Wednesday, September 1, 2010

If You Can Read Chinese, Read This E-Journal

The new issue of Remembrance (<记忆>) continues to review  Mao’s Last Revolution (by Roderick MacFarquhar and Michael Schoenhals; Chinese translation can be found here). The four articles in issues 55 and 56 discuss the book from different angles, with thoughtful comments and legitimate questions.  All are well worth reading.

Coincidentally, nearly two years ago, it was Michael Schoenhals who had this to say about the journal (阅读中文):
Remembrance (记忆, jiyi) is an electronic journal edited by Cultural Revolution historians in China in the May 4th tradition of the joint intellectual venture that does not so much put a premium on uniformity of opinion – and even less on common party political affiliation – as on a shared desire to explore a subject without prejudice in the pursuit of historical truth. ... The journal is a Chinese venture, but in the 21st century that no longer prevents it from being a globalized one.
Schoenhals nailed the main characteristic of the e-journal precisely: it is non-partisan and it is without prejudice. One can often find opposite opinions in feature articles and readers’ letters to the editor.  Meanwhile, the journal consistently provides high-quality research and well-written memoirs.  For anyone who is interested in learning about the true history of China’s Cultural Revolution, or contributing to the research, Remembrance is the one reliable place to go.

Another book discussed in the current issue is Fighting for Mao – Chongqing’s Large Armed-Fights (《为毛主席而战—文革重庆大武斗实录》) by He Shu, newly published (in Chinese) by Joint Publishing (H. K.). I’ve read He Shu’s articles on this topic before, and I believe his new book is a significant contribution to the CR research. It is a valuable book to possess and I certainly am going to buy it.

Remembrance is published every two weeks.  To manage in the reality of China’s internet censorship, the journal maintains a low-key, high-quality policy, and it does not have an official website in the mainland.  As such I volunteered (with the editors’ permission) to host the journal on my website. I will update every two weeks as soon as the e-journal arrives in my inbox.

My only regret is that I don’t have the time to translate all the articles into English. Hopefully, as the journal content gets compiled into books, professional translations will also become available.  For now, those of you who can read Chinese have the clear advantage of “a waterside pavilion getting the moonlight first.”

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