Tag Archives: Censorships

Flipping Over the Walls

Moving to and adapting to the lifestyles of a brand new city here, translated…

The first thing I’d learned, upon arriving in Shanghai was learn to flip over the walls.

It’s not what you imagined, a group of people, working really hard, trying to climb over the fences, instead, it’s in the virtual world, stepping over the international websites’ systems.

Especially how the Taiwanese relied on Google and Facebook, YouTube, and all of these systems, are banned in China, and hard, for them to load up, in the country, we can only use Baidu, and Tudou, along with some other servers.  And still, the messages in the systems, the set up, along with the surfing through the pages, are not easily gotten used to, and incomplete; and so, flipping over the walls became my method, to ease my “homesickness”.

The moment I’d gone into our bedroom, we’d placed our luggage down, then, immediately headed to the living room, turned on our computers, and started enjoying the software that allowed us to “flip over” the “walls”—the freedom doors, the school VPN………and, we’d compared the systems too.  Afterwards, we’d started flipping through the news pages, along with interesting news in and out of the country.

And, I’d all of a sudden, recalled how Tsong-Wen Shen had skipped class by flipping over the walls of the school, and found the reasoning of the world.  Then, by flipping over the “walls”, finding the knowledge that satisfies us, isn’t that because of how outside these “walls”, there flowed, the news of our home.  And even though, we’re away, we still didn’t want to miss a thing that happened back home.

My roommate C, told me with worries, that she feared that being in Shanghai too long, she might not be able to adapt to the tastes in Taiwan.  My classmate, B too worried, that if she’d gotten used to the accent spoken in China, how will she readjust her speaking?  To tell the truth, I don’t know, I just wanted to wonder, how long it’s gonna take, for someone to find the self that was before one left home back again?

That scent of nostalgia showed itself in the panic lightly.  It’s just, that rarely anybody noticed how this nostalgia was wrapped up, in being in a foreign place, waited until that sense of newness got washed away, and, the burning desires slowly showed itself again.  Would our accent, our habits, our thoughts, that were Taiwanese, after leaving home for a very long time, be like the rentals in Shanghai, rerooted in another culture, and able to patch things back up with one’s own fatherland after returning home once more?  If the shores broke off from Shanghai, and, everything existed in peace between the straits, like the colonies, could we not ever return to our homeland again?

And so, we’d flipped over the walls.  Break through the defense lines, working hard, to maintain that opening that connected us all, to our home towns.

In this article, you can see the narrator in her/his desperate attempt, to stay connected, to NOT become completely assimilated to the culture s/he had ventured into for whatever reason (school, work, etc., etc., etc.), and this, is the general mindset that ALL immigrants can relate to.

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Exploring the Censorship Fight Over Trying to Publish “Ulysses”

From The New York Times, by D. Garner…

Kevin Birmingham’s new book, “The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle For James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’” about the long censorship fight over James Joyce’s novel, braids stories about women’s rights and heroic female editors, about World War I, about anarchism and modernism, about tenderness and syphilis, and about how literature can bend an era’s consciousness.

It isolates a great love story, that of Joyce and Nora Barnacle, one that comes with a finger-burning side order of some of the most cheerfully filthy correspondence in literary history.

About Joyce, he writes: “He wanted people to read novels and carefully as ardently as sleeplessly as they would read dirty letters sent from abroad.  It was one of modernism’s great insights.  James Joyce treated readers as if they were lovers.”

When Joyce embarked upon “Ulysses” in 1915, he was in his 30s, impoverished, unemployed, married with two children and living in Italy.  The war’s battle front was nearby.  His literary career was a shambles.  He had devastating eye problems brought on, Mr. Birmingham argues, by syphilis, and endured more than a dozen surgeries.

As excerpts from “Ulysses” appeared in the Chicago magazine The Little Review, edited by Margaret Anderson, the magazine began to be harassed by censors, partly because of its supposed links to radicals and anarchists.

Mr. Birmingham describes that while anti-vice crusaders wanted to ban “Ulysses” to protect what they considered to be female sensibilities, many of the book’s champions were women.  Upon reading Joyce’s prose, Anderson said her partner at The Little Review, Jane Heap: “This is the most beautiful thing we’ll ever have.  We’ll print it if it’s the last effort of our lives.”  Both women would end up in court.

Sylvia Beach, the owner of Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris, published the first edition of Joyce’s novel in 1922 and worked to smuggle the book into the United States.  Mr. Birmingham says of her, “She wanted to give the world something more than pajamas and condensed milk.”

Other heroes include Ezra Pound, who once explained he couldn’t help Joyce get his poems published in England, because he’d burned all his bridges.  They also include Ernest Hemingway, who helped Beach smuggle copies of “Ulysses” into the United States, and John Quinn and Morris Ernst, who each defended Joyce’s writing in court.

This book is populated by the less heroic as well.  Virginia Woolf didn’t like “Ulysses” and passed up a chance to be its first publishers.

Mr. Birmingham writes that Joyce’s novel was “a new rendering of the way people think” and he explains why good history, not just Joyce, matters.  “It can be difficult to see how Joyce’s novel (how any novel, perhaps) could have been revolutionary.  This is because all revolutions look tame from the other side.”

He adds: “We forget what the old world was like, forget even that things could have been any other way.”

And so, this, is still how censorship is going way too far, because someone writes something that offends someone else, therefore that piece of writing should be banned?  What about the freedom of the press and the freedom of the speech?  And, if not for those forward thinking people of the older times, where would we be today???

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