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Wang Shuo thought bomb


Wang Shuo: ready to reload?
Wang Shuo (王朔) is a popular Chinese novelist. He is known as something of a rebel, perhaps the closest thing China has to a counter-cultural icon.

His works include novels, TV shows and movies. Most of them were written during the 1980s, in prose dialogue with a heavy Beijing flavor. In 1999, Wang wrote an article fiercely criticizing the Hong Kong popular culture that has had such a strong influenced on the Mainland. But after this, he faded from public view and refused media interviews. But recently, Wang's name has appeared on many websites, newspapers and magazines, and there is a lot of speculation about him publishing a new novel.

The cover story of last week's San Lian Life Week magazine was an interview with Wang, titled Wang Shuo's Thought Bomb (王朔的思想武器). Below is a translation of an excerpt from the interview:

San Lian: What have you done since 2000? Wang: Getting to know myself. I need to know what's going on with me. It's intense. I have to break myself into pieces.

San Lian: Do you watch TV shows or movies?
Wang: No! They are too terrible! They sometimes even make me puke. CCTV's Spring Festival Show is awful! After watching it and puking for so many years, I can't bear to see it anymore. It even worse than the rural Spring Festival celebrations in Northeast China. The green and red decorations are so crude. They really are ridiculous, thinking that the green and red represents China. People only dressed like this in the Qing Dynasty, not in the Song Dynasty, not in the Ming Dynasty when people dressed plainly. When the Spring Festival show opens, the female performers looks like mistresses.

San Lian: So you don't watch movies?
Wang: I didn't see the Curse of the Golden Flower (满城尽带黄金甲). Only landlords think gold is good. I never watch fucking silly big Chinese hit movies. When I was in the U.S., Hollywood blockbusters made me feel sick. All of them are one story. I watch indie films (地下电影) and TV shows. They are pretty good.

San Lian: Has any website invited you to write a blog?
Wang: Yes. But I won't write for them. I'll write for Xu Jinglei's website. The websites [that invited me to write for them] are commercial, but they pretend to be for the public benefit. They don't pay the writers, so why the hell should I write for them? Every one of my word cost 10 yuan! It's ridiculous if I write for them free of charge. Xu Jinglei wants to run a digital magazine; I'll write for her, and she'll pay me. I also want to launch a chatting blog, like a talk show.

San Lian: Zheng Yuanjie (郑渊洁) also made a series of talk show videos [watch on Tudou, or see Zheng's blog].
Wang: He's interesting. I'll do that, too. I'll chat them all to death!

San Lian: I once saw a comment from someone born in the 1980s. He said he knew who Xu Jinglei was, but not Wang Shuo. What do you think of this?
Wang: Nothing. There are so many thing that the post-1980 generation doesn't know. It's not important if they know me or not. I haven't do anything these years. But they should know Mao Zedong, Lin Biao and Chinese history, or the history of the Chinese revolution. When you read their textbooks, there's nothing about basic values, only things practical stuff. This is a defect of the educational system. Nearly everyone of this generation has been brainwashed by Hong Kong popular culture. This bunch of bastards only know about Hong Kong and Taiwan pop culture. They think China has always been a powerful country. So ridiculous. Generally, I don't think this generation is a real power, they are just fluff.

The famous blogger and San Lian journalist Wang Xiaofeng also wrote a blog post about Wang's return to the public eye: "If Wang really put his new work on the Internet, he will regret it someday. The Internet is just fluff. The traditional publication is the right way for [Wang]".

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There are currently 2 Comments for Wang Shuo thought bomb.

Comments on Wang Shuo thought bomb

Wang's comments are disgusting humbug. Any writer who allows his speech to be littered with exclamation marks is a ersatz writer. Another striking thing is the way he trash-talks commercial culture while associating himself with the entirely spurious actress Xu Jing Lei. Wang is truly a reprehensible individual.

"Thought bomb"?
Bit of a damp squib, if you ask me. Not that you did.

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