井底之蛙

6/4/2014

Orwell and China

Filed under: — Alan Baumler @ 3:44 pm

I have been meaning to blog about Ibisbill’s post on George Orwell and China, but as I have not come up with anything to say, I suppose I should just toss the link out. As he points out, Orwell, talked a bit about China. This seems mostly (to me) to have been in reference to India. Orwell spent the war years broadcasting propaganda to India, trying to convince Indians that siding with the Japanese was a bad idea. He eventually became disgusted with what he was doing and quit, His final transmission to India ended with

Perhaps the best answer to the propaganda which the Japanese put out to India and other places is simple the three words LOOK AT CHINA. And since I am now bringing these weekly commentaries to an end I believe those three words LOOK AT CHINA are the best final message I can deliver to India. 1

The post also talks a bit about Orwell’s enlightened ideas about the colonized as people. It is one of my regrets as a teacher that I can’t really ask students to read “Not Counting Niggers” since they always give me a funny look when I suggest they read it. Ibisbill goes on to talk about Chinese translations of 1984, Despite what he says, I struggle to think about how this book might be relevant to China today.

 

 

  1. W.J. West ed. Orwell: The War Commentaries New York: Pantheon, 1985 p.219 []

6/1/2014

I would totally buy this, and so would you.

Filed under: — Alan Baumler @ 1:46 pm

Chinese Posters sells copies of some of its stuff, but not of this.

“To love the country one must first know its history”1

This would look perfect in the hallway of every History Department in the world. We may think  that historical study is more than just training in patriotism, but we know that a -lot- of the funding for historical stuff comes from just that. For a reminder of how important history is, and some of its implications you can’t beat this. Would you buy a copy?

  1. Ok.a better translation of would be “To love the country one must first know the country” History as such is only mentioned in the book title. []

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