Burning the ashes

This month, we welcomed our new Chief Editor Michael Broughton, who has been selecting new pieces for you. Translations have been abundant – wxtra cheers to our new translators Pei Y L, Fu Shaolun and Gillian! We will circulate them in a new, serial format – so keep posted!

Don’t date poor people – Xiuxian Lu

A discussion between two girl friends uncovers harsh expectations – if you’re poor, you will not find love.

Haze – Liang

A poetic expression of depression – a meditation on the colour grey

Marathon: a middle-class trap – Yukuan

What underpins China’s obsession with sport? This article sheds a critical look at the new enthusiasm of the Chinese urban middle class for Marathon running.

A top score essay from the 2015 university entrance examinations held in Beijing – anonymous

Many people talk about the Gao Kao, China’s notorious university entrance exam. But what does a successful Gao Kao essay look like? Here is an example from Beijing

Flowers reeking hatred: the songs of the cultural revolution – He Weifang

Lawyer and intellectual He Weifang looks back on the times of his childhood during the cultural revolution, and the ideology carried by the songs he used to sing.

Aladdin – Sweetheart Cooks Mr Bean

Because Chinese poetry is a living genre – this short piece brings together Aladdin’s lamp and anime imagery to paint a picture of adventure and maturity.

The pain of going home – Dizi

Every Festival, millions of Chinese people get to the roads and return to their family. This migration expresses filial piety, but is often accompanied by scenes of pain and extreme tiredness on the road. This piece explores the tension between old customs and the demands of contemporary life.

team work

New texts published

Anger won’t accomplish anything – Yezi

Anger is a natural reaction when facing irrational or arbitrary setbacks – but what is its ultimate usefulness? This short piece advocates for a wiser, more balanced approach to life, and warns about the dangers of blind anger.

Zhengzhou – Wei Zhou

Part of a series of journeys across China, this piece by travel-writer Wei Zhou offers a tour through the Henan provincial capital. Where Zhengzhou’s long history, transport, and contemporary culture is described.

Chinese people’s fear of aging – Zhu Dake

Recent announcement that retirement age may shift to 65 caused great concern and resentment in China. Inadequate pension and health systems, added to the demographic consequences of the one-child policy, may explain the overall anxiety of today’s Chinese people when it comes to aging. But – the author contends – every age in China has to face their own fears.

New translations completed

Why not commit suicide – Li Yinhe

When your husband is having an extra-marital affair, how should you react? Recently, a Chinese woman decided that a suicide attempt would be the right way to go. Reflecting on this event, sociologist Li Yinhe proposes an ethical reflection on adultery, and the various forms it takes in contemporary China.

The death and birth of online literature – Jianhan Qiushui

A legacy from last year’s Marco Polo Festival of Digital Literature, this piece explores the current and future developments of internet literature in China – arguing that as media converge, the distinction between paper novels, TV series and internet literature diminishes – one story circulates across media.