At no point, unlike so many other contemporary commentaries, did I feel a sense of soul-crushing existential dread. Mahbubani has done the extraordinary – he has conveyed a sense of hope for humanity through sound economic reasoning.
By the description of the fake-hymen merchant I was happy to be rid of the brothers grim of Li and Song.
For some reason, reading this piece threw up so many different, powerful feelings. Though not highly complex or even elegant, this poem in particular rang many bells across the scope of my musical and literary memory.
Xiangzi is a remarkable lead character destined for tragic poverty, and the host of side-characters are also similarly tragic and garish. My favourite character, however, is the city of Beijing itself.
I am not either a person of the Confucian age (or even of a contemporary Confucian society) in possession of a set of testicles, or currently in a position of knowing if my work will be given a grand enough title to last longer than my own living memory.
At this point am I just desperately trying to make sure y’all know I’ve read The Iliad?