China Beat Archive



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February 21, 2009 in The China Beat


Copyright February 21, 2009. Used by permission.


You can find a new interview with Jeff Wasserstrom at Shanghai City Weekend, in anticipation of the Shanghai International Literary Festival. You can find interviews with many other authors, including James Fallows and Cecelia Chang. There’s also an interview with Wang Gang, the author of the very interesting-sounding novel English (about which CB was previously unaware). Here is a short excerpt from the interview with Wasserstrom (much more at City Weekend):

CW: What’s one question you’d like to be asked at SILF? I’d love it if someone asked me: “If you could bring back to life, for a day, two people you’ve written about who are now dead, and ask them questions about what Shanghai was like then, who would they be and what would you ask them?”

CW: So who? I can’t tell you my answer, it would take away the mystery!

CW: What made you want to record your YouTube video about Karl Marx? I haven’t actually recorded a video of the song you are referring to, which is called “Oh, Karl,” and which I have been known to sing to classes on occasion (in part to convince students that they need to keep coming to every lecture, since if they skip one they might miss something surprising).

CW: Can you “sing” us a few lines? Here’s the way it begins:

Let me tell you all a story of a friend of mine

Who’s known from Cuba to Lichtenstein

As the man who set the workers’ blood aflame

‘Cause he told about their exploitation Increasing fragmentation

His name was “Marx” and dialectics were his game.