Masking Death: Funerary Art of Medieval China Zöe’s Review

Death is the mysterious fact that all ancient people facing as well as contemporary us. Tomb in a Confucius concept is very important ritual given the fact that they believe there is an after world. And the Buddhism believes the same only with one more thing adding that is what you are doing in this world will decide if you will suffer in the after life. 

This book gives you a thorough understanding of Chinese tomb from Han to Tang dynasty. Very interesting questions are rising. For instance, in various eras there are the same theme found in the tombs: a person peeking through an ajar door with half body hidden. Why is that, how did ancient people share such a concept ? With all these questions, this book answers you, or at least, lead you.

See more about the book, the review, here

Looking for Soothill

这本书是近年来难得的一本好书,许是因为细节中介绍书是有关山西大学堂和苏慧廉在太原任总教习的缘故,多次忽略推广之后终于买下了。书内容主要叙述温州,自始至终没有什么共鸣。8年前曾跟妈妈同游江南,去了扬州、无锡、镇江、苏州等等地方,过温州而未入,总感觉是小商品和富商的聚居地。如今《寻找苏慧廉》已经列入一定要重读若干遍的书单中,更是深切自责,希望能有机会去温州看看。

首先,佩服沈迦。该书资料之翔实至少令我瞠目,尤以附录为甚。带着全书看完之后的景仰发现原来附录中将所有文献堆积起来是更加有震撼力。近年来,习惯了各种传统出版社无性价比的出书,猛然间有回到读书做学问的日子里。内心触动更大的是自己的浅薄。近年来因常年在外,习惯了一系列的社交网络,视书如命的我必然成为了Goodreads上的活跃分子,每当读完一本书,定要精心为书写评论,分类上架,自己也成了Goodreads的作者和图书管理员,私下窃笑,满以为Goodreads囊括所有英语图书,其他语言亦在扩充,但是,当我希望把沈迦所查阅的那些由“洋人”,比如苏慧廉等人著的专著录入时,竟找不全。虽说那些书都是牛津图书馆的馆藏,但也未过两百年,居然不在现在可分享的互联网读书网站之列,心中顿觉失望。这不是真正的学问。扪心自问,在网络数字时代的冲击下,究竟是不是也跟着自我陶醉于虚拟世界,任由浮夸的信息左右着。

其次,这本书极有见地。初期疑惑便是怕此书仅仅是洋教士的传教使,殊不知,晚清的另一面、山西的过往、温州的曾经、以及很多大师的相互关联都呈现出来。不论是与李提摩太在太原也好、还是与胡适谈唯物、做费正清的博士论文指导老师,一切的历史都在一两个人间串了起来,加之一些尘封已久的史料,很多事情都以一种新的角度呈现给了读者。

最后,不太喜欢写很详细的书评,自己的水平也有限,仅限于偶尔点评作者文笔,但是沈迦的作品几乎无以可挑之处。再道一句,难得。而千里迢迢买到了沈迦的签名本,更是锦上添花的喜悦了。