Forgive Me For Rambling

Neil Thomas reviews John Minford’s recorded seminars on Chinese literature

The translator John Minford personifies the quality by which he judges prose – its “generous spirit.” For two marvelous hours on Thursday mornings in late 2015, Professor Minford taught a class on Chinese literature at The Australian National University in Canberra, where he introduced his students (myself among them) to the characters and the worlds of China’s cultural tradition.

Hidden on an obscure university website, three of Minford’s six seminars survive. (A lecture series on similar themes that Minford gave at the Hang Seng Management College in Hong Kong is also available on YouTube.) Recorded at the Australian Center on China in the World, these sessions transport listeners from the present into a past that brims with vaster life, illuminating the tribulations and the revelations of ancient writers and their modern translators.


Our Top Ten Most Read Essays

The China Channel is entering its second year with a reminder of our top posts

The Los Angeles Review of Books China Channel launched a little under a year ago, on September 25th 2017 – the anniversary of the birth of Lu Xun, whose iconoclasm and cultural interests we celebrated and identified with. Since then, we have published 215 posts, with praise from various quarters and top monthly readers in the tens of thousands. We’re taking September and the beginning of the new school year as our premature anniversary, to announce that we have continued funding from the Henry Luce Foundation, with additional support from the US-China Long Institute at UC Irvine, for another year of operations.

Thank you for reading us, and below are the top ten most read essays on the China Channel from the last year. We look forward to the year ahead, and have some wonderful reviews, essays and more lined up, after a week's break to mark the end of summer.