mjj (flemmings) wrote,

I am old, Father William/ 独坐悲双鬓 *again*

Don't know how people feel about having their ljs linked, so I quote instead, from someone taking a course in Chinese history and loving it:
The other day we were talking about current events in China, spurred by a discussion of the Nobel Prize being awarded to a Chinese political prisoner. I forget how this came up, but Professor Macartney said, "And Mao Zedong was already a grown man when--how many of you know who Mao Zedong is? Raise your hands." A good half of us did. "OK, you're ahead of the other lecture," he said. "None of them knew. Actually, you're ahead of most Americans in that respect. People don't know who Mao is." It came out that he had written a book on the Cultural Revolution, which was reviewed in local papers a few years ago. The most eminent book reviewer had apparently not known who Mao was either, so she Googled the name. Unfortunately, she didn't remember how the name was spelled during the time between reading the book and writing the review. In the review she spelled it "Mae Zedong." And that was the name she had Googled, too, because she had found the image on this page. It was reproduced in the paper alongside her book review, with no apparent sense of irony.
Someone didn't know who Mao was? Someone thought it was Mae?? Well, he died in 1976. If that reviewer was, like, scraping 30 a couple of years ago-- which is young for an eminent reviewer, granted-- then, well, I suppose. 'What happened before I was born doesn't matter.' But still I boggle.
Tags: china, humour, lj

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