Den kinesiske författaren Dai Sijie har skrivit en bok som måste läsas av alla som bekymras över extrema politiska rörelser från dagens amerikanska neokonservativa till de muslimska ytterlighetsrörelserna. Boken heter Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress och jag tror inte att den har översatts till svenska än.
Bokens plot liknar till en del boken Reading Lolita in Tehran men den är på intet sätt påverkad av den boken. Det är skrämmande att bara något kvarter från där jag bor så finns det människor som vill införa bokcensur i USA som skulle göra dessa böcker illegala.
Born in China in 1954, Dai Sijie is a filmmaker who was himself “re-educated” between 1971 and 1974.
He left China in 1984 for France, where he has lived and worked ever since. This, his first novel, was an overnight sensation when it appeared in France in 2000, becoming an immediate best-seller and winning five prizes. Rights to the novel have been sold in nineteen countries, and it is soon to be made into a film.
Och här är en kort recension av boken:
In 1971, as Mao’s Cultural Revolution swept over China, shutting down universities and banishing “reactionary intellectuals” to the countryside, two teenage boys are sent to live on the remote and unforgiving mountain known as Phoenix in the Sky. Even though the knowledge the narrator and his best friend Luo had acquired in middle school was “precisely nil,” they are nevertheless considered dangerous intellectuals and forced to spend their days carrying buckets of excrement up and down the mountain to fertilize the fields. But when they bargain their way into obtaining a forbidden Balzac novel from their friend Four Eyes, a new and dizzyingly vast world opens up to them. Through Balzac, the narrator discovers “awakening desire, passion, impulsive action, love, all the subjects that had, until then, been hidden” [p. 57]. And when Luo falls in love with the beautiful Little Seamstress, life and literature come together in a passionate romance. Luo and the narrator plot to steal Four Eyes’ suitcase full of books both for their own pleasure and to transform the seamstress from a simple peasant into a sophisticated woman. Their success in doing so, and the unexpected consequences that follow, drive the novel to its stunning, heart-wrenching conclusion.
Part historical novel, part fable, part love story, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is a moving testament to the transformative power of literature.