May 23, 2002


The first time I tasted Lu Hsun's verse, prose, and scholarship, I knew I was reading a man of worth. His virtue has always been a simplicity that never sounded either simple-minded or fake. Try this one on, for size:

"Animals act according to their nature, and whether right or wrong never try to justify their actions. Maggots may not be clean, but neither do they claim to be immaculate. The way vultures and beasts prey on weaker creatures may be dubbed cruel, but they have never hoisted the banners of 'justice' and 'right' to make their victims admire and praise them right up to the time they are devoured."
Lu Hsun
Dogs, Cats, and Mice

I should keep this before me as a caveat as I become a student of culture again. I am happy although I anticipate the renewed burden of words and meanings. I think it was the author Forsythe who said that the desk is the most dangerous place to view the world from. Blood, sweat, and tears seem more liquid there. Right and wrong are decided by check marks and red side notes. Labels seem to do no harm. Ideologies seem no different from idylls.

The wounds wrought by the pen are hard to read. I am out to either emulate or dishonor the traditions I have chosen. I will be one with the people rendered faceless by the books that bury their brows . And later buried by the garbage spewed forth by diploma mills and media machines.

My path is set. For now, life will become moot and academic.