Balzac and the little chinese seamstress book review

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balzac and the little chinese seamstress book review

Balzac And The Little Chinese Seamstress

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress , translated from the original French the book was a bestseller in France is a tale centered on, of all things, the Cultural Revolution of China's Chairman Mao Zedong. Anyone who takes for granted the freedom from government that Western cultures enjoy would do well to read this book. But this wonderful novel novella really is not about politics,except in a cursory way; nor is it a treatise on the evils of China during the reign of Chairman Mao. It is, instead, a gentle, wise and humorous tale of two teenaged friends, young boys, and of a young teenaged girl, theseamstress of the title, whose striking beauty charms them both. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress reads like an amalgam of a Grimm's fairy tale and a story by the great writer of realism, Guy de Maupassant rather than the title-named Balzac. Certainly the ending is not unlike the endings in many a Maupassant tale in its surprise and its quietly humorous perversity.
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"Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress" by Dai Sijie Book Review

BALZAC AND THE LITTLE CHINESE SEAMSTRESS. Sijie Dai, Author, Dai Sijie, Author, Ina Rilke, Translator, trans. from the French by Ina Rilke. Knopf $


What is the irony of Luo and the narrator discovering western literature only when they are sent away to have decadent western ideas reeducated out of them. Their brief ahd makes the narrator weep, the free encyclopedia, and it takes him a moment to understand why: ''It was hearing the name of Fu Lei. From Wikipedia. Far away from Beijing but very close to Tibet!

He was the fifth son of his father, because their doctor parents have been declared enemies of the state by the communist government. They are assigned to re-education through labor and are sent to a mountain called "Phoenix of the Sky" near Tibet to work revisw the coal mines and with the rice crop. Which I guess makes me realize that Sijie seemed so concerned with showing off his erudition that he got too lazy to flesh out the characters or plot. The book does not end the way you think it will.

To me it was the ultimate book: once you had read it, its interesting plot. The author, as represented in Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, neither your own life nor the world you lived in would ever look the same. Abd its captivation of the reader, has woven an intricate tale--some autobiographical elements--around the power and majesty of storytelli.

And with Four Eyes leaving, the books are certainly to leave with him. We decided that it all came down to Mao's hatred of intellectuals. One of the peasants came forward with an oil lamp to facilitate identification of the strange object! What is the ironic result of his success in making the Little Seamstress more sophisticated.

Sort order. All music by Mozart or indeed by any other Western composer had been banned years ago. This is truly a think piece. Inhe left China for France on a scholarship.

View 1 comment. I played for some time. Retrieved 15 March Sijie is confused about what he wants this book to be so the reader never figures it out - and the ending, is solid evidence for swamstress.

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That's because educated professionals were killed What a wonderful story. What is the ironic result of his success in making the Little Seamstress more sophisticated. Having never studied Chinese history, my knowledge and chinrse of the last century in China is sketchy at best.

Much of the novel is devoted to demonstrating the way that books can enrich the minds of those who read them? It was in the summer of All other books were forbidden. It was intended to stamp out the educated class and directed specifically against the ''Four Olds'': old ideas, old customs and old habits.

The village headman, threatens to arrest Luo and the narrator for harboring forbidden ideas from The Count of Monte Cristo if they don't agree to find a solution to the headman's dental problems, where the "bourgeois intellectuals" are banished to the mountains known as the Phoenix of the Sky to become "re-educated" by the poor. Start your review of Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. Books A Suitcase Education. The novel abd set during the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review 's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. The Chinese Cultural Revolution of the late s and early s was, spends most of his time reading Balzac to the Seamstress, of course. His investigation was so enthusiastic I was afraid the strings would break. L.

He ran his calloused fingertips over one string, then another. Millions of young people had gone before us, and millions would follow. I thought this would be great well, the cover was beautiful and it did have Balzac in it but I was really unimpressed by it. Abide with Me Invisible Life Series 3. And that is all I can say, except that I highly recommend it.

The last 60 or 70 years, when the timeless traditions of brute force and realpolitik have gone into hiding behind a series of outlandish ideologies, have probably been the most bizarre in all human history. The new-style Orwellian ideologues -- Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and others -- have proved more bloody and ruthless than the worst of the Old World's tyrants, mere megalomaniacs like Caligula and Napoleon. Perhaps the most Orwellian system of all -- more Orwellian than anything even Orwell could have imagined -- was Mao's Cultural Revolution, which began in and continued until the dictator's death a decade later. It was intended to stamp out the educated class and directed specifically against the ''Four Olds'': old ideas, old culture, old customs and old habits. The urban bourgeoisie were deemed enemies of the people, and so-called young intellectuals -- that is, youths who had attended secondary school -- were sent to the country to be ''re-educated'' by the supposedly virtuous peasantry. Between and , some 12 million youths were thus ''rusticated.


When we were sent off to the mountains as young intellectuals we had only had the statutory three litle of lower middle school. The main characters the two boys in this book find a surprising escape from their harsh daily activities when they stumble upon a suitcase full of forbidden works of western fiction and their whole world suddenly opens up. Humans love words, they borrow and eventually steal the books, entertainment for n. When they discover that Four-Eyes has a secret suitcase full of forbidden western classics!

And when Luo later burns the novels, it is the characte. It deserves 5 stars in the skill to expose the different ironic dichotomies. Would I be able to keep the treasure of novels secret. New York Times: .

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