Readings | 2022・7: Mark Twain, Van Gogh, Yuan Zheseng, etc.


  • "Selection of Mark Twain's Humorous Sketches": After reading it, Mark Twain's humor is significantly serious in wit, not deviating from seriousness in humor, exaggerated but not extravagant, sharp but never falling into sarcasm. He always shows sympathy towards the characters he satirizes, fully embodying the satirical theme of "hoping for enlightenment, to move towards goodness."
  • "Desire for Life": After reading Van Gogh's biography, it is better to say that he desired inspiration for painting from life rather than desiring life itself. A passionate and unrestrained life.
  • "Tombstone": After reading it intermittently for two months, we read history to avoid repeating mistakes.
  • "The Lonely Game": After reading Yuan Zhesheng's collection of short stories, delicately depicting the lonely and sensitive inner world, the eponymous novel is quite stunning. There is a segment about Sima Guang smashing the vat that was used in the movie "Sunshine Pours Down."
  • "Fogg Behavior Model": After reading it, it is somewhat enlightening, for example, selecting important actions through a focus map. The downside is that it is too verbose, a common problem with such foreign books.
  • "Huagai Collection Sequel": After reading it, Lu Xun's collection of essays. Our Chinese ghosts are more honest than people, like the Kitchen God, whose mouth can be stuck shut with sugar to prevent it from speaking nonsense. However, treating people in such a simple way is obviously not effective.
  • "A Tear": After reading it, a memoir of Wu Ningkun's persecution, offering a glimpse into the experiences of intellectuals at that time.
  • "The Brothers Karamazov": Currently reading it, previously unable to continue reading despite multiple attempts, picked it up again on a plane this month and suddenly got into it... Many people, like me, couldn't get through the beginning, so why not try again in a quiet moment? I officially got into it around page three hundred and read over a thousand pages in one go, finally understanding the interesting parts within.
  • "Running for Governor: Selected Short Stories by Mark Twain": Currently reading it, continuing to read the author's short stories.
  • "Prison Notes": Currently reading it, Wang Xuetai's memoir in prison, can be read together with "A Tear."
  • "The Social Construction of Reality": Currently reading it, about to finish. Many people say that the translation by Peking University Press is very good, but as a non-sociology major, my experience of reading it is quite the opposite—confusing and unclear.
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