MCLC: No Enemies, No Hatred (1)

Denton, Kirk denton.2 at
Tue Dec 6 09:14:03 EST 2011

From: Jacqueline and Martin Winter <dujuan99 at>
Subject: No Enemies, No Hatred (1)

The 17-year-old child of Prof. Ding Zilin and her husband Prof. Jiang
Peikun, who was killed in the evening of June 3rd, 1989, was not their
only son. He had a brother. I thought he was the only child too, at first.
It's more poignant that way. But a more detailed story is poignant enough,
once you get to know it. I got to know some translating Bei Ling's
biography of Liu Xiaobo last year. The poems are very poignant. The quote
at the end of the NY Times article is apt. Through their poems, Liu
Xiaobo's and Liu Xia's, their story comes alive. If you listen to this
story, you understand the connection to Liao Yiwu. You don't have to think
about the issues. Of course you get to think about them, the prisons, the
labor camps, the system. The roles of artists, of intellectuals, and of
dissidents. The similarities and differences to artists, protests, ways of
expression and repression in other times and places. Like the ones that
Jeffrey Wasserstrom described in the article posted here yesterday. Yibing
Huang (Mai Mang) recently quoted Charles Bukowski on Facebook (from the
poem My Doom Smiles At Me), speaking about Ai Weiwei. They are all crazy,
or crazed, in a similar way, at different times, through different media.

When I first read about Guo Moruo's son Guo Shiying, in an essay by the
Taiwanese critic Huang Liang from 1999, how Guo Shiying came to write a
poem called Shitbucket, and how he was killed soon afterwards, it changed
the way I thought about Guo Moruo. One day a few years later, I visited
Guo's house, close to Shichahai lake in central Beijing. The permanent
exhibition made a deep impression on me. But I still thought the two sons
that were killed in the Cultural Revolution were his only sons, and only
recently I learned otherwise. Anyway, the connections, the tragedy, the
trail of current poetry and the fight for freedom of expression, all of
this remains just as poignant. Maybe I have used this word enough now.
Here is a link to Huang Liang's essay:

He has edited two series of books with poets from China, in 1999 and in
2009. Here is a review for the second series:

When you read poems by Yi Sha, for example on Poetry International Web
id=976), there is the same crazy or crazed quality mentioned above. And
there are hardly any political issues, on the surface, except maybe the
poem on how the speaker was refused a visa at the American Embassy.

Yan Jun has a poem called Charter 09, or Charter Sonnet. It works that
way, too. Although the political issues are there, on the sides. There are
two versions. The one on Poetry International Web ends a little
differently, half of the last line is missing. Their translation is better
than mine, in many lines. Still, I like the way the poem ended originally.
You can find it on Yan Jun's blog, or at the end of this article, after
the footnotes:


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