Literary allusions to Babylon and Assyria are often not very complimentary, and they are most certainly based on common misconceptions.
The 1980 death of Hong Kong police officer John MacLennan shook the territory and made international news, eventually driving the Hong Kong courts to decriminalize homosexuality in 1991.
Myanmar or Burma? Thant Myint-U begins this timely and important book unraveling the basic question of what to call this country.
Toward the end of his life, Algernon Blackwood famously reminisced that “I used to tell strange, wild, improbable tales…” The tale of the friendship between Lu Xun and Uchiyama Kanzō would have met Blackwood’s standard—a look at Shanghai during those times, now nearly 100 years ago, suggests why.
As China and the West look at decoupling, it’s worth remembering that the world has been through this several times since they first coupled three-quarters of the way through the 16th century. That’s when the Manila Galleon connected Asia and the Americas, a trade that was, to mix metaphors, oiled by silver.
Only a few pieces of Chinese classical instrumental music have come close to entering the standard orchestral repertory. The 1939 “Yellow River Cantata” with lyrics by Guang Weiran set to music by Xian Xinghai, and the “Yellow River Concerto” later derived from it, is one of these.
Earnshaw Books, an independent publisher specializing in China matters, has recently issued two books featuring westerners sojourning in China over a period of a century and a half. Frances Wood, a respected scholar of Chinese history, presents the account of Aeneas Anderson, who served as a valet to Lord Macartney when the latter led an embassy to the court of the Qianlong emperor (1792) and Graham Earnshaw introduces a book of photographs taken by Isabella Bird on her travels through China in 1898.