克、V.S.奈保尔等名作家的早期作品都在该刊发表过。为纪念
去年逝世的创始人乔治.普林姆顿,该刊1004年首次设立“普林姆顿奖”,奖金5000美元
,奖励该刊上一年度发表的最佳新人作品。

李翊云早前接受中国媒体采访时透露说,她在国内时从未想过要当作家,也没写过什么文
学作品,1996年从北大生物系毕业后来到爱荷华城,原本打算攻读生物学博士学位,然而
她在爱荷华大学听说了该校着名的作家工作室(The Writers' Workshop)种种轶事之后,
发现自己对用英文写作的兴趣与日俱增。


_________________
再穷,一日也得三笑。
http://www.smilewords.com: 贩卖幽默, 兼营哲理.



最后进行编辑的是 bysea on 10/06/2005 15:03, 总计第 1 次编辑
  • bysea
  • 注册于:2004-09-20
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  • 所在地: Boston
发表于: 9/28/2005 12:40 发表主题:
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几乎没写过中文小说的,一开始就写英文。。。就得奖。。。佩服
_________________
再穷,一日也得三笑。
http://www.smilewords.com: 贩卖幽默, 兼营哲理.

  • Greentea
  • 注册于:2004-09-20
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发表于: 9/28/2005 14:05 发表主题:
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I know this girl. And I think peachleaf MM knows her much better.

Bysea, do you foresee another career path through her story wink To encourage you to devote more time and effort to writing, I'd like to introduce another role model for you: 冯唐. He is originally medicine major, but gave up clinical and research career later on, and now a writer who has published a few novels...
http://www.fengtang.com/bio.html

wanger, wildcrane, ghostneuron, you all have the potential to think about changing career path... rose wink
  • tutu
  • 注册于:1969-12-31
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  • 所在地: MA
发表于: 9/28/2005 15:40 发表主题:
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有的人真有语音天赋啊 牛 牛
  • bysea
  • 注册于:2004-09-20
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发表于: 9/28/2005 16:43 发表主题:
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Yiyun Li

What Has That to Do with Me?

This story I am going to tell you, it is a true story.
The year was 1968. The girl was nineteen, the secretary of the Communist Youth League for her class in a local high school in Hunan Province, China. You probably don’t know much about Hunan, but I am sure you have heard of at least one person from the province―Chairman Mao, our father, leader, savior, our god and our dictator.
So it was in 1968 that the nineteen-year-old Hunan girl, after seeing many men and women being kicked and beaten to death by her fellow Red Guards, expressed her doubts about Chairman Mao and the Cultural Revolution he had started two years earlier, in a letter to her boyfriend, who was serving in the military. He turned in the letter to the company officer. The officer reported to his superiors, who in turn telegraphed the Revolutionary Committee of her town. Three days later, she was arrested.
She was jailed for ten years, ten long years during which she kept writing to officials of all levels to appeal her case. The letters accumulated as evidence of her failure to reform, and ten years later, in a retrial, she was sentenced to death.
She was executed in the spring of 1978, two years after Chairman Mao’s death. Hundreds of people attended the execution in a local stadium. A bullet took her twenty-nine-year-old life, and that was the end of her story.

But the story I am telling you, it is not over yet.
Because I still have to tell you what happened before the final moment. Minutes before the execution, an ambulance rushed into the stadium, and several medical workers jumped out. I call them medical workers because I don’t know if they were doctors. Do doctors kill? But these medical workers, they were professional, efficient. Working quickly so as not to delay the execution, they removed the girl’s kidneys. No anesthesia.
The bullet entered her brain after the kidneys were taken out. The brain was the sinning organ. The kidneys were amnestied, airlifted to a hospital in the province capital, and transplanted into an older man’s body. The man was the father of a member of the province Revolutionary Committee.
The kidneys outlived her, for how many years I do not know.

The story I am telling you, it does not end when the brain was murdered. Not yet.
Because I still have to tell you what happened to the young woman’s body, minus her kidneys. Like the families of many counterrevolutionaries, her family paid for the bullet that took her life. Twenty-four cents it was, the price of a thin slice of pork in 1978. They signed the paper and paid for the bullet, but they did not dare to pick up the body after the execution. So the girl was left outside the town, in a wild land of stray dogs, crows, and other scavengers. One of the others got to the body first, a fifty-seven-year-old janitor. When jars were later discovered at his home, he admitted to having raped the body. Then he amputated the sex organs and preserved them in formaldehyde for his personal collection.
He was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment.

But the story I am telling you―you may have guessed this by now―the story I am telling you, it is not over yet.
At the time, in the city in Hunan Province, before the final sentence of the young woman, there were people who tried to organize and appeal on her behalf. They did not stop at the woman’s execution, fighting now not for her life but her innocence. Ping-Fan, depurge, was what it was called, for in our country, as in any other communist nation, innocence was determined not by one’s behavior but by the tolerance of such behavior at a certain time. I grew up reading stories of depurge in newspapers and magazines, of people who had been labeled as counterrevolutionaries for ten, twenty, or even thirty years, and now were reabsorbed into our communist family. Some were still alive, but most who were depurged had long been dead. Still, a readmission to the society was celebrated by grateful family members in tears. So you see, in our country, one’s story does not end at one’s death.
Back in the Hunan town, people gathered for the young woman’s posthumous reputation. Hundreds of people joined the protest, and every one of them was punished in the end, years in prison for some, dismissal or suspension from work for luckier ones. One of them, a woman thirty-two years old, an organizer of the protest and mother of a two-year-old boy, was sentenced to death. She signed on the sentence paper and was reported to have thrown away the pen and said, “What makes you all fear death so? Everybody dies.”

I am not sure how to tell the story I want to tell you. Sometimes when I think about the story, it becomes a grotesque kaleidoscope spinning with patterns and colors that startle my eyes. Sometimes I have to shut my eyes in order not to see.
And shut my mind’s eye so I can stop imagining: the clean incision when the scalpel cut into the skin, hastily disinfected for the sake of the kidneys; the short moment between the operation and the death; the parents who gave up not only the daughter’s life but her body; or the boy who grew up not knowing his mother and who was taught to thank the government five years later when she was depurged.
What makes you all fear death so? I do not have an answer. I run away from the deaths of the two young women because I have only enough courage to tell the stories of those alive―for instance, the audience who filed into the stadium and watched the young woman suffer and die. The execution must have taken place in the morning, as all executions have in my country for hundreds of years. Did people go to the stadium first before they went to work, or did they parade to the stadium from different working units, singing Chinese and Soviet marching songs?
I try to see the world through my eyes of 1978. That spring I was five and a half years old, a problematic kid in day care, disliked by all the aunties, as we called the day care teachers. One, Auntie Wang, especially hated me. I knew she hated me, but I did not know why. I feared her more than any other kid feared her; I feared her more than I feared any other person in my life. I was always the first to stop playing and run to her when she called out any order. I would stand in front of her, looking with expecting eyes, waiting for her to praise my promptness. But she saw through my willingness and brushed my head aside with a heavy hand. “Stop looking at me like that. I know you do this just to make us believe you are a good kid. Don’t think you can deceive me.”
I tried not to cry, not knowing that what angered her was my blunt, wide-eyed stare. Auntie Wang turned to another auntie and said, “This is a kid who has too much of her own will.” The other auntie agreed.
I did not know what they meant. I did not have any will except to please Auntie Wang so she would smile at me, or praise me, or at least not yell at me every time I played the guerilla leader. In the day care our favorite game was battle game, boys the male guerilla fighters, girls the female guerilla fighters. Our enemy was Japanese invaders, the reactionary nationalist army, American soldiers in Korea or Vietnam, all in the forms of houses and trees, rails and weeds. I was always the guerilla leader because I was the one who made up the story for our battle games, the one to lead them to charge or retreat.
But before I had won my first battle this morning, Auntie Wang grabbed my collar and brought me to a full stop. “What are you making them do?” she said.
I tried not to look at her, but I did. “Play guerillas,” I said.
“No guerilla playing today,” Auntie Wang said and waved to my soldiers standing beside me. “Go play other games.”
The boys and girls scattered. I tried to slip away, but Auntie Wang stopped me with a thundering yell. “You, did I tell you to leave?”
“No,” I said.
“Right. Time-out for you this morning. Now squat here.”
I squatted between her and another auntie, who was busy knitting a sweater for her son. Auntie Wang reserved this special punishment for me. Other kids served five or ten minutes of time-out standing in front of her, but she always had me squat, for half an hour at least.
Many years later I read in an article that having prisoners squat for hours is a common practice in Chinese prisons. Squatting while holding the legs, putting the whole body’s weight on the heels of the feet, back bending and hips drooping―such a primitive position creates pain as well as shame, the article said.
I wonder if Auntie Wang was an inventive person or if she simply knew the practice. Either way, I had to squat in such a position so often that I was no longer bothered by it. Yes, my legs still cramped, but I could still watch my friends with cramping legs. I saw boys chase one another in meaningless circles, girls gather wildflowers and grass leaves. They did not know how to play a guerrilla game without me.
I sighed. Auntie Wang caught me immediately. “Why did you sigh? Do you think I am wrong to punish you?”
“No,” I said.
“You are lying. Did you not sigh? I heard you. You are dishonest. Do you hate me?”
“No,” I said, trying hard to hold back my tears.
“Liar. I know you hate me. I know you do,” Auntie Wang said.
Such exchanges happened often when I was on time-out. I did not know what made Auntie Wang so persistent in tormenting me. Did she have much fun having me in the day care? I do not know the answer. Many years later, when I was already in America, my mother met her in a shop. Auntie Wang recognized my mother right away and asked about me. In the next five years, as my mother told me, they met in the street many times, and Auntie Wang asked about me every time. I wonder if she remembers me for the same reason I remember her. Sometimes I wonder about it, knowing I will never get to know the real reason, accepting her comment that I was a kid with too much of my own will as the only explanation.
So on this unlucky day, I was bracing myself for a long squatting period when the police patrol drove into an open field by our play yard. There were two tall metal poles at the center of the field. On evenings when movies were shown in the open field, a piece of white cloth would be stretched between the two poles, with people sitting on both sides of the screen watching the same war movie and speaking the lines in a collective voice along with the heroic actors. During daytime the field was left for weeds and insects, and I was surprised to see the police car drive in there, calling through a loudspeaker for the residents to gather in ten minutes. Retired men and women walked out of the apartment buildings carrying folding chairs and stools. Some even carried umbrellas to shield them from the morning sun. The electric bell clanked in the nearby elementary school. A minute later students of all grades rushed out of the school building, pushing and shouting and ignoring the teachers’ orders.
I was so excited by what was going on that I forgot to squat. I stood up and looked for my sister among the schoolchildren. Immediately Auntie Wang came and snatched me off the ground. I was scared, but she did not have time to scold me. She placed me at the end of the long rope that we all held onto when we went out of the day care. I held the rope and started to stomp my feet as other kids did, waiting impatiently to be taken outside our play yard.
As we walked onto the open field, the old men and women patted and squeezed our cheeks. Other, younger adults had also arrived from different working units. We sat down in the grass at the very front. Workers were building a temporary stage with bamboo sticks and wooden planks. The students from the elementary school sat behind us. I looked back and found my sister in the secondgrade line, and I grinned at her, glad that she was not as close to the stage as I was.
As we waited, the aunties chattered among themselves and passed around a bag of dried tofu snacks. I caught a black ant and put it in my palm, let it walk over my fingers, something my parents told me not to do because, as they said, my hand was too hot for an ant and it would have a fever walking on my fingers. I watched the ant looking in a feverish way for an exit to leave my hand. When I was tired of the ant, I flipped it with a finger and saw it land on the neck of Auntie Wang, sitting not far from me. I held my breath, but she did not turn around. I hesitated and cried out a warning. “Auntie, auntie,” I said.
“What?” she turned around and said. “Now it’s you again. Get up and squat. Keep quiet.”
I got up on my feet, trying to keep my head and my back as close to my legs as I could, so my sister could not tell that I was being punished again.
The truck drove into the open field as I was struggling to keep a decent squatting position. Policemen, dressed up in snow white uniforms, jumped down from the covered truck. Then four men, all heavily bound with ropes, were pushed out of the truck and led onto the stage. Two policemen stood behind each man, pushing his head down. A police officer with a loudspeaker came onto the stage, announcing that the four counterrevolutionary hooligans had been sentenced to death and the sentence would be carried out after they were paraded through all the neighborhoods of the district. Then he raised a fist and shouted, “Death to the counterrevolutionary hooligans!”
The aunties signaled us, and I raised my fist, still in the squatting position. We shouted the slogan along with the elementary school students, the uncles and aunts from all the working units, and the retirees, who had already started to leave the meeting with their chairs. The hooligans were escorted back to the truck, and a minute later the police car and the truck pulled out of the open field and drove away to the next meeting place. I felt disappointed at the shortness of the meeting. Auntie Wang walked up to me and put her hand to my head, in the shape of a handgun. “You see that? If you have too much of your own will, you will become a criminal one day. Bang,” she said, pulling her finger as if to trigger the gun, “and you are done.”

So I could have been there in the Hunan stadium, five years old or seventy-five years old, a child trapped in her small unhappiness or an old man already getting tired of the long morning. Did I see the violent struggle of the young woman as the medical workers tried to pin her limbs down? Did I hear the muffled cries that came from her gagged mouth?
No, I did not see, and I did not hear. I was dozing off, out of boredom. I woke up in time to see another man, a young villager, in a provincial court in central China, stand up and say into the microphone, “I was an orphan. I was illiterate. I did not know how to be a good man. I promise I will learn to be a good man. I ask the people to listen to me.”
It was the winter of 1991, and I was one of the freshmen of Peking University in the middle of a one-year brainwashing in a military camp in central China. The Harvard of China, as the university advertised itself, Peking University had been the hotbed of every student movement in Chinese history, including the one in 1989 in Tiananmen Square that ended in bloodshed. For the next four years, to immunize the incoming students to the disease that was called freedom, all freshmen were sent to the military for a year of brainwashing, or political reeducation, as it was called.
Being in the military made me think of myself as a victim of the regime. Having to use toilet stalls that had no doors angered me. Having to listen to the officers call us disgusting wild cats in the mating season after being caught singing a love song in the break or Americans’ walking dogs after being caught reading English in political education class, their spittle on our faces, angered me. Anger sustained us as hope would sustain one in such a situation. Anger fed us instead of the radish stew that never filled our stomachs. Anger made us defy the officers’ orders in public and in secrecy. Anger helped us to endure the punishment with dignity.
Anger made our lives meaningful, filling us with selves bigger than our true selves. What could be more satisfactory for boys and girls of eighteen and nineteen than to feel that pumped self growing inside as leavened dough?
So that winter day I was sitting among; my fellow victims, a swollen self inside my dark green uniform, in a crowded theater that served as a makeshift court for three young men. We were sent to listen to the trial to learn how to be law-abiding citizens. On the stage were a judge, a public prosecutor, a one-man jury, and two assistants who recorded the trial. The three men on trial were held in separate pens. From where I sat, I could not see any of their faces, and I did not care to see.
I closed my eyes once we were ordered to sit down. I dozed off during the public prosecutor’s opening statement, spoken in a local dialect that I could not understand well, and was lost in my own dreamland until the officer on duty walking from aisle to aisle tapped my shoulder heavily with her belt. I pulled myself straight and looked at the stage. The judge was asking questions, and the prosecutor was answering, waving a knife in front of him for emphasis. “What did the men do?” I asked the girl next to me in a whisper.
“A train robbery,” the girl answered. “I don’t know for sure.”
I closed my eyes, not curious whom they had robbed, what they had done to the train. I did not see anything in the three men that was worthy of my attention. Again I was awakened by the officer.
For a while I sat there not thinking anything, looking at the back of the head in front of me and the head in front of that head. Then I traced my eyes along the head to the shoulder and to the wooden chair, where a line of characters was scrawled on its back in faint ink. I leaned forward and tried to read it. “Wang San eat dog shit!” I laughed to myself at the huge exclamation mark and pointed to the girl next to me, and she nodded with a smile.
Then the youngest of the three criminals stood in his pen and spoke into the microphone in front of him in heavily accented mandarin Chinese. “I was an orphan. I was illiterate. I did not know how to be a good man. I promise I will learn to be a good man. I ask the people to listen to me,” he said and bowed to us.
I laughed and whispered to the girl next to me, “What is he doing?”
“I think the judge just asked him if he had anything to say to defend himself.” “And that’s his defense?”
“Probably.”
“And what’s that to do with us?” I said, and we both laughed lightly, dismissing the image of the young man along with the graffiti on the back of the chair.
That was the end of the trial. We did not catch how many years the young men were sentenced to, and we did not care to know. We left the theater feeling angered that one more afternoon of our lives had been wasted, not knowing we had missed one important moment, not knowing that we forgot to answer that crucial question: What has that to do with us?

Did anyone in the Hunan stadium ask the same question? Did anyone try to answer it? I want to know what the audience was thinking as it watched the young woman’s death. Was there an Auntie Wang in the crowd?
I want to know, too, who those medical workers were, rushing in and out of the stadium in the ambulances. Was the surgeon the same one who, when I was ten years old, operated on my mother to take her gallbladder out? I saw him shortly after the operation, and he even joked with me, telling me that my mom would no longer be a quick-tempered person because she no longer had an organ to store her bile.
I want to know the man with the transplanted kidneys. After the operation did he walk with a cane to the neighborhood center to attend the retirees’ biweekly meetings, where my eighty-one-year-old grandpa was made to stand for hours, listening to the old men and women criticize him because he once fought in the army against Communism?
I want to know the boyfriend who turned in the letter to his officer. Was he
promoted for his action and admitted to the Communist Party? Did he become the officer who had us march in snow for hours when we were in the military, trying to kick our shaking legs with his leather boots?
I want to know, too, the janitor. How did he get caught? What made him seek out a criminal’s body? Was he like the janitor in my father’s working unit, who always patted my head and gave me candies to eat? He once gave me a bag of mulberry leaves, kept moist by a wet handkerchief, for my silkworms. Did he intentionally or accidentally forget that the leaves were sprayed with pesticide, so that my silkworms all died overnight, so that I flunked my second grade nature class?

And above all the questions is the one question I have been trying to answer all along. What has that to do with me? Why do I feel compelled to tell the two women’s stories? Who were they?
The first young woman was once the secretary of the Communist Youth League. She must have been a devoted daughter of the revolution to get the position. What led her astray from her faith? What made her stare back with blunt, questioning eyes? And those letters she wrote over the next ten years, page after page, what was she trying to say? What is in the letter that betrayed her, ending the ten years of imprisonment with a death sentence instead of freedom?
And the second woman, the mother of a young boy, what made her so undaunted in the face of death? Did she like to read the stories of women heroes as I once did, my favorite heroine a nineteen-year-old Soviet girl named Zoya, who was caught burning down a German stable and was hanged to death? Did she admire Autumn-Jade, the woman hero I secretly hoped was one of my ancestors?
Autumn-Jade was a student of my great-granduncle, the one we called Big Man in our family. Big Man was a revolutionary at the end of the last dynasty, fighting along with his comrades to establish a republic. He was known in history for two things―the female students he trained to be assassins and his peculiar death after a failed mission. Autumn-Jade was twenty-four, the most beautiful student of Big Man. She was sent to bomb the emperor’s personal representative; the bomb did not go off, and she was arrested, beheaded in the town center of our hometown. On the day of her execution, hundreds of people watched her paraded in the street, her body badly tortured. Many brought stacks of silver coins to bribe the executioner so they could get a bun immersed in her blood, something that was said to cure tuberculosis. How many bloody buns were consumed that day, how many men were cured? Soon after Autumn-Jade’s death, Big Man went alone on another assassination mission. He succeeded but got caught by the guards. His heart and liver were taken out and fried into a dish for the guards to eat.
I can never tell the story of Big Man and Autumn-Jade right. I cannot resist the temptation to make Autumn-Jade one of my family. I want Big Man in love with Autumn-Jade, the beautiful young woman who learned fencing, shooting, horse riding, and the chemistry of explosives from him. I want Big Man to go into the suicide mission as a tribute to Autumn-Jade, his comrade and his lover. I want the granduncle whom Big Man’s wife raised alone to be a son of Big Man and Autumn-Jade.
I want to interfere with history, making things up at will, adding layers to legend. I want Autumn-Jade’s fearless blood running in the two young women’s bodies. Sometimes I imagine the second woman looking calmly into her executioners’ eyes when she was forced to kneel down to receive the bullet, as many years ago Autumn-Jade stood quietly in front of the ax and chanted her last poem. The scenes always move me, as they are the central scenes for a hero’s story. I want the story to be about bravery. But always I am stopped.
It is a fact that heroes are created by anger and romance, but anger and romance do not carry us long. It is a fact that the first woman, after the death sentence, cried and begged for her life to anyone walking past her cell. It is a fact that she was crushed by the thought of dying at twenty-nine, a fact that she was no longer a sane person on the way to the stadium, weeping and singing and laughing and murmuring stories to herself.
As if this were an imaginary world, like the world of made-up battle games in the day care, with history carried on my young shoulders. But sooner or later Auntie Wang will shout in her loud voice, and I will run to her again, wishing that this time she will be pleased by me, knowing she is not when I see her pursed lips. Again I am squatting in time-out, watching the white clouds above me, and the black ants busying themselves in the grass. Our game was interrupted, but our lives continue.
_________________
再穷,一日也得三笑。
http://www.smilewords.com: 贩卖幽默, 兼营哲理.

  • bysea
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发表于: 9/28/2005 16:46 发表主题:
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Passing Through

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By YIYUN LI
Published: September 25, 2005

After the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, the Chinese Ministry of Education began sending future students of Beijing University, a hotbed of pro-democratic protest, into the military for a year. So in 1991, at the age of 18, instead of beginning studies, I entered the army. There, along with 1,500 other students, I spent hours in formation training and even more time being lectured on the inevitable demise of capitalism and the victory of Communism.
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The next spring, the army sent us on a march through Mount Dabie to get to know our "revolutionary heritage"; the mountain area served, between the 1920's and 1930's, as a base for the Communist Party. Hard as the marching was, with no bath for weeks and blisters on our feet, the mountain air and spring fields made the trip into a kind of sightseeing adventure. That was why we entered a village one particular evening smiling and holding our hands up to the sky.

We were the only girls' company, and we marched behind a battalion of boys; the road across the village was shrouded by dust. A water buffalo, used to the tramping, grazed undisturbed. A villager saw us and called out, "Girl-soldiers this time." The villagers appeared in every door, bowls of rice in their hands, pointing at us with their chopsticks. "Girl-soldiers," young children echoed, running along beside us. We smiled, waved and kept walking. An old woman was pounding dried peppers in a huge stone mortar. The breeze spread the fine powders, and many of us sneezed; the villagers laughed.

Outside the village, we were ordered to take a break. The dust settled, and hundreds of green-uniformed figures sat single-file by the winding road. The scene was soon disrupted by the village children, all holding out their hands, begging for candies and refusing to leave when they got their share. Even the most charitable soldiers among us started to shoo away the children like flies. When yet another girl stood in front of me, I said, "How many do you have to have before you go home?"

"Can I just have a candy wrapper?" she asked. I looked at the girl, too small for her passed-down blouse. "Do you collect candy wrappers?" I said. She nodded and showed me a dogeared book. Between the pages were mostly cheap wrappers, red and green with plain characters, tang guo (candy) printed on them diagonally.

"How old are you?" I asked. "Eight," she said. "Are you in school?" She shrugged. Not many girls in the mountains would receive much education. They worked hard for their parents until they were old enough to work for their husbands. Today, I suppose, if girls from this region manage to leave their villages, they might try to participate in the Chinese economic boom by becoming laborers in a factory.

I handed her a candy. She unfolded the wrapper and returned the chocolate to me. I watched her flatten it between her palms. It had snowy mountains and blue sky in the background, with a small white flower blooming in the center.

At her age, I collected candy wrappers, too, and I understood the joy of having a prize wrapper in your collection. I had one that was given to me by a Westerner in the late 1970's, when foreign faces were still rare in Beijing. It was made of cellophane with transparent gold and silver stripes, and if you looked through it, you would see a gilded world, much fancier than our everyday, dull life.

By the time I turned 10, I was working at the goal set by my parents: to excel in schoolwork so that one day I could go to the United States. I attended a high school in Beijing that admitted only the students with the best scores in the entrance exam. Financed by Unesco, it had an indoor swimming pool, color TV's and a science building.

I did not change my life because of a candy wrapper, but it was the seed of a dream that came true: I left China for an American graduate school in 1996 and have lived here since.

The girl studied the wrapper before putting it in her book. I wondered if it would nourish thoughts about other worlds. But I did not tell her about my collection. I did not tell her that the candy had come all the way from Switzerland. I could not explain that the flower on the wrapper was edelweiss or that it was featured in a song in the American movie "The Sound of Music" - I had watched it many times at my school so that we could perform the songs when Western delegates visited.

Even at 18, despite my forced re-education in the army, I knew I was luckier than she was, a passer-by on this mountain and bound for a better destination. I knew that she would never see a blooming edelweiss anywhere but on a wrapper.

Yiyun Li is the author of a book of short stories, "A Thousand Years of Good Prayers," published by Random House this week.
_________________
再穷,一日也得三笑。
http://www.smilewords.com: 贩卖幽默, 兼营哲理.

  • puppeteer
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发表于: 9/29/2005 02:54 发表主题:
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I am glad to hear Li Yiyun is doing so well. smile Another good friend introduced her to me almost 10 years ago.
Are you from pku 96 as well?
Greentea 写到:
I know this girl. And I think peachleaf MM knows her much better.

Bysea, do you foresee another career path through her story wink To encourage you to devote more time and effort to writing, I'd like to introduce another role model for you: 冯唐. He is originally medicine major, but gave up clinical and research career later on, and now a writer who has published a few novels...
http://www.fengtang.com/bio.html

wanger, wildcrane, ghostneuron, you all have the potential to think about changing career path... rose wink

  • wanger
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发表于: 9/29/2005 15:37 发表主题:
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I read that hunan girl's story before, when I was in college. It's a very chilly moment in a hot summer day while reading those words. Her name is Li(3) Jiulian. But the author might mistake her with another girl, whose name is Li(2) Lian. They had very similar fate: both showed doubt on the culture revolution, were betrayed by their boyfriends, arrested for the same reason and at the same age: 17, killed at the same year. The difference is that Li Lian was arrested in 60s and Li Jiulian in 70s. It's Li Jiulian's kidney that be taken out for some big man. She was only 19 yrs old, same age when I read her story. It's unbearable to image the suffering the same age girl had, and even more painful to believe the existance of such cruilty and darkness in human being.
I'm not so sure of their names and hope someone can confirm it.
  • Greentea
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发表于: 9/29/2005 17:30 发表主题:
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Puppeteer,
I'm not from PKU, peachleaf is.
How is your robot/neuron project going? I just induced differentiation of neuroprogenitor cells into neurons. Keep wondering how the giant robot could be at the command of the tiny cells? Keep me updated with your progress please. May we have a chance to visit your lab and see that someday?

wanger,
I read the stories before but can't answer your question. The original Chinese story is indeed heartbraking.

Why Li Yiyun is recognized and got the award in western wrold? I think, partially because of her English writing skill, and partially because of those stories themselves set in China and among Chinese American in US. The latter part marks her novels as "original" and "astonishing", and I guess, same for Zhang YiMou's movies.

Chinese literature and culture is not well-introduced to and well-recognized by the western world because of the language barrier and the difficulty of translating Chinese into English accurately and vividly. Li Yiyun is a good story-teller, and she tells stories directly in English instead of waiting to be translated and introduced to English-speaking world as other Chinese writers do... Thus westerners feel "her stories open a world that is culturally remote from , and at the same time as humanly intimate as if its people were their own family and their thoughts the thoughts that lie nearest our own hearts."

Moreover, she's biology major. Personally I feel she benefits from the training in science: making observation about tiny things, asking questions, thinking hard and deep, reasoning, writing in very logic way...... On our board, I notice that a few IDs with scinence background (wanger, to name one) can write in a very very logic and coherent way (not only that they have good command of words) and do have the potential to be writers, xixi
  • april
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发表于: 9/29/2005 17:38 发表主题:
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Greentea 写到:
I know this girl. And I think peachleaf MM knows her much better.

Bysea, do you foresee another career path through her story wink To encourage you to devote more time and effort to writing, I'd like to introduce another role model for you: 冯唐. He is originally medicine major, but gave up clinical and research career later on, and now a writer who has published a few novels...
http://www.fengtang.com/bio.html

wanger, wildcrane, ghostneuron, you all have the potential to think about changing career path... rose wink

support
  • wanger
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发表于: 9/29/2005 23:25 发表主题:
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greentea, thanks for your commend, a flatter for me oops

I made a mistake about their stories. There are TWO women, indeed:

http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/z_special/2005/02/200502051222.shtml

http://skb.hebeidaily.com.cn/200517/ca484571.htm

here is Zhong's picture
http://cn.netor.com/m/box200012/m3380.asp?BoardID=3380
  • bysea
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发表于: 10/03/2005 16:49 发表主题:
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Thanks a lot!

Greentea 写到:
I know this girl. And I think peachleaf MM knows her much better.

Bysea, do you foresee another career path through her story wink To encourage you to devote more time and effort to writing, I'd like to introduce another role model for you: 冯唐. He is originally medicine major, but gave up clinical and research career later on, and now a writer who has published a few novels...
http://www.fengtang.com/bio.html

wanger, wildcrane, ghostneuron, you all have the potential to think about changing career path... rose wink

_________________
再穷,一日也得三笑。
http://www.smilewords.com: 贩卖幽默, 兼营哲理.

  • bysea
  • 注册于:2004-09-20
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发表于: 10/04/2005 13:12 发表主题:
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方舟子,著名学者。

  本名方是民,1967年9月生于福建云霄县。1985年考入中国科技大学生物系。1990年本科毕业后赴美留学。1995年获美国密歇根州立大学生物化学博士学位,先后在罗切斯特大学生物系、索尔克生物研究院做博士后研究,研究方向为分子遗传学。定居美国加利福尼亚州,为自由职业者,主要从事网站开发和写作。

  


http://tech.sina.com.cn/d/focus/fangzhouzi/index.shtml
_________________
再穷,一日也得三笑。
http://www.smilewords.com: 贩卖幽默, 兼营哲理.

发表于: 10/13/2005 15:00 发表主题:
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俺的同
  • bysea
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发表于: 10/13/2005 15:54 发表主题:
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什么时候你也给我们露一小手呀?

peachleaf 写到:
俺的同
_________________
再穷,一日也得三笑。
http://www.smilewords.com: 贩卖幽默, 兼营哲理.

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