Friday, June 6, 2014


A death which in its odd and different way .............was that of Qu Qiubai. He could not depart on the Long March because at 36 he was dying of tuberculosis. Captured by the Kuomintang, before his execution he composed a testament, called "Some Superfluous Words," for which the orthodox have not forgiven him. Although expressing envy of the young who manned the barricades, he ended on a sardonic note, praising flowers, moonlight and factory chimneys, recommending ''Anna Karenina'' and ''The Dream of the Red Chamber,'' and stating, last of all, that ''the Chinese bean curd is the most delicious food in the whole world. Goodbye and farewell!''


From: David Lattimore, New York Times Book Review article on The Gate Of Heavenly Peace:  The Chinese and Their Revolution, 1895-1980 by Jonathan Spence, published Sunday, October 18, 1981.

Twinkle: Golden Lights (Link) 

Note:  I remember exactly what I was doing and where I was sitting at 149 Clinton Street, Brooklyn Heights, when I first read Qu Qiubai’s immortal tofu encomium.  It was a stressful time (I hadn’t found a lawyer job yet to replace the position that unexpectedly fell apart during the summer), but I was younger, newly married and Sundays, reading the newspapers, relieved the stress, then. 

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