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Perry Link (author of The Most Wanted Man In China)

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enjoypolo
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Just finished reading this incredible tauto-biography of Fang Lizhi translated by Perry Link.

Fang Lizhi (1936-2012) was a Chinese astrophysicist who later became a dissident of the ruling oppressive regime of China's Communist Party (CCP).

The book tells Fang's personal life-story growing up during Japan's invasion of China until World War 2, to the rise of Communist China under Mao, and the Stalinian iron rule that was imposed and regressed China back to the Middle Ages (to this day). Fang, who for a long time was under the spell of Marxism, was also a prominent physicist posing a heroic dilemma that ultimately led him to break the spells the cost of becoming a dissident and moving to Tuscon, where he taught of physics at Tucson University, AZ until his last days.

The apex of Fang's heroic journey unfolds when the Tiennamen protests and subsequent massacre occur (June 4th, which happens to be when I write this) where hundreds of students have been gunned down by the Chinese Military (PLA). Fang was able to seek asylum at the US embassy in Beijing which ended up lasting for 384 days (and during which, he wrote this memoir). And the rest is history.

The memoir provides rare insights into the mind of a being who becomes disillusioned with the system, and nobler even, to perceive and act beyond one's ideological and nationalistic bounds, and to be of service in universal terms. He is a modern-day Galileo who fought against the Roman Church (in this case, the CCP).


The translator of the book Perry Link was a friend of Fang, and in fact plays a part towards the end of Fang's story in China. Perry Link, who is Professor Emeritus of East Asian Studies at Princeton University, provides not only an outstanding translation that manages to capture the subtle linguistic nuances between Chinese and English, but because he knew the man himself, lets the reader connect with Fang. He undoubtedly would be an incredible guest on the THC to talk about China with his perspectives. I'd always wanted a China episode on THC, and I think he would make for a good guest.

PS: Funny thing is, it seems even Google US has censored the man, with not many results appearing, as well as this book being conspicuously omitted from Perry Links book list.. Not too surprising afterall, since Google is well-known to be working intimately with the repressive Chinese government in its AI and surveillance technology (Operation Dragonfly)

Perry is on Twitter as well (@PerryLink)

Thank you Fang. May the vacuum be with You.

 
Posted : June 4, 2020 9:16 PM
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