Read Memoir | 2023-4: Autumn Garden, Tibetan Buddhism, Local Government in the Qing Dynasty

The whole month of April was busy and fulfilling. In April, I participated in a half marathon, which was also my first attempt at a marathon. In the first half of the month, I often went out to exercise with friends in order to successfully finish the race. In the second half of the month, I was mostly in the hospital accompanying my father, who had to undergo surgery.

Running made me fall in love with this sport, and I fell in love with the refreshing feeling after finishing a run. Half a month in the hospital gave me a more personal understanding of physical health. The urology department is on one floor, and it's embarrassing for a patient not to have one or two tubes inserted. Once a bed is vacated, it will be occupied within half a day. The "hot" level can be seen.

My father had kidney stones and developed peritonitis, with severe accumulation of fluid in the right kidney and abdominal cavity, to the point where the right kidney basically lost its function and had to be removed. After more than ten days of turmoil, the surgery couldn't be performed due to severe inflammation, so he had to have a tube inserted to drain the kidney fluid for a few months before deciding on the next steps for the surgery... After this experience, I once again realized the importance of annual physical examinations, especially for middle-aged and elderly people. If you wait until your body reacts, it's basically in the middle or late stages. Minor illnesses can turn into major ones, not to mention the increase in costs, the most important thing is to let the body suffer so much, why bother?

The books I read in April were mostly read by the bedside. They were getting IV drips while I was reading, and they didn't interfere with each other.

"Those Strange and Worrying Questions"#


The interesting thing about this book is that people really take the seemingly absurd questions seriously and come up with relatively reasonable answers. The questioners have wild imaginations, and the answerers approach the questions with a scientific attitude and rigorous logic.

The collision of curiosity and scientific thinking is like watching a funny Nobel Prize.

"Autumn Garden"#


The whole book is about nothingness, without a single existence. By combining it with "To Live," I basically understood the lives of most people in that era on this land.

Autumn Garden's life: in 1932, from Luoyang to Nanjing; in 1937, from Hankou to Xiangyin; in 1960, from Hunan to Hubei; in 1980, from Hubei back to Hunan. A life of wandering.

Since it is a memoir, it is easy to read, like listening to the stories of the older generation about that era. But as I read on, my mood becomes heavy - those who have experienced that era, who can't tell a few heavy stories?

"Human Extinction"#


After reading it, it feels like watching a poorly made Hollywood blockbuster. The author incorporates various settings such as genetic mutations, super-powered protagonists, and low-intelligence, irritable, and cold-blooded politicians, but the novel's plot and characters can't support them.

"Show Your Tongue Coating or Emptiness"#


It is said that when the author, Ma Jian, finished writing the manuscript, he showed it to Gao Xingjian, who immediately praised it and recommended it to Liu Xinwu, an editor at People's Literature. However, after it was published, it caused a sensation and led to Ma Jian being banned, and Liu Xinwu being suspended.

The five short stories create a strange impression of Tibetan Buddhism for readers - the behaviors presented in the book are out of sync with the civilized world. If this book is regarded as a record of literature, then the plot certainly has elements of exaggeration, but I have truly seen some of the descriptions in videos, such as "sky burial." So, I can only believe it half-truthfully and half-falsely, and treat it as a story.

"Local Government in the Qing Dynasty"#


This is an excellent material for understanding the operation of local government in the Qing Dynasty. It has a clear structure and direct and concise content. The author mainly mentions the prefectural and county officials and their main assistants, and by introducing their selection, treatment, status, and corrupt practices, readers can quickly establish a three-dimensional understanding of local government operations.

Being a prefectural or county official is not easy. The salary is low, and they are unfamiliar with the local area. Their work heavily relies on the local clerks. The major assistants of prefectural and county officials, such as friends, attendants, clerks, and yamen runners, although they may seem powerful on the surface, their status is similar to that of commoners and they belong to the so-called "influencing three generations" positions.

Ownership of this post data is guaranteed by blockchain and smart contracts to the creator alone.