Gold Wind

Idealists: “‘amiable’…enthusiastic about good, true and beautiful…”
Idealists: “‘amiable’…enthusiastic about good, true and beautiful…” who: “let all kinds of motley, coarse and good-natured desirabilities swim about promiscuously in their pond”. The description Philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, gives to idealists in his work: ‘Beyond Good and Evil’. Reading between the lines, perhaps the more practical approach to bringing perspective to Life would be referring the idealistic elements of the personality to the ‘sense of humour’ for interrogation? If, as Nietzsche continues, the: “strength of a mind might be measured by the amount of ‘truth’ it could endure”.

It was with little more than a sense of humour and a violin that the characters written about by master storyteller, Dai Sijie, survived the Chinese Cultural Revolution. In his book: ‘Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress’, they stole a suitcase full of illegal Western classical novels by Balzac, Dickens, Dumas, Tolstoy and others and read such ‘forbidden’ books in secret. If caught, they would have faced the severest of penalties. A potent distraction from the horrors of evil by writers known to include a vein of goodness, truth, beauty?

Great writers like, Sijie, mesmerise, whilst blurring the lines between truth and fiction. Communicate horrific pages where the ‘Individual’ is ripped apart, then powerfully remind of the resilience of the human spirit standing up to barbarism. Love stories that deny class barriers and grow beyond political oppression. Where if Evil knows one agenda which is to break the individual, it underestimates kindred spirits who refuse to be cowered by brutality.

Sijie was subject to being ‘re-educated’ between 1971 and 1974, a guinea pig in Mao’s grand human experiment. He never betrays the truth of what happened during China’s Cultural Revolution but would seem well placed if it informed his writing. And difficult to be reminded of events that had taken place less than fifty years ago. To think on the price paid to write such words, pure gold dust, reading them seemed too easy; a beautiful gift. Mindful that for many, theirs had been written in blood.

Source material and for more information:
Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche (p44)
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, Book and Film, Written and Directed by Dai Sijie
Once on a Moonless Night by Dai Sijie
Books: Link text here...
Film: Link text here...