hedgehog对《Strange Stones》的笔记(19)

hedgehog
hedgehog (靡不有初,鲜克有终)

读过 Strange Stones

Strange Stones
  • 书名: Strange Stones
  • 作者: Peter Hessler
  • 副标题: Dispatches from East and West
  • 页数: 368
  • 出版社: Harper Perennial
  • 出版年: 2013-5-7
  • 第3页
    Most Chinese tend to be wary of strangers, and there isn't a strong tradition of sociology and anthropology, of thinking an interest in communities that are different from your own. In my experience, the Chinese aren't natural storytellers --- they are often deely modest, and they dislike being at the center of attention.
    2014-09-09 14:53:20 回应
  • 第5页
    But this period taught me that writing could be an anchor. It felt the same wherever I went, and the basics of reporting --- the curiosity, the patience, the willingness to connect with somebody different --- had been introduced to me during childhood.
    2014-09-09 14:55:18 回应
  • 第6页
    Out in the great wide world, foreign reporting can be depressingly narrow, especially in the post-9/11 climate. Sometimes it seems as if there are only two possible subjects for stories: people we should fear and people we should pity. But those aren't the individuals I met while living abroad. The joy of nonfiction is searching for balance between storytelling and reporting, finding a way to be both loquacious and observant.
    2014-09-09 14:58:16 回应
  • 第9页
    The owner's cousin says, "Next time you should try the Longfu Soup, because it contains tiger, dragon and phoenix." "What do you mean by "tiger, dragon and phoenix"?" I ask warily. I don't want to make another trip to the shed. "It's not real tigers, dragons, and phoenixes," he says. "They're represented by other animals --- cat for the tiger, snake for the dragon, and hicken for the phoenix. When you mix them toether, there are all kinds of health benefits."
    2014-09-10 17:29:41 回应
  • 第24页
    Chinese concept of the past isn't closely linked to buildings, as it is in the est. The Chinese rarely built of stone, instead replaing perishable materials periodically over the centuries. The essence of the hutong had more to with spirit than structure: it wasn't the brick and tiles and wood that mattered; it was the way that people interacted with their environment. And this environment had always been changing, which created residents like Good Old Wang, who was progmatic, resourceful, and flexible. There was no reason for such people to feel threatened by the initial incursions of modernity -- if anything, such elements tended to draw out the hutong spirit, because residents immediately found creative ways to incorporated a McDonald's or an Olympic toilet into their routines. But such flexibility could also make people passive when the incursions turned into wholesale destruction. That was the irony of old Beijing: the most appealing aspects of the hutong character helped pave the way for its destruction.
    2014-09-11 14:47:11 回应
  • 第43页
    Historians generally portray the Great Wall as a military failture and a waste of resources. Spindler disagree, noting that the improved wall held back major attacks in the sixteeenth century. For the Ming, the wall was only part of a complex foreign policy, but because it's the most lasting physical relic, it reces disproportionate blame for their fall. "People say, was it worth it?" Spindler said. "But I don't think that's how they thought at the time. You don't get a nation-state saying, "We're going to give up this terrain" or "We're going to sacrifice x number of citizens and soldiers" That's not a calculus they used. An empire is always going to try to protect itself."
    2014-09-11 14:52:28 回应
  • 第104页
    It was rare to see a family or even a child. elderly people were essentially nonexistent. This was the freedom of Shenzhen --- there were no tradition here, and no sense of the past; everybody was far from home.
    2014-09-16 14:20:14 回应
  • 第107页
    I sent here a story that I had written about her and her classmates, and she responded, "I'm not confident that I'm as admirable as I seem to you. It's true that I like to be alone. But partly it's because I don't know how to join the people; I can't share their joys and sorrows and cares. Although I really wish to."
    2014-09-16 14:24:04 回应
  • 第162页
    Goettig told me later that one reason he signed up (for Peace Corps) was that he had a girlfriend in Minnesota who wanted to get serious. I heard the same thing from a few other volunteers --- the toughest job you'll ever lover was also the easiest way to end a relationship.
    2014-09-16 14:26:39 回应
  • 第213页
    When you live in China as a foreigner, there are two critical moments of recognition. The first occurs immediately upon arrival, when you are confronted with your own ignorance. Language, customs, history --- all of it has to be learned, and the task seems impossible. Then, just as you begin to catch on, you realize that everybody else feels pretty much the same way. The place changes too fast; nobody in China has the luxury of being confident in his knowledge.... Everything is figured out on the fly; the people are masters at improvision. This is the second moment of recognition, and it's even more frightening than the first. Awareness of your own ignorance is a lonely feeling, but there's little consolation in sharing it with 1.3 billion neighbors
    2014-09-18 15:40:03 回应
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