I Read Han Han’s “Party (独唱团)”: Part I

Paper Republic reviews ’s magazine “Party.” The review starts with an inventory of the publication’s contents:

Fourteen pieces of visual art, nine brief essays, a poem and nine stories.
The longest written piece is eleven pages long.
The most commonly used phrase is 耿耿于怀, which means “to take (sth.) to heart,” usually connoting resentment, the memory of a past injustice.
There are four pieces I would look at again, four that I would recommend.

And then continues:

Fortunately, more visible (and more surprising) than the magazine’s cultivated angst is its humor. Perhaps due to the hazardous ambiguity of Chinese society, its contemporary authors constantly demonstrate a talent for grey, tongue-in-cheek humor as well as for straight-up farce. Let’s talk about Anybody Asks Anybody (所有人问所有人), this supposedly omnidirectional cannon, for just a second. As a mechanism for posing hard questions and getting them answered, it can’t help but fail; there are still certain questions one can’t ask and certain people who can’t be reached. As a stage for satire, however, the feature is successful; when the Party staff describe to the anonymous “Spider-man” why the Shanghai Dept. of Automotive Management won’t answer his question, they lead the reader down dead ends of bureaucracy and into the internet side-roads that provide real information, telling us more than if the Department had actually answered themselves.

Read more about Han Han and Party via CDT.

December 9, 2010 2:28 PM
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