"Though death befalls all men alike, it may be weightier than Mount Tai or lighter than a feather." -- Sima Qian

A soldier in the People's Liberation Army, Zhang Side served as Mao Zedong's bodyguard and survived the Long March only to die making charcoal on September 5, 1944. Our selection for today is the report Mao delivered to commemorate his life three days later. As with his eulogy of Norman Bethune, Mao spent little time on the substance of the man and passed quickly to the significance of his life's work. The result was a political call to action as much as a call to grief.

The principle of Serve the People, enshrined as a Communist principle for the first time here, would later become one of the core ideological pillars of the Chinese Communist Party. It was championed by Zhou Enlai and Mao Zedong and remains a prominent political slogan today.
 said on
January 30, 2009
This is a really good pick. Much easier than most and a good counterbalance to Dream of the Red Chamber. Reading the Chinese also makes it much easier to see how he was such a charismatic leader.

It's really too bad for his legacy that he didn't pass away before the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. His military and organization legacy is - frankly - astounding. What followed much less so.
 said on
January 31, 2009
For those of you who're just as ignorant as I am about Chinese literature, here's some more information about Sima Qian and Mount Taishan.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sima_Qian

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Taishan

Btw, I noticed the popup-translation says Ci Maqian. I suppose that is a mistake.
 said on
January 31, 2009
Thanks for the pinyin catch Lunetta - fixed.
 said on
April 9, 2009
Are you guys planning to do 愚公移山 soon and finish up the 老三篇? You already have two of them.
 said on
April 9, 2009
We've got a mountain of 红楼梦 ahead of us. Trying to mix in some variety and that would be a good one to throw in. Thanks for the suggestion John. :)
 said on
April 10, 2009
So that's where the best live music venue in Beijing gets its name.
 said on
April 10, 2009
yeah. it's a great venue.
 said on
June 25, 2009
good!
 said on
October 12, 2013
“因为我们是为人民服务的,所以我们如果有缺点就不怕人们批评指出。不管是什么人,谁向我们指出都行。只要你说的对我们就改正。你说的办法对人民有好处,我们就照你的办”

My, doesn't that sound nice? But I guess it's those conditional clauses that have always proved problematic ... :)

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