Sunday, May 04, 2008

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What does this say about the current state of the Chinese (and Japanese) language?

Four years ago, 9-year-old Yang Yang received $150,000 for his novel “The Magic Violin,” about a young boy who is befriended by enchanted objects after his father disappears. It sold 100,000 copies. He has since published three more books and last year signed a contract for a 10-book series. Last month, Yang Daqing’s “Story of the Ming Expedition,” a novel about the Japanese invasion of Korea in 1592, supposedly written when the author was 13, hit bookstores. And 14-year-old Tang Chao’s second novel, “Give My Dream Back,” about unrequited love and suicide, was recently published with a first run of 50,000 copies.

I lost my copy of 王小波's 《黄金时代》 so I've started 陈丹燕's 《慢船去中国》 while waiting for a replacement. I'm enjoying her noire painting of Shanghai more than his swarthy northern bawdery.

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