Chinese Literature Podcast

Heart on a Shelf

Rob Moore and Lee Moore discuss Dong Xi's Record of Regret with Dylan Levi King

Now available in English translation from Dylan Levi King, Dong Xi's Record of Regret (first published by People's Literature Press in 2005) exists at the intersection of sex and ideology. Telling the story of Ceng Guangxian, the grandchild of a landlord whose property was confiscated by the communists in 1949, the book memorably begins with deux chiens fourrent. Rob and Lee quiz Dylan on Dong Xi's literary inspirations ("a mix of socialist realism and Madame Bovary"), his darkly funny, Kafkaesque takes on social alienation, and reception of his writing in China:

Little Red Podcast

Tinker, Tailor, Student, Spy?

Australia’s Chinese student boom – Louisa Lim

Editor’s note: We’re thrilled to share the news that The Little Red Podcast, hosted by Graeme Smith and Louisa Lim, was this year’s winner of the Australian Podcast Awards in the news and current affairs category. At the China Channel (and at our former incarnation at the LARB China Blog) we have long been collaborating with the podcast to bring you Louisa’s companion essays to each new episode. Below is Louisa’s essay paired with last week’s episode about Chinese students in Australia, as well as the Soundcloud audio. Our hearty congratulations to Louisa, Graeme and the team. – Alec Ash

Chinese Literature Podcast

One Hundred Days, One Hundred Nights

Rob Moore and Lee Moore get up close and personal with Liang Qichao

"If one intends to renovate the people of a nation, one must first renovate its fiction." With these words, would-be reformer Liang Qichao (1873 - 1929) launched his influential literary magazine, New Fiction, in 1902. Living in exile in Japan following the disastrous failure of the Hundred Day's Reform, Liang Qichao belonged to the last generation scholars to pass through the examination system in the final decades of Qing-dynasty. Largely overshadowed by later May Fourth-era figures like Lu Xun and Hu Shi, Rob and Lee discuss why Liang Qichao's work has come back into the limelight:

Chinese Literature Podcast

The One on the Left is on the Right

Rob Moore and Lee Moore on Zhuangzi and the happiness of fish

They’re one of the best-known duos in Chinese literary history (after than Rob and Lee, of course): Zhuang Zi and his less-than-intelligent foil, Huizi. In this classic parable on how we know (or, ‘Hao’ we know...) what others really feel, nothing is what it seems to be. Check your preconceptions at the door, and get ready to question everything:

Little Red Podcast

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Inside China’s secretive United Front – Louisa Lim

The Communist Party's shadowy United Front Work department has emerged stronger than ever after the most recent government reshuffle. This body, which President Xi Jinping referred to in 2014 as a “magic weapon” for achieving the “rejuvenation of the Chinese race,” has now taken over responsibility for all work related to ethnic minority groups, religious management and contact with overseas Chinese, along with its main task of winning hearts and minds overseas.

“It makes clear what was generally the case all along: the United Front Work Department was the arbiter behind the government departments carrying out this work,” says Dr Gerry Groot of the University of Adelaide, who specialises in the United Front Work Department (UFWD), over email. “Though many people researching areas like religion and ethnic affairs knew that the UFWD was the real power or at least important, it is remarkable how rarely this was acknowledged in published work,” he continued. “That pretence of a separation between Party, government and civil society is now over.”