Posted by Joel Martinsen on Friday, November 5, 2010 at 5:57 PM
Liu Xiaobo: The Man and his Deeds
"Who is Liu Xiaobo?" asks the English translation of an unflattering article about the most recent Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
The Chinese title of the article is 刘晓波其人其事, or something like "Liu Xiaobo: The Man and His Deeds."
This also happens to be the title of a book published in September 1989 to inform the reading public of Liu's outrageous words and criminal activities. From the preface:
Beginning with Liu-specific excerpts of Beijing Mayor Chen Xitong's report on the 6-4 incident, the book (the text of which is widely available online) blasts Liu's scholarship and commentary, including his views on the controversial TV drama River Elegy (河殇), colonialism, the role of intellectuals, and Achesonian "democratic individualism."
Exiled "Elite" and Their Activities
The third appendix contains the full text of Liu's 1988 interview with Hong Kong's Liberation Monthly, which is the source of the widely-quoted line about 300 years of colonialism (as well as the expensive bottle of wine mentioned in the recent critical article).
The China Youth Publishing House, which published the book, followed up a few years later with a volume recording the misdeeds of a collection of well-known public figures who fled the country in the wake of the events of 1989. Here's the cover blurb from Exiled "Elite" and Their Activities (亡命“精英”其人其事), published in May 1991:
Like the Liu Xiaobo book, Exiled "Elite" is a compilation of interviews, news reports, and essays that attempts to let the subjects defeat themselves with their own words.
Li Hongzhi: The Man and His Deeds
The book also includes, in an appendix, the text of Gao Xingjian's 6·4-themed play, Fugitives (逃亡). Although the book, with a print run of around 20,000 copies, was not a best-seller, it still made the text available to readers in the days before contraband information could circulate freely on the Internet.
Today, perhaps because the full text of "Charter 08" is easily obtainable online, an attack on Liu Xiaobo does not need to include it as an appendix. Or maybe the authors of the latest look at the man and his deeds are worried about possible side-effects: a thread on the online forum Tianya discussing the two books contains a comment that reads, "I've got a copy. And that was the book that pushed my thinking in a 'reactionary' direction."
Judging from a roundup of other biographies that employ "the man and his deeds" (其人其事) in the title, the formula appears to be intended to pull back the curtain on the wickedness of the man and the awful deeds he has done.
Here's a selection:
Links and Sources
China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Culture and corporate propaganda in Soho Xiaobao (2007.11): Mid-2007 issues of Soho Xiaobao (SOHO小报), illustrating the complicated identity of in-house magazines run by real estate companies.
+ Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship (2010.03): Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship at an officially sanctioned meeting in Shenzhen.
+ Crowd-sourced cheating on the 2010 gaokao (2010.06): A student in Sichuan seeks help with the ancient Chinese section of this year's college entrance exam -- while the test is going on!