Tag Archive for sources

A Long Time Ago in a China Far, Far Away …

As much as I don’t miss large swaths of life in China, I do look longingly at kongfz.com, the world’s best secondhand book website, and remember with pleasure being able to purchase a lot of sources and other bits of historical detritus with a minimum of effort. These days, getting ahold of things that catch…

‘An eternal yet banal sensation’

There is a wonderful quote in a book I otherwise think is fair-to-middling (if that – Edvard Radzinsky’s The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II): Nicholas kept a diary for thirty-six years without interruption. He began it at the age of fourteen, in 1882, in the palace at Gatchina, and ended it…

Smashed jars & dictionaries

Being a Chinese historian – or, I should probably say, learning to be a Chinese historian – can be great fun, and also really frustrating, and fun and frustrating all at once.  Like most things in life, I guess, but I’m occasionally confronted with obstacles that make me wish I’d taken my mother’s initial advice…

Mystic chords of memory

We read a great essay (which I of course cannot find now) when I was taking my methods class as an undergrad; the gist of it was that doing history can make for the loneliest profession.  We find ourselves growing attached to people who are long dead, and who don’t care about us (they can’t, being…

“Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves”

Despite far flung (some might say a bit schizophrenic, even) interests, academic and otherwise, that usually mean I have my hand in a couple of different areas at any given time, I’m prone to bouts of obsessing – particularly with media (music, games, books, bits of literature).  Of course, it’s cyclical – I can go…

On the joys of book shopping

Or I should say, on the joys of kongfz.com. One of the delightful things about living in China is the shopping (despite inflation worries, there are still a lot of goodies to be had on the cheap).  For a bibliophile like myself, who likes to own every bit of material related to my research that I…