Thursday, November 17, 2005

Xiao cai feng.

I went to see Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress tonight. I would give it a B-.

Its greatest accomplishment, I think, was getting people to think about banned literature, as well as the limits of Mao's system of rule (obviously). I enjoyed the premise, thought the acting was good, but didn't really care for the plot or think the cinematography or direction was all that outstanding. It had its little charms, though, and I would recommend it to those who are looking for a quaint story of rural China, with some artistic flourishes here and there. (Though I would recommend Bom yeoreum gaeul gyeoul geurigo bom, which I consider to be better in most aspects, first.)


I've begun reading 1776 by David McCullough. It caught my eye when I was working at Target last summer, and seems like it will feed into my Hamilton Biography (Ron Chernow) reading and my general fondness for American History. It is a hardback that I found online for a reasonable price, and at least two people who saw me reading it commented on the fact that I removed the dust cover. ... They made it sound like it wasn't normal to remove the dustcovers from books while you're reading them. Is this a customary habit? I just don't want them to get smudged, ripped, or lost. And some of my older books have ones that are delicate and I don't want them to fall apart.


I've been testing my need for sleep lately. Although I thoroughly enjoy getting massive amounts of sleep, I have been staying up later and later, finding a unique creativity during the magical 3 to 5 a.m. period of hazy sleep-deprived mental states.


My former (cool) editor was forced to leave the newspaper, without even being able to publish a farewell column (after being there for 2 + years, and being A&E editor there for at least one of those years) in some odd circumstances that I do not fully understand. I considered quitting (yet again), romanticizing my departure as being based on morals, but I actually do enjoy writing and editing, I look forward to the prospect of being able to head the section, and the monthly supplementary income is not a bad thing in the least.


It is getting cooler here and I welcome the change. It has been a ridiculously 85 + degrees forever now, and that just didn't make much sense to me. Now I can start wearing my new jacket and sweaters, and even my gloves!


  1. Anonymous3:52 AM

    When I came out of the SLB after seeing Balzac, this kid going in stopped me and asked if there were a lot of sex scenes and nudity in it ...

    Of course, I answered in an affirmative manner.

    I think it's interesting that the screenplay was adapted to Mandarin from a novel written in French, but set in China. Apparently the novel/film was pretty autobiographical for Sijie Dai and gets a lot of praise for that mingling of cultures thing. (Dr. Feng called it a "diasporatic film", I think.)

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring WAS a better film overall, though, as far as Asian cinema's concerned.

    As for the book jacket business (you call it a "dust cover"???), I always take them off whilst reading. There's the issue of preservation, and then it's just really annoying to have that thing slippin' and slidin' all over the place ...

    (You see, "dust cover" just sounds like something you'd throw over furniture. "Book jacket", on the other hand, is specially tailored to cutely personify its wearer.)

  2. Dust Jacket?

    Dust Jacket:

    NOUN: 1. A removable paper cover used to protect the binding of a book. Also called dust cover.


  3. Anonymous5:42 PM