Peking Story: The Last Days of Old China

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Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Sign me up! For me, China was still a grand stage on which all action took place in sharp contrasts. Everything was exaggerated and brutally real.

Book Discussion With Myself: Peking Story: The Last Days of Old China by David Kidd ()

Perhaps the contrasts I were not just poverty and wealth, wisdom and stupidity, beauty and ugliness, sanity and madness, but at some elemental level were contrasts between life and death. David Kidd went to Peking as a University of Michigan exchange student in Like many of his peers at the age of 19, he wanted to get as far away from home as possible. He spent the next four years teaching English at suburban colleges. The unique thing about these incense burners was that they had always to be kept burning.

Peking Story is set against this limbo-like period of time in which backers of New China could not wait to be rid of the artifacts, the people in power, and the traditions and ways of feudal and monarchic China. They had also not mentioned the fact that antique Ming furniture, for example, was being sold by weight on the open market as firewood, that porcelains, bronzes, and paintings, whether fine or otherwise, symbolized in the New China a class slated for extermination, and that no one in his right mind would have dreamed of buying the very objects that would single him out for the exterminators.


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  7. Houses and People and Tables and Chairs , Peking Story is memoir made up of pieces of vignettes and anecdotes. It belongs to the kind of books that tells a large story by concentrating on a small one. He writes about life within the Yu mansion and how the dying of the old patriarch catalyses the decadence of a once aristocratic family.


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    • Peking Story: The Last Days of Old China by David Kidd.

    In concentrating on this, he manages to tell us what happened to China in early 20th century and the extent of the human and cultural losses involved. From the delousing of precious incense braziers, whose extraordinary colors are kept alive by constantly keeping the fire on, the neglected tablets of ancestors, the replacement of tight, high-collared dress slit to the thighs with uniform-like blouse, to the crumbling Yu mansion, Kidd captures not just the diminishing fortune of one family, but also the life of an ancient regime that never seems as sweet as in the last moments before it collapses.

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    Even more horrifying is that China seems to be repeating this history even today in its ferocious pursuit for power and wealth at the expense of morality. NYRB Classics. You are commenting using your WordPress. Increasing restrictions and David's detainment and arrest on two occasions added to the fear and uncertainty of their lives. Today Kidd retains his ties with the Far East. His marriage did not survive, but it is clear that the family retains a relationship with him of respect and affection. The story of their lives is strong and full of human interest. Convert currency. Add to Basket.

    Peking Story

    Book Description Aurum Press. Condition: New. Seller Inventory NEW More information about this seller Contact this seller. Book Description Aurum Press, Never used!. Seller Inventory P Brand New!. Seller Inventory VIB David Kidd. Publisher: Aurum Press , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:.

    Midnight in Peking: The Murder That Haunted the Last Days of Old China Audiobook by Paul French

    Synopsis About this title For two years before and after the Communist Revolution, David Kidd lived in Peking, where he married the daughter of an aristocratic Chinese family. From School Library Journal : YA Peking from to becomes a remarkable experience when viewed through the eyes of a young exchange student.

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