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Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China's Past and Present txt Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China's Past and Present, text ebook Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China's Past and Present, adobe reader Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China's Past and Present, chapter 2 Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China's Past and Present, Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China's Past and Present 92132f China VerstehenHautnah Erlebt Der Journalist Und Auslandskorrespondent Peter Hessler In China Die Dekade Der Gro En Reformen Den Wirtschaftlichen, Gesellschaftlichen Und Kulturellen Umbruch, Die Millionenfache Migration Vom Land In Die Neuen Megacities An Den K Sten, Die Zersetzung Einer Kultur, Die Von Uralten Traditionen Gepr Gt Ist Hessler Erz Hlt Das Geschehen Aus Der Perspektive Der Betroffenen Selbst Die Zeitgeschichtlichen Ereignisse, Ber Die Er Als Korrespondent Berichtet, Beleuchtet Er Aus Der Sicht Einfacher Leute Er Lebt In Einer Kleinen Mietwohnung In Den Gassen Eines Alten Pekinger Hutong Viertels, Und Von Hier Unternimmt Er Seine Reisen Durch Das Reich Der Mitte, Erlebt Kulturelle Barrieren, Historische Empfindlichkeiten Und Menschliche Schicksale Der Wechsel Von Themen, Geschichten Und Erz Hlebenen Macht Hessler S Buch So Spannend Der Leser Beginnt, China Als Ganzes Mit Seinen Unterschiedlichsten Facetten Zu Erleben Und Zu Verstehen In Den Literarischen Bericht Seines Reporterlebens, Seiner Begegnungen Und Seiner Reisen Mischt Hessler Auch Seine Exkursionen In Die Reiche Chinesische Geschichte Manche Episode Bleibt Am Ende So R Tselhaft Wie Die Weissagungen Und Prophezeiungen Der Orakelknochen, Der Ltesten Funde Chinesischer Schriftzeichen, Die In Knochen Oder Schildkr Tenpanzer Graviert WurdenDieses E Book Basiert Auf Folgender Printausgabe Auflage Mehr Informationen, Videos Und Bilder Unter Dumontreise ReiseabenteuerBitte Beachten Sie Nicht Alle Leseger Te Unterst Tzen S Mtliche Der Praktischen Zusatzfunktionen Gleicherma En ZB Internetlinks, Zoombarkeit Von Karten Auch K Nnen Je Nach Reader Ladezeiten Variieren Wir Bitten Sie Dies Vor Dem Kauf Zu Ber Cksichtigen


About the Author: Peter Hessler

Peter Hessler is a staff writer at The New Yorker, where he served as Beijing correspondent from 2000 2007, and is also a contributing writer for National Geographic He is the author of River Town, which won the Kiriyama Book Prize, and Oracle Bones, which was a finalist for the National Book Award He won the 2008 National Magazine Award for excellence in reporting.



10 thoughts on “Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China's Past and Present

  1. says:

    I can t say enough about this author I m really enchanted with him I feel as if he s really grown as a writer since River Town, his first book He s only a little older than me and I hope to be able to keep coming back to him through his writing for my whole life and see how his thinking progresses.I think when I started the book I was comparing it to Eat, Pray, Love because both are non fiction works about living abroad Elizabeth Gilbert s journey around the world is a sort of outward manifestation of her inner journey into herself which she describes with so much openness that it can be painful for me, anyway I was initially finding Oracle Bones to be cold in comparison it is a researched journalistic work about people in China several longitudinal studies of Chinese people But I guess by the end I came to feel that the author was extremely conscious of his presence in the work and deliberate about using it.Like other, similar, Chinahand books, it uses the stories of everyday people to sort of paint a big picture of modern China and its psychological relationship with the weight of its recent and distant past.I would say this book is about the process of researching the past Hessler tries to reconstruct the life of an archeologist linguist who was himself trying to reconstruct the way language came about in China thousands of years ago I guess the book is about that process of reconstruction and unraveling but how the researcher affects his story and how many different sides there always are to one story.The book is also about words, the importance of words it was nice to read it after having read Eats, Shoots and Leaves, nice to be made to analyze language, how it comes into being, how it s constantly evolving, the political ramifications of seeking to change or not change writing systems.There was a lot of self consciousness of process in it, self consciousness of language, of the voice of the author My mind felt really alive while I was reading it I felt like I was always jumping around and trying to get at different layers of meaning in a sort of diffuse way.


  2. says:

    I ran into Hessler s narration on his teaching experience in Fuling two years ago It was just an excerpt of his book in Chinese, translated by an unknown writer, published in a magazine named BOOK TOWN that cater to the taste of new intellectuals in China by imitating the style and design of NEW YORKER I read it all through, non stopped, which is rare for my reading style, and found myself somewhat lost in the delicacy and poetic nature of his writing Also did I feel a sense of nostalgia and sincere sadness, flowing onwards like ripples of a silent brook, in no way exaggerating and overdue like most of the Westerner do when they touch on a topic of China In a sensitive language like Chinese, this sadness is aesthetically expanded to an approportion that you just can t neglect So I managed to buy the book RIVER TOWN and recommended it to many of my foreign friends One of them, who is also an English teacher in China, kept it for the longest period of time and lent it to many friends of his, Chinese and Westerner alike The book was terribly worn out the moment he gave it back to me He told me that all of his Chinese friends love the book as much as I do, while his Western friends think it s nothing than another bland story given in drab narration Why would you think that way I think it s marevelously composed I asked.He squinted back at me Well, not surprising, you re a Chinese So what Well, no offense For we who have been living long enough in China and know the land, his just another normal story coming back to live It might be appealing to those foreigners who always remain foreign to China, but not to us We live this life day by day He said with a pride faintly lingered by his lip.I certainly was not that easily offended And I doubted whether he really knows the land as he and his friends proudly proclaimed Yet his words reminded me of the different perspectives between peoples of different cultures Is it really because of his uncondescending sympathy that smooths out the reading process for his Chinese reader, turning it into an enjoyable journey, while in the eyes of Americans, his stories still unnecessarily contain familiar traces of arrogance and cultural bias against China In his new book Oracle Bones A Journey through Time in China , another New York Times Bestseller and National Book Award Finalist, Hessler makes an insightful observation When I first lived in China, I was mostly struck by differences, but over time the similarities became obvious Americans and Chinese shared a number of characteristics they were pragmatic and informal, and they had an easy sense of humor. Both China and the United States were geographically isolated, and their cultures were so powerful that it was hard for people to imagine other perspectives He goes on by commenting how both countries coped so badly with failure When things went wrong, people were startled by the chaos..For cultures accustomed to controlling and organizing their world, it was deeply traumatic And it was probably natural that in extreme crisis, the Americans took steps that undermined democracy and free dom, just as the Chinese had turned against their own history and culture Somebody else has picked this part out in her blog as her favorite part in the book It surely can serve as a manifestation of equivalency, rationally as well as emotionally Yet why do we care so much about being treated as equivalent Why is that we feel reassured of our dignity everytime when a Westerner tell us that we are the same Isn t that a fairly simple truth So contrary to those reiteration of big themes, I am fascinated, as I always have been, by the daily details he painstakingly drafted down on his notebooks God, he s so good at dealing with plain facts To be honest, I ve never felt drawn to non fiction writing of any kind before, but Hessler s two works cast new light on this special writing styles Facts can be arranged in such a dexterous way to suggest anything you want to suggest, opening up a brand new horizon to many possibilities of interpretation The narrator s self is still present, but only seems to function in the least active sense he s just there to record what happened, refrained from any aggressive intention of commenting Yet what kind of facts he is presenting And with what subtlety are all the readers unconciously guided by his hidden intentions Not in the bad way though Rather, I consider this reconstruction of the Chinese daily life through a Western eye as quite truthful, and the most thrilling elements this reading journey can provide, as our daily life space is suddenly transformed into something artistically appealing, if not ridiculous In the chapter Sand , he tells in such a delicate way his experience of being interrogated by a local police that it even gives out the scent of Kafka s masterpiece Castle.And there are other moments of sudden revelation, most of which happened when his mind hops from a scene of reality to his past impression of words and letters That link between generations was another type of virtual archaeology the young men in Anyang, reading the earth cores and the old exile in Taipei, reading the faxed maps and remembering the fields that he had abandoned so long ago When you look at a photograph of a big family in the 1920s, and see the Qing style gowns and the Western suits, the bright young faces and the proud old parents, you wonder what the hell happened to all that time and talent Sometimes he can be mildly sarcastic, which shows about his wit than his conceit In a country where so much was jiade knockoff brands, shoddy restorations of ancient structures, fresh paint on the facades of old buildings the film sets were real Sometimes they lasted longer than the movies themselves He s extremely sensitive to characters and words, and is good at exploring connections among those randomly chosen events He views things from all different perspectives In other words, his viewpoint is shifting, switching from time to time, yet with good reason especially when one deals with a culture as self assured as Chinese By so doing, he s capable of breaking the stereotypes of understanding, uttering new idea to trite topics That was true for all of them I never met a survivor whose response seemed foreign The historical events were unimaginable, as if they had come from another world, but the people s reactions were perfectly understandable Recovery, in all its varied forms, is simply a human instinct Writing could obscure the truth and trap the living, and it could destroy as well as create But the search for meaning had a dignity that transcended all of the flaws The above can count as one of the best comment I ve ever heard on an individual suffering of Cultural Revolution And it s from an American Maybe it s not fair by mentioning the speaker s nationality, for it s not in anyway indicated in the words He s not commenting this as an outsider Rather, he s standing with the people that he writes about He questions them, and questions himself He comforts them, and he comforts himself Maybe, it is by doing the former, that enables him to do the latter.


  3. says:

    Hessler s portrait of China is humbling, especially reading it as a Singaporean Chinese We have many preconceptions of how materialistic or coarse the mainland Chinese are the book does not deny it, but emphasizes a very different side of China In the chapter on Shenzhen, in particular, when he profiles a former factory worker turned talk show host who sticks to her moral guns, and becomes an inspiration for many blue collar factory girls, in sharp contrast to the white collar Chinese novelist who chooses to embrace the emphemeral, heady pleasures of the sleep around socialite I like it too that he chooses certain academics to track down again its a very different, far idealistic, side of China that we read about in the press, with either the economic and financial outperformance or the human rights and safety violations Style wise, his New Yorker writing background is all over the book s magazine feature type pacing.That said, I would disagree on a couple points on Chinese culture, but those are small quibbles with a highly readable, entertaining and educational book that brings together old and new China, and the best travelogue I ve read this whole year.


  4. says:

    I suddenly realized, on reaching page 454, what it was about this book, this author Though the writing is non fiction, it was like reading Borges This is a beautiful, surprising, and stunningly good book much richer than one could imagine For anyone interested in the context and texture of modern China, this is a must read.


  5. says:

    From the tiny photo on the back cover of Oracle Bones , Peter Hassler looks like a friend of mine, A., when I was at the university.One day, around 10 years ago, I met this fellow out of our Media and communication department and I told him that he should have tried doing some internship in order to get the 5 credits he missed before getting his degree.I remember how he originally wanted to take part to some sort of seminar on semiotics or something and I insisted that it was a waste of time Oh come on I told A Do something practical, instead Why don t you look for a radio, a magazine, a local tv having an internship programme through the department.I was working for a radio in those days and started deserting most of the university lectures due to my reporting all over the town I wanted my friends to enjoy something similar rather than getting bored over useless theory.A listened carefully to me but didn t seem quite sure on taking my words for granted.A few months later I met A again at the headquarters of Romano Prodi, a former Italian PM who was campaigning again against Berlusconi My friend was carrying a big camera and just like me had a press pass around his neck You see I followed your tip he told me it s just that they needed cameramen rather than reporters but I took the opportunity nonetheless.Six years later I do write some daily articles from the UK for an Italian newspaper, but get my living thanks to another job which is not related to journalism My friend A did so much better He became the anchorman of prime time news on a regional channel, the host of a popular radio programme and delivered some features for a national television And he s quite good in what he does.Well, things are pleasantly unexpected sometimes.Peter Hessler has a similar but far successful story to tell.He left the US and Missouri when he was still freshly faced, freshly graduated at Princeton and 20 something At that time, young Hessler had only published an extended etnography work on a tiny place named Sikeston somewhere in the States and spent some time in Oxford, UK as an English literature student As a journalist he was a nobody.Then, comes the unexpected step As the same Hessler in this book tells us, he joined the Peace Corps and went to China as a volunteer.After some months spent teaching English and learning Mandarin in a small town along the shores of mighty river Yangtze in which he was one of the only two foreigners, he wrote a book about that Hessler came back to the US.As in his homecountry, the still freshly faced but far experienced was not able to find the job he looked for, he returned to China.And in all but friendly Bejing, Hessler had luck than in the US Working as a humble clipper the last one they had for the Wall Street Journal he got money enough for renting a room of his own, wandering around the Chinese capital and spending a lot of time chatting with people in cheap restaurants and cafes.Sometimes he did some trekking in the countryside brought his own tent and slept outdoors Sometimes he did some random translation job Sometimes he looked for an interesting story to cover as a freelance at first failing quite miserably in this last respect.I am insisting so much on the author of Oracle Bones because this book has very much to do with Peter Hessler He s all but shy in talking about himself, his successes and his failures, but never intrusive He doesn t definitely show off.Still it s from Hessler personal life in Bejing that I learned many interesting things on how China as a nation changed from 2000 onwards Oracle Bones is a fascinating reading on two levels in telling how Hessler made it in becoming a famous freelance reporter and in showing many things that happened when PH was writing around, the people he met, the stories he jumped into, the troubles he had with the police and so on.All tied up with the mail and paper correspondence Hessler kept with some of his former students who seem all very confident and at ease while writing to him about their adult lives One starts to like and sympathize with these Chinese people who unlucky choice are all introduced with their English nicknames.Albeit a few unfortunate stylistic choices, this is an author who has a great passion, respect and care for China in all of its aspects and is eager to talk Mandarin with common people rather than with politicians or entrepreneurs Hessler poses many questions to himself and is considerate enough to investigate over Chinese history.It s artifacts the recurrent term here even too much Hessler looks for artifacts wherever he goes from Manchuria to Taiwan passing through Sichuan and Nanking It s artifacts that matter because they can always teach you something about the people who made them and about those who discovered or preserved them during difficult times such as the so called Cultural Revolution.After reading Oracle Bones I can say I learned many things I didn t know about China and I do trust the author who told me about them here.Unlike his wife Leslie T.Chang who was a bit clumsy in mixing up her point of view and family history with the personal stories of Chinese workers in Factory Girls , Peter Hessler is very much at ease with the subject he chose and never loses the grip on its audience.The fact that Hessler himself has now relocated with formerly miss Chang to Cairo and is currently becoming fluent in Arabic in order to report from the Middle East is just another unexpected step I wish I knew how to make it Unfortunately, I m hopeless with foreign languages Oh well, I will let Peter come first


  6. says:

    Yes, I ve spent the better part of a month reading this..And yes, it is completely THAT awesome.


  7. says:

    This was an excellent narrative of Peter Hessler s time in China as a correspondent for various American newspapers and magazines I thought overall it was a worthwhile read and a great audiobook for work There wasn t anything groundbreaking in the format, but the personal stories there a three or four main Chinese storylines were interesting and well framed Would recommend to anyone interested in China or human interest stories from China.


  8. says:

    Several years ago, Beth and I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to chaperone a Study Abroad trip to China The lead faculty member on that trip required her students to read a number of pre trip books Since I had never been to Asia before, I grabbed the reading list too and soaked up as much of it as I could One of the books on her list was Peter Hessler s River Town It was a terrific book describing his two years as a Peace Corp teacher in Fuling, a smaller city near Chengdu in central China It was one of the best of a very good batch of stories about China I so enjoyed that memoir that I decided to read another of Hessler s books Oracle Bones picks up not long after the Peace Corps teaching experience chronicled in River Town Hessler has now moved to Beijing and is trying to make a living as a foreign journalist In the various chapters and sections he describes different ways in which he tries to keep his visa up to date, make enough money to stay alive in Beijing and legitimize himself as a journalist Some of the assignments he gets seem dangerous, others are just silly, but all are fascinating He also keeps in touch with some of his former students and travels around the country to see them And in still another sub plot, he befriends a Uighur man who traffics in black market goods of many types but is really just trying to get to America somehow The book has a picaresque and episodic quality to it.But although this is ostensibly a memoir, the book isn t really about Hessler himself He frames the stories of his own life with a series of vignettes about Chinese archeology He s especially interested in the discovery of a cache of oracle bones discovered early in the 20th century These bones are actually bits of turtle shell with prophecies burned into them they represent some of the earliest known examples of Chinese writing Hessler does some research on the dig and becomes fascinated with one particular scholar, Chen Mengjia, an expert in the oracle bones, who died under mysterious circumstances during the Cultural Revolution Hessler uses the framing device of the oracle bones and the mystery of the scholar s strange life and death to explore Chinese history, culture and identity He juxtaposes these stories of the past with his own observations of the present.It s hard for me to say why I like Hessler s writing so much Part of it may simply be that I like exploring exotic places and Hessler is an excellent tour guide to one such place, China Another is probably Hessler s supreme empathy for his characters No matter how strange, small minded, wicked or stunted the people he meets may seem to be, he never sees them as anything less than human He tries to understand their motives he rarely judges them And finally, he has a journalist s eye and knack for the telling detail His acute observations bring out things that the casual tourist would almost certainly miss on their own Whether he is describing late night lonely hearts talk shows in the boom town of Shenzen, or observing wedding day water taxi rides along the North Korean border, Hessler gives us new ways to think about what it means to be Chinese.If you ever yearned to learn about the Far East, I encourage you to check out the books of Peter Hessler He is an excellent traveling companion.


  9. says:

    This second volume of Hessler s China reportage is superior to River Town in part, Hessler knows China much better now and, as a result, his gaze has broadened and deepened, no longer hemmed in by the realities of second English teaching in a somewhat backwater town and by the limitations of interaction with a series of hyper driven, consumer mad students and rather quirky and sometimes sinister administrators In Oracle Bones, he is confident he knows China and the Chinese better, and he touches on a wide and satisfying range of topics, including the new economy, Chinese archaeology, and the highly politicized history of the language itself, particularly in the Communist era and beyond At the same time, twin shadows on the one hand, that of the Cultural Revolution and the disturbing legacy of the Mao years and, on the other, the proto capitalist displacements and abuses of the current epoch hang over the book in ways that are both fascinating and depressing.Having read Hessler s two books, however, I m still not sure I could explain what draws him to China enough to become fluent in the language and to spend year after year living, working, teaching, and reporting there or to nurture the affection he so obviously feels for the Chinese Indeed, the China that emerges, especially in this second book, strikes one as inhumane, rigid, and jingoistic, as phobic as it is isolated and isolationist, as critical of the West as it is acquisitive and unprincipled What appears to pervade the country is capitalism without democracy, surely no less dangerous than Communism without democracy In any case, Oracle Bones is a fine book that meanders rather than narrates, touches on rather than deeply explores It is much than a travelogue and something less than scholarship More than anything, the reader is ferried pleasantly about by the author s personal curiosities, though Hessler s opinions about what he sees sometimes remain veiled Hessler s attempt to track down the truth of the fate of oracle bone scholar Chen Mengjia is touching and absorbing in the end, the Hessler s conclusion that such truth can never be known seems both very post modern and very Chinese.


  10. says:

    I didn t know much about China before so I found the various glimpses this book provides interesting It s focused on three things a Chinese archaeologists of the 20th century and some of their discoveries, b a Uighur trader, and c recent students of the author who taught English for a while and how they re lives in some of China that has opened up to capitalism It seems that everything in China that is suppose to help move it forward whether communism or capitalism and the government programs to implement both is forced and ineffectual in their long term goals And the people are just trying to get by At one point late in the book, the author interviews a Chinese actor director who says Everybody is too busy there s not enough quiet for reflection In the distant past, the country was peaceful and stable, but now it changes so fast Certainly that s been the case since Reform and Opening, but to some degree the past two hundred years have been like that We don t know where we are We haven t found our road In the early part of the twentieth century, the Chinese tried some of them tried to find it in our own traditions, while others looked outside the country This debate is still going on That s a good summary of the book.


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