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(China Daily)
Updated: 2009-10-21 08:24

Increase interests in Chinese literature

Comment on "Saving face" (Oct 9, China Daily)

While I agree with what Raymond Zhou says in his article and the comments made the following day by San Fen Si Kao Zhe in regard to the education system in China not being conducive to fostering an atmosphere of creativity, I do not believe this is the real reason why many great literary works currently written in China do not get international recognition.

The fact that there have been a number of works written by Chinese now living in the West that have won literary prizes and also, become best-sellers, should make us pause and think why Chinese expatriates have met with so much success while those living in China have not.

I suggest the real reason has quite a lot to do with the fact that many successful expatriate Chinese writers have built their reputations on writing about subjects and events that those living in China are discouraged from discussing and writing about but are familiar to most educated Westerners.

Not being professional writers or historians, most expatriate Chinese works often have less than an accurate understanding of national events in China. However, silence by the Chinese reading public has only served to heighten Western suspicions concerning China and has left many Westerners accepting the claims of these expatriate Chinese writers as the truth.

The remedy for this situation is to allow most of the books written by expatriate Chinese to be published in China and to invite their authors and other famous writers to discuss their works in various forums with their Chinese critics. This would allow their claims to be tested and, possibly, reveal some of them to be either exaggerated or false.

Organizing open literary forums in China would also serve to increase interest in China's own literary talent.

Dr Ross Grainger

via e-mail

Stealing 'vegetables' as a pastime

The prevalence of an online game among civil servants now has triggered huge media attention and public indignation. The game allows people to plant "vegetables" on an allocated field on a website, and to visit other people's field to steal their " harvests". To steal online, reportedly, has become one of civil servants' favorite time-killing choices.

What sparked criticism, however, is not the game itself. In fact, officials not only steal "vegetables" at work, they also amuse themselves by playing poker and mahjong. These together add to officials' image of being sluggish, shiftless and irresponsible.

What makes civil servants kill their working hours by senseless little games? Why, on the contrary, do they pay little or no attention to their work? Over the years, our government has hired more hands than needed.

As a result, we not only have to sweep the games out of the officials' computers but also root out overstaffing.

Fei Tian Lan Yue


(China Daily 10/21/2009 page8)