UPDATE: Wasserstrom blogs about his printed essay, with a handful of great links, here. This is the best possible use of the internet: explication of a fully-vetted print piece, weaving of the two worlds together. Writing that exists only in the ether is often that, ephemeral. Here’s to the union of papyrus and pixels!
This was a pleasant surprise:
England’s George Orwell is another essential writer, and one with whom Lu Xun shares important traits. Each introduced new terms into the political lexicon: Ah-Q-ism (a proclivity for self-delusion) is as readily understood in China as references to Big Brother are elsewhere. Each author spent most of his adult life as an independent thinker of the left, criticizing dogmatism and hypocrisy wherever it appeared on the political spectrum. Each championed plain forms of writing. And each penned an ironic novella about a revolution that claimed to be about changing everything, but ended up altering only the titles (in the Ah-Q tale) or the species (in Animal Farm) of the bullies in charge.
True to his namesake (Wasserstrom=water stream), the professor at UC Irvine is holding his own as an editor, writer, and public intellectual, pouring out a stream of new publications…