“Manaschi”: Enigmatic Adages in Hamid Ismailov’s new Novel

Just finished Hamid Ismailov's new novel Manaschi, about a conflicted half-Kyrgyz, half-Tajik man who feels increasingly fated to become a reciter of the ancient Kyrgyz epic poem, Manas. It's an oddly compelling tale in which Kyrgyz, Tajiks and Chinese laborers --- newcomers to the village which straddles Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan --- eventually come to blows in ways … Continue reading “Manaschi”: Enigmatic Adages in Hamid Ismailov’s new Novel

On the Death of Taiwanese Freedom Fighter Peng Ming-min (彭明敏)

“The Chinese,” he wrote, “must learn to distinguish ethnic origin and culture from politics and law, and to discard their archaic obsession to claim anyone of Chinese ancestry as legally Chinese, however far removed from China.” He continued: “The real issue is not independence for Formosa but self-determination for the people there. And the Formosan … Continue reading On the Death of Taiwanese Freedom Fighter Peng Ming-min (彭明敏)

Carrie “Lapdog” Lam: Fit for House Arrest in a Mong Kok Coffin Apartment?

The death of free Hong Kong was planned in Beijing, but Carrie Lam will go down in history as its chief executioner. On Monday she said she won’t seek a second five-year term as the city’s chief executive, but her legacy is secure. A career civil-servant who prospered under British rule, she was obliged as … Continue reading Carrie “Lapdog” Lam: Fit for House Arrest in a Mong Kok Coffin Apartment?

What we are reading now:

Ce détail expliquerait peut-être en partie la raison pour laquelle nous avons ces deux versions manuscrites de Dede Korkut: l'une en prose, l'autre en chantefable, en prose alternée de chants versifiés. En effect, l'un des <copistes> semble avoir choisi cette attention aux assonances, rythmes et césures traditionnels qui font émerger la structure versifée du récit; l'autre, … Continue reading What we are reading now:

Video: Right Bank of the Argun (额尔古纳河右岸) in 14 (Transliterated) Evenki Words

Here is a link to the video of my recent presentation entitled <Right Bank of the Argun -- in 14 (Transliterated) Evenki Words>. <Right Bank of the Argun> is the literal translation of Chi Zijian's novel <额尔古纳河右岸> (rendered as Last Quarter of the Moon, by publisher Harvill Secker). I spoke about the significance of these … Continue reading Video: Right Bank of the Argun (额尔古纳河右岸) in 14 (Transliterated) Evenki Words

Author Sheng Keyi’s “Ukraine Series” of Paintings (盛可以 画)

Her painting aside, Sheng Keyi (盛可以) has also authored several works of fiction, including Northern Girls (北妹) Wild Fruit (野蛮生长), Death Fugue (死亡赋格), The Metaphor Detox Center (锦灰), The Womb (子宫), Paradise (福地), and Nostalgia for the Homeland (怀乡书).  Her writing has appeared in languages such as French, Italian, Spanish, German, Swedish, Russian, Czech, Polish, Japanese and Korean. … Continue reading Author Sheng Keyi’s “Ukraine Series” of Paintings (盛可以 画)

Morocco: Setting Foot in Tangier, the First Shiite Kingdom and Echoes of Du Fu

Morocco: Where the Sun Truly Sets (Excerpted from H.K. Chang's The Greater Middle East: Travelogue & Reflections) Translated by Bruce Humes in Collaboration with the Author (Map source: Nations Online Project) In the early 8th century, the commander of an Arab expeditionary force spurred his horse toward Tangier on the southern bank of the Strait of … Continue reading Morocco: Setting Foot in Tangier, the First Shiite Kingdom and Echoes of Du Fu