“I have always had an intense hatred for school, so I have decided never to go to school again. It is not at all impossible to study freely, so long as you have discipline and proper methods. Foreign languages are truly doors which we must open. I am now studying a little English every day. If I can keep at it, I will be able to gain some small benefit. I do not intend to concentrate on any specific subject as yet. I would like to use the X-ray method, reading cursorily in every field. I am inclined to feel that I do not have enough general knowledge, so it is hard to concentrate on attacking one subject. By accumulating general knowledge and organizing it, it will be easier to reach depths.”
— Mao Zedong, Letter (sent from Shanghai) to Li Jinxi, 7 June 1920, translated by Stuart Schram in Mao’s Road to Power, Vol. 1, pp. 518-519. [While this text can be found on Google Books, your intrepid S.V. editor keyed in the above quote in a direct eye-phalanges-conduit from the print world. ]
Links: A short article describes Mao’s 1924 residence in Shanghai with his love Yang Kaihui [杨开慧]; a scholarly monograph published by the Central Party publishing house in 1993 describes the official view of Mao’s long relations with Shanghai; and the expat-vice-aggregator City Weekend turns it all upside down by bringing us to MAO Nightclub in Shanghai, describing the place as “an oasis of music and sumptuous cocktails, seemingly imported directly from Monaco.” The nightclub is located in the old French Concession on 46 Yueyang Lu [岳阳路46号] in the area of Dongping Lu [近东平路], not far from the #1 subway line, Hengshan lu station [地铁1号线衡山路站]. Perhaps someone is riding there now, reading with the X-Ray method, laden with opprobrium for school, but ready to dance and unburden a mind full of self-study.