Monthly Archives: January 2014

The China Blog chinese_year_of_the_horse_postage_stamps-r3df594b0bd034e32aefe1ce82397d943_xjs8m_8byvr_512.jpg bg=0xffffff

Marking Time in China and the West — A New Year’s Post

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“A spectre is haunting the world: 1914.”  So writes Harold James, a professor of history [who is] certainly right that newspapers and learned journals are currently full of articles comparing international politics today with the world of 1914. — Gideon Rachman, “Does the 1914 Parallel Make Sense?” Financial Times blog Today’s China is no longer […]


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Message From Ukraine

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By Yuri Andrukhovych  Dear Friends, These days I receive from you lots of inquiries requesting to describe the current situation in Kyiv and overall in Ukraine, express my opinion on what is happening, and formulate my vision of at least the nearest future. Since I am simply physically unable to respond separately to each of your […]


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Journal of the Plague Season

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ALTHOUGH THIS MAY seem counterintuitive, science fiction is often one of the most realistic of genres. It may set its stories in future times or among weird alien species, but the best science fiction can often express political and social anxieties more openly than can realist drama. Sometimes this is a matter of escaping the […]


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The China Blog A Bollywood film crew shooting an action thriller in a small village in Anhui Province in 2012.

India in China

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By Tong Lam The relative absence of India in Chinese public discourse is an interesting curiosity. Indeed, while there has been a growing public interest in China among the Indian public in recent years, there is no similar level of reciprocal fascination flowing across the Himalayas in the other direction. Instead, most members of the […]


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Dear Television mcconnaissance

The McConnaissance: An Alternate Reading

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Dear Television, IN EPISODE TWO of HBO’s stunning new series True Detective, the laconic Rust Cohle, played by Matthew McConaughey, spends a significant amount of car time with his partner, Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson), trading quips and offer the audience veiled truths about themselves. It’s a trope of the procedural: cops, even female ones, are […]


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20 Minutes into the Future Revolution

The Future, As Seen on TV

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In 1982, cultural critic Fredric Jameson published “Progress verses Utopia: or, Can We Imagine the Future” which argued against the commonplace belief that science fiction was about the future. Instead, he suggested, the role of science fiction is “not to give us ‘images’ of the future” but “rather to defamiliarize and restructure our experience of […]

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The LARB Fiction Issue is Here!

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The Los Angeles Review of Books presents a collection of original fiction from some of the most exciting contemporary authors working today. From short stories to excerpts of upcoming novels, the LARB Special Edition: Fiction Issue features pieces from Hawa Allan, Nick Antosca, Steph Cha, g c cunningham, Jim Gavin, Etgar Keret, Grace Krilanovich, Ben […]


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Girls Natalia

Your Urine-Soaked Life

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Dear Television, DEAR TV superfans may remember that I really liked the Natalia arc from last season. I liked the actress — Shiri Appleby — who played Natalia. I liked the challenge this apparently “together” character posed to the group, and I liked that this challenge felt organic and real. (Given the show’s aspiration to some kind […]


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Missing the Harmony Express

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By Maura Elizabeth Cunningham “There is NOTHING,” I typed, “that makes me miss China more than dealing with @Amtrak. Our rail system is ridiculous.” A quick click on “Tweet” and I sat back in my chair in Washington, D.C.’s Union Station, content that I had fully conveyed my frustration with American mass transit — at […]


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Dear Television, Girls GIRLS_car

Space Invaders

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THE THIRD SEASON of Girls opens with Hannah and Ray discussing the aftermath of a breakup in the show’s version of New York. At stake in their chat, which is partly about pessimism, optimism, and what constitutes (to use Ray’s phrase), “real life,” is what kind of fictional NYC is. Hannah says it’s inevitable that Ray will […]


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