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18 May 2006


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Being a "romantic" poet is what got Anna Akmotova into such trouble with "Uncle Joe."( Jospeh Stalin)

She too valued those moving, fleetingly wonderful moments that sparkle though your pages -- which in turn flicker on our screens.

Perhaps this is what your readers in China are finding so summoning?


foolish boy -- googling a name and getting the wrong spelling!

Here: Anna Akhmatova!

A great figure!


I'm only hemidemisemiliterate in Chinese, but this is what I think it says:

A Creative Landscape Indicates a Romantic Existence
Aren't we always looking to lend our lives something of a romantic sensibility? So--have you experienced the beauty of artistic representation? People often regret the lack of poetry in their lives. What would happen if you took every incident of your life and expressed it through a picture and a poem? Well, you'll have to savor the sensation yourself. Don't hesitate--throw off your trepidation--once you've tried it, you may just find the romance that's been missing from your life for so long.

The word for "romance" or "romantic" in Chinese, pronounced langman, is a transliteration from English. The first definition given in the Dictionary of Modern Chinese, the dictionary in most common use (it seems to me) in the PRC, is "rich in poetic feeling; full of imagination." I don't think the word has acquired as strong associations with vapidity and silliness in Chinese as it has in English, but instead has sort of attached itself to a set of traditional attributes of the scholar-poet.

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