February 24, 2015

Stunningly Stupid Yet Disturbing Materialism Among Chinese Communities

A stack of Money/Picture of money (The followi...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Last weekend while conversing with an acquaintance of mine about economy, I mentioned a person who I knew remotely, who saved $350,000 but soon lost majority of it in stock market. Right after I pronounced $350,000, my story was interrupted by this question: "What? 350 thousand you call it 'rich'"? I looked at him, knowing perfect why he presented such an out of context question, calmly looked at him in the eye and said: "$350,000 is a big number to me."

Of course, I didn't have to admit to him that I was "poor", since it's so obvious, but my point was to exhibit in front of him, that someone just didn't mind to admit how "poor" she was. According to current Chinese "fashion", it's utmost embarrassing to "uncover" your slim wallet. And I have to add, the "poverty line" set by these riches is very high!

February 22, 2015

Charlotte Bronte On Jane Austin

Charlotte Brontë on Jane Austen

I have likewise read one of Miss Austen’s works—Emma—read it with interest and with just the degree of admiration which Miss Austen herself would have thought sensible and suitable. Anything like warmth or enthusiasm—anything energetic, poignant, heart-felt is utterly out of place in commending these works: all such demonstration the authoress would have met with a well-bred sneer, would have calmly scorned as outré and extravagant. She does her business of delineating the surface of the lives of genteel English people curiously well. There is a Chinese fidelity, a miniature delicacy in the painting. She ruffles her reader by nothing vehement, disturbs him by nothing profound. The passions are perfectly unknown to her; she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy sisterhood. Even to the feelings she vouchsafes no more than an occasional graceful but distant recognition—too frequent converse with them would ruffle the smooth elegance of her progress. Her business is not half so much with the human heart as with the human eyes, mouth, hands, and feet. What sees keenly, speaks aptly, moves flexibly, it suits her to study; but what throbs fast and full, though hidden, what the blood rushes through, what is the unseen seat of life and the sentient target of death—this Miss Austen ignores. She no more, with her mind’s eye, beholds the heart of her race than each man, with bodily vision, sees the heart in his heaving breast. Jane Austen was a complete and most sensible lady, but a very incomplete and rather insensible (not senseless) woman. If this is heresy, I cannot help it. If I said it to some people (Lewes for instance) they would directly accuse me of advocating exaggerated heroics, but I am not afraid of your falling into any such vulgar error.

 —Believe me, yours sincerely,
C. Brontë.

I think this explains why I could not make myself into Jane Austin, though I tried several times.

February 19, 2015

The Profound Loneliness And Tenacious Reason Of Jane Eyre And Villette

Jane Eyre (1970 film)
Jane Eyre (1970 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I just can't get enough of Jane Eyre! Words cannot describe how much I love this book. Up to now, it sits undisputedly on the top of my favorite literature books, even on top of Les Miserable. Of course, I do not doubt the profoundness of Les Miserable regarding to human nature in general, but Jane Eyre is more special to me personally, as I feel related to "her" in so many ways.

Jane Eyre not only strikes me with her independence, as I put it in my previous post, but also with countless other aspects. For examples, her rebellious disposition - "I resisted all the way." (beginning of Chapter 2); her sharp inquiry about blind religious obedience, which is reflected in her friendship with Helen Burns; her unusually pre-matured intelligence, such as her quick learning ability, her art talent; and above all (even above her independence), Jane Eyre strikes me with her tenacious reason, which never gives way to her frail sentiment.

February 18, 2015


It's OK to be dependent - as we are all humans and humans are social animals, which means we survive as groups, not individuals, but it's not "wise" to disappreciate the persons or things you depend on.