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China: Blogger-poets

In Qian Zhongshu‘s (钱钟书) 1947 novel Fortress Besieged (围城), one of the greatest works of twentieth-century Chinese literature, protagonist Fang Hung-chien attempts to build a career with a fake degree from an imaginary American university. As seen in a post yesterday [zh] from Bullog blogger Fang Zhouzi, life does still imitate art, seventy years later, and at even the highest levels in Chinese society:

吴征“博士”失母校:巴灵顿大学关门大吉

Wu Zheng “PhD” Loses alma mater: Barrington University's Lucky Day

在中国很著名的美国“大学”、吴征获得其博士学位的巴灵顿大学(又写做巴林顿、柏林顿、百林顿大学)在2004年被美国总审计局特殊调查办公室认定为属于标价贩卖文凭的“文凭制造厂”(diploma mill)。

The American “university” so renowned in China where Wu Zheng earned his doctorate, Barrington University, was deemed by the American Government Accountability Office's Office of Special Investigations as a “diploma mill”, selling diplomas for a fixed price.

巴灵顿大学于1998年9月14日在阿拉巴马州注册,查阿拉巴马州政府公司登记资料,该“大学”已于今年4月19日解散。

Barrington University was registered in Alabama on September 14, 1998. A check of Alabama state government corporate registration information shows that this “university” was dissolved on April 19 this year.

其网站barrington.edu也已关闭。

Its website barrington.edu has also already been shut down.

吴征“博士”没有母校了。

Wu Zheng “PhD” has no alma mater.

不过吴“博士”不要伤心,中国还有一些高管是他的校友,例如中国汽车系统股份公司董事局主席、首席执行官陈涵霖在其简历中称自己“毕业于美国Barrington大学的MBA”。

Although, “Dr.” Wu doesn't need to get upset. There are still many high-level officials in China who are his alumni; for example, China Automotive Systems Inc. board chairman and CEO Chen Hanlin refers to himself in his resume as an ‘MBA graduate of Barrington University in America‘.

Corporation D/C 198-198
Legal Name: Barrington University Incorporated
Place Of Inc: Montgomery County
Date Of Inc.: 09-14-1998 Dissolved.: 04-19-2006
Reg Agent…: GIBSON, SHIREE
801 EXECUTIVE DRIVE #204
MOBILE, AL 36606-2811
Prin Address: MOBILE, AL
Capital Amt.: 100 Authorized — Paid In
Nat Of Bus..: OPERATION OF A CORRESPONDENCE SCHOOL/DISTANCE LEARNING
Names Of Inc: EWING, RICHARD

(XYS20060930)

Late last month Journal of Selected Poetry editor Zhao Lihua (赵丽华) found herself on the sharp end of the Chinese blogsphere when several of her old (and admittedly poorly-written) poems were dug up, posted viral, mocked and spoofed to no end. First bringing Chinese poetry back to the forefront of public consciousness, the incident then led to discussions over the value of destructured verse seen in Zhao's poems. One of the more prominent has been the blog battle between author, musician, race car driver and voice of those born post-1980 Han Han and 1990s grassroots literature sensation Shen Haobo, with the younger writer taking the conservative stance [zh]:

现代诗和诗人怎么还存在

Why do poets and modern poetry still exist?

前两天这里在争吵诗不诗的问题,没看,觉得奇怪。因为我的观点一直是现代诗歌和诗人都没有存在的必要的,现代诗这种体裁也是没有意义的。这年头纸挺贵,好好的散文,写在一行里不好吗?古诗的好在于他有格式,格式不是限制,就像车一定要开在指定路线的赛道里一样,才会有观众看,你撒开花了到处乱开,这不就是交通现状吗,观众自己瞎开也能开成那样,还要特地去看你瞎开?这就是为什么发展到现在诗歌越来越沦落。因为它已经不是诗,但诗人还以为自己在写诗。

Two days ago [readers] here were arguing over the ‘is it a poem or not’ matter. I didn't look,felt it's strange. Because my view has always been that there is no need for poetry and poets to even exist, and that the form of modern poetry makes no sense. Paper is expensive nowadays; is there anything wrong with writing to the end of the line like good prose? The good thing about ancient poetry is that it has form. Form is not a restriction. Just like only if cars are driven within a designated route will there be an audience to watch. If you just randomly drive all over, isn't that the same thing as traffic on the road? The audience can blindly drive around if they want, so why would they come especially to see you do so? That's why the development of poetry is now in decline. Because they're not even poems anymore, but the poets still seem to think that's what they're writing.

Shen's retort and those following [zh] pulled no punches, dissing Han in language so elegant as to render it untranslatable. A post [zh] written on September 28 mocks Han's having dropped out of high school, poor car racing performance and Han's funding of his own album after being ignored by several music companies. Posts over the last several days have seen a series of increasingly insulting poems—written in Zhao's destructured style—blogged back and forth between the two men.

1 comment

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