Trees Without Wind: A Novel (Weatherhead Books on Asia)

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Every longtang in Shanghai is steeped in an atmosphere of gossip, where right and wrong get twisted and confused. In the elegant apartmentstyle longtang on the west side of town, this atmosphere is free of clouds, refreshing and transparent as a bright autumn day. Moving down among the modern-style longtang neighborhoods, the atmosphere becomes a bit more turgid and turbulent, blowing to and fro like the wind.

Lower down still is the fractious atmosphere of the old-style longtang neighborhoods with the stone gates. Here the wind has died, replaced by the vapor of a humid day. By the time one gets to where the slum-dwellers live, all is enveloped in mist—not the roseate mists of dawn, but the thick fog that comes before a torrential downpour, when you cannot see your hand in front of your face. But regardless of the type of longtang, this atmosphere penetrates everywhere. If the longtang of Shanghai could speak, they would undoubtedly speak in rumors. If the longtang of Shanghai could dream, that dream would be gossip.

Gossip is base. With this vulgar heart, it cannot help wallowing in self-degradation. It is like sewer water, used, contaminated. It feels no sense of responsibility, never takes the blame for the outcome—whatever that outcome may be. It never bothers to think things over—and no one ever bothers to think it over. Gossip is made up of fragments discarded from serious conversations, like the shriveled outer leaves of vegetables, or grains of sand in a bag of rice.

These bits and pieces have faces that are not quite decent; always up to something, they are spoiled merchandise.


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They are actually made from the crudest materials. If gossip has a positive side, it is the part of it that is genuine.

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This truth is what gives you the courage to go out into the world and not fear losing face, or the courage to become a ghost—to go against prevailing opinions. Free download. Book file PDF easily for everyone and every device. This Book have some digital formats such us :paperbook, ebook, kindle, epub, fb2 and another formats.

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