Learned that one of those princelings, Hu Deping, is an expert on Dream of the Red Chamber, which reminded me that I’ve been putting off reading these for a few years now

This picture is misleading though – there’s a simple reason I haven’t gotten to them yet, mostly because, by my calculations, these–what are known as the Four Classic Novels in China–add up to about 5000 pages total. I was looking for an ~aesthetic~ image of English translations of them all lined up on a bookshelf, and that I couldn’t find one must just attest to their obscurity and marginality over here. If all the Chinese fearmongering I do hits a nerve for you, I make this post as an idea for preparation, to prepare for the worst. Given our current geopolitical situation, if I had a kid (shut up about me dying alone, that’s you) I’d probably have them get to know at least one of these pretty well, that way you increase the chances of them being someone who is of “unique use” in the Chinese cognoscenti in the future. That, and there’s also the possibility that these novels can be used as a form of sabotage – “traditional” ways of thinking that relativize and confuse the reigning Marxism. Novels like this are for an earlier part of the journey of life next to other schools of Chinese thought, Confucianism, say- that would be good for teens, though I personally think western adults in general can benefit from Confucius, even without the Chinese threat looming on the horizon.

Is “weird” the right way to describe the Chinese?

Just trying to highlight this one from the 1300s, I don’t even know where to begin. It highlights down and upward?

Who knows what our “enemies” really think about the world, about us

Are their mental states as strange as their languages I wonder?

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