Yu Hua on China’s Future

SneezeBloid, which curates interesting quotations and stories, shared novelist Yu Hua’s words on May 26:

Yu Hua: A French magazine published a special issue on China. The editor-in-chief told me that they came to China and interviewed not a few people. Scholars and officials with decent living conditions were burdened by concern for China’s future, while the poor masses were full of faith in China’s future. He asked me why this is. I said that during the Beijing Olympics, when everyone stood to sing the national anthem, I sensed the people in the seats of honor were just going through the motions, while the people in the regular seats sang with blood-boiling righteous indignation.

余 华: 有家法国杂志做了一期中国专辑,杂志主编告诉我,他们来中国采访了不少人,生活条件很不错的学者和官员对中国的未来忧心忡忡,而生活条件不太好的民众对中 国的未来充满信心。他问为什么?我说北京奥运会期间全场起立唱国歌时,我感到贵宾座位上的人只是做做样子,而普通座位上的人唱得热血沸腾。

Known for sharp criticism of Chinese society, Yu is the author of To Live, adapted for film by Zhang Yimou, about one man’s struggle through the upheavals of Republican and Communist China. He wrote about the online struggle to speak freely in “The Spirit of May 35th,” published last year in the New York Times. His latest book is China in Ten Words.