The Ten-Thousand Things

December 29, 2006

Del.icio.us indeed!

Filed under: Links — lao3wai4 @ 3:45 am

For those who don’t know, del.icio.us is a bookmark-sharing website. By saving your bookmarks to a website you can have access to them wherever you can find internet access. More exciting, though, is the fact that you can browse the collections of other users who have bookmarked the same sites that you have. Thus, you can explore lists of sites that have been “vetted” by users who have much the same interests that you do. This is great way to find new and useful websites, especially those of great interest to a very narrow slice of the net population. My del.icio.us links can be found here.

December 28, 2006

Currently Reading

Filed under: Readings — lao3wai4 @ 9:22 am

I’ve been on a bit of a book-buying kick recently, which may be due to certain mysterious astronomical phenomena or simply because it’s that time of year again. At any rate, my new acquisitions include:

Romance of the Three Kingdoms, translated by C. H. Brewitt-Taylor, including a clear and to-the-point introduction by Robert E. Hegel. This two volume paperback set published by Tuttle is a 2002 reprint of the 1959 original. The volumes are handsome, with attractive covers, but unfortunately include a number of sloppy typos, with “h”s in the place of “n”s and so forth. Brewitt-Taylor, who was after all writing in the nineteen fifties, writes in an antique style, with inverted word order (“He dared not ask,” and so on), which is at times engaging and at times tedious. Still the volume is quite readable and entertaining on the whole. Finally, the Wade-Giles Chinese romanization system is used throughout, rather than the newer Hanyu Pinyin. This is not not surprising, given the work’s age, but can be a bit frustrating for those of us trained first in Pinyin.

Imperial China 900-1800 by F. W. Mote of Princeton. It’s hard not to think of Jonathan Spence when reading this book, especially his The Search for Modern China. Like Spence, Mote is a master of graceful academic prose that should be a welcome surprise to specialists and non-specialists alike. Mote’s book is especially interesting for the attention payed to the “alien” dynasties of the Jurchen, Khitan, Mongols, etc.

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