Zhou Guoping: “What a Dull Era We Are Living In!”
Author and philosopher Zhou Guoping (周国平) is a researcher at the Philosophy Institute of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He is well-known in Chinese intellectual circles as the translator of Nietzsche. The following quote from his blog, has been frequently cited in many Chinese online forums. Translated by CDT’s Linjun Fan:
“What a dull era we are living in!
I look around and find everybody is busy, with weariness, greed and helplessness on their faces. There is no sparkle of excitement in their eyes. Seniors get together in parks and enjoy themselves in dancing, but kids are confined in classrooms all day bent over endless school work.
I see scholars hectically attend various meetings and forums and laud each other as great masters, creating an unprecedentedly boisterous atmosphere in an era without real academic masters.
I see publishers collaborate with mass media to produce one cluster of bestsellers after another, successfully turning reading from a personal interest into a mass revelry.
I see real estate developers work closely with officials, resolutely sweeping away historical architecture and ancient streets, and replacing them with monotonous large squares and columns of skyscrapers.
I see many things interesting are being destroyed, and the phenomenon of no-fun is spreading.
I can’t help but lament that what a dull era I am living in.”