Dienstag, 24. April 2012

LITERATUR: Der Mensch in der Teetasse - Han Han 韩寒

Nicht Zeiten von Stabilität, Einmütigkeit und Harmonie sind diejenigen, die  faszinierende Kunst und Provokation hervorbringt, im Gegenteil. 

China ist nun genau so ein vibrierendes Herz, ein Mahlstrom, alles im Fluss, nichts sicher, und China produziert nun (abgesehen von allem anderen): iPhones Kultur.

Ein Vertreter, von der NYT längst als einer der 100 einflussreichsten Menschen der Welt anerkannt ist Han Han (韩寒): Rennfahrer, Playboy, Schulversager, Politischer Kommentator und Aufwiegler. Eine schulische Niete (nicht zuletzt in Sprachkunde), nahm er als 15 Jähriger an einem Essay Wettbewerb teil - und gewann. Ein gesamtchinesischer Wettbewerb mit Teilnehmern allen Alters, notabene, nicht von Schülern für Schüler.

Fascinatingly enough: Der Essay wurde bisher weder ins Englische noch ins Deutsche übersetzt. Deshalb nun unten: Meine englische Übersetzung!

What I am thinking of is the human character, especially the bad traits in the Chinese national character. Lu Xun did not say everything that is to be said. I have my own opinion.
In the time of the southern Song, they said: “Man is born good”, this means that as man is born, he is like a dry piece of cloth, he can discipline and restrain himself. But as he gets in touch with the water of society – even if the water was clean – he can become shameful like the flower, which closes itself when it gets in touch with water. The former persistency can slowly be turned into comfort, slowly gets permeated by water. Thinking gets uniform.
The Chinese character once used to be like steel, so sometimes there were people who were proud of their purity, even some people who several dozen years after they were born were still formidably pure, these formidably pure people have not come in touch with water, they do not take part in society - and that is then called "The real gentleman stays poor"! Those people that write essays that get published in literary magazines are too often like that. They claim to lay bare a scandal, and they let the reader feel good about it, as if the author really hated the wrong as if it was his personal enemy. But then, if you read between the lines, you will notice the silent anger: “Why am I not a government official?” All of these people that are lashing out at officials, if they got a government post, they would do it like Li Bai and suddenly derive honors from this post. Unfortunately, nowadays officials' posts never get distributed to these writers, therefore, the only thing they can do is to keep lashing out at officials.
Having written so far, this cloth we initially talked about is already an utterly used cloth, one that people have been lying on their bed, a cloth filling the cup. With more human contact, this cloth will be spread open so that it does not hide anything anymore. Again I think of the beliefs the Chinese have clung to for so long, the confucianist way of moderation and modesty. As a Chinese, one is damned to learn modesty. However arrogant a person is in the very beginning, he will still have to be made modest. Qian Zhongshu was arrogant enough in the beginning. His poor tutors Wu Mi and Ye Gongchao were called "Too stopid" and "Too lazy" (because they could not teach him modesty). It is a pity that after Qian Zhongshu, we have not seen anybody with such arrogance that would enable them to respect nothing but themselves. We could probably say that the water has got them wet. Li Ao was quite okay, the Nationalists could not blunt his sharpness, whatever did not seem right to him, he would criticize it without exception and he would not even fail to attack the Nationalists. When asked to find a person whom he respects, he could only point to the person he saw in the mirror. But how many people will China produce in the future whose talents tower so high above the usual and common?
It really is not easy to be frank about ones own level in the Chinese society. Some anecdotes of non-modest people have even been collected in a book, the “Recordings of cultivated tongues”. What kind of book is this? A joke book! In the future, there might be a father teaching his son the following: “Son, when you are old, no matter how talented thou may be, remember thou shall neither brag nor boast! I look at the people in the “Recordings of cultivated tongues” and there is not a single one who is not a joke!” The Chinese have been listening, and when they get in touch with society, they are modest.
China does not respect people who talk big. But in my view, there is nothing special about big talk, it is just like in ancient times, when women used to bind their feet. If you met women with normal feet, you would say she has big feet. The Chinese have gotten used to speaking small, so when they get to hear normal talk, they find it boastful.
People who dare to talk big never end well, they are so scared that not only do they not talk big anymore, but they become completely silent. Luckily, Hu Shi already died, because if he saw this state of affairs, he would die of anger. The result is that people who do not talk big have been embraced by society.
Having written so far, the cloth is already so wet that it desires to drop. So the result of being exposed to too much soaking in society is – crime. America boasts the by far highest crime rate in the world, I have read a lot of criticism as well as praise of the US, my impression of the US is not too good, but one thing is for sure: As rich as an American kid may be – unlike a Chinese rich kid, it will never get into the porn cinema!
Do Chinese educators know that this is connected to the youth crime rate? That if an underage person gets polluted by society too much, he or she may…
Chinese educators have separated sex and crime too clearly, from the (written) characters we can tell that the Chinese did not have the prophetic foresight the old Romans had – in Latin there is the word “corpus delicti”, it means “body, flesh” and “situation of the crime”. We can see that the old Romans have long realized that crime stems from the flesh.
As I have written until here, I suddenly realize that cloth has already sunk down to the bottom of the cup.

Das Original findet man zum Beispiel hier.