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Variations Without a Theme: And Other Stories by Xu Xing (University of Sydney East Asian Series) Paperback – March, 1998

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Paperback, March, 1998
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Product Details

  • Series: University of Sydney East Asian Series (Book 11)
  • Paperback: 108 pages
  • Publisher: Wild Peony Pty Ltd (March 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0958652627
  • ISBN-13: 978-0958652629
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,926,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 17, 1999
To adalois, who wrote a review of these short stories, you are right : who still wants to change China? Or did the Author ever want to? Desillusioned for sure, as far as the narrator is concerned, or too realist, but not sad though, and very funny sometimes... Is it politics? Does not look like it, but can actually be controversial, as its only focus is the individual, and one who has no ideal, who does not take part in society, in a society which is supposed to be filled with ideals. I believe these short stories have less to do with politics than with the acknowledgment that life is purposeless. The narrators are lone dreamers who try hard to remain themselves and discover that it's impossible, that they cannot be the masters of their own lives, and worse, that it would be futile to try to. Nihilism and cynicism are the dark side of these stories (the purpose of life, if any, is just "being"), but with a bright appearance : fun, the sense of the absurd and cheerful sarcastic remarks. So, if you read them in a joyful mood, you will laugh, a lot. If not, you will feel desperate (for the moral of the story is : don't get involved with people, it's too painful and dangerous). Conclusion : be careful, this is dangerous stuff!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By adalois@hotmail.com on December 16, 1998
Refreshing, sarcastic, humorous, existencialist. This are the four words i'd use to describe the work of Xuxing. He is a writer from the late 80's, early 90's, post 89 june 4th, desillusion and ecseptisism prevailing among young Chinese. Who is going to change China? or who still wants to change it? A must for anyone interested on contemporary China. Great translation, too.
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