Review of Ha Jin’s Li Bai

At Rhino.

Teaser quote: Almost all we have are lists of dates and names of places. In such-and-such year the genius went to such-and-such place. Now, if one collated such chronologies, and set ’em up the way it’s done in the backs of Library of America editions, you’d be looking at two, maybe three, pages of material. And it wouldn’t tell you jack. There’s almost nothing personal there. So how are you gonna get 300 pages out of it? Basically: hook a bicycle pump to those names and dates and fsssht-fsssht-fsssht ’til you hit 300….

[originally posted Friday 8 February 2019]

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