A yet-untranslated essay collection on the importance of critical thought, from one of the foremost Chinese intellectuals of the 1990s.
Wang Xiaobo’s Pleasure of Thinking is an essay collection as riotous as it is contemplative. Between rollicking anecdotes about living between the East and West and serious musings on the intellectual situations at home and abroad, Xiaobo examines modern life with the levity missing from so much of today’s politico-cultural discourse.
In “The Maverick Pig,” he considers the existential differences between humans and livestock. In “Tales From Abroad: Food,” he recounts the culture shock of discovering American diets while studying at Carnegie Mellon. Several pieces focus on literature, with notable essays devoted to Italo Calvino, Bertrand Russell, and Ernest Hemingway, whom Xiaobo admired greatly. Others are more personal in nature, ranging from a meditation on getting mugged, to the consideration of the question: why do I write?
Controversial, hilarious, and inimitable, Pleasure of Thinking is a delightful celebration of Wang Xiaobo’s unique critical perspective.
About the Author
Wang Xiaobo was born in Beijing in 1952 and died of a heart attack on April 11, 1997. Xiaobo taught at Beijing University and Renmin University of China and became a freelance writer in 1992. His novels Golden Age and The Future World both won the Award for the Best Novellas, Taiwan United Daily News.
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"Wang Xiaobo is a truly unique writer, and there are very few writers like him . . . perhaps only a select few are capable of expressing their life experiences, imagination, and sexuality in relation to a vast and omnipresent political environment as Wang Xiaobo did." —Ai Weiwei
"Consistently insightful and often charming . . . A wide-ranging, humorous, often sharp collection." —Kirkus Reviews