One of Sapajou’s illustrations for the North-China Daily News/From China Heritage Quarterly
China Heritage Quarterly, a publication covering recent developments related to China’s heritage, has turned its focus onto Shanghai this quarter and now it’s all online! Inside, you’ll find everything from an expose on 1930s Shanghai wild girl Emily “Mickey” Hahn to the harmonizing of Shanghai’s history in recent exhibitions around the world. It’ll take a while to work through it, and I recommend that you do, but here are three picks I found exceptionally interesting:
- Sapajou’s Shanghai by Richard Rigby: An incredibly detailed biography of Sapajou, born Georgii Avksent’ievich Sapojnikoff, the staff cartoonist of the North-China Daily News, “probably the most important and prestigious English language newspaper in the Far East… Through his daily cartoons published over an almost unbroken period of some fifteen years, Sapajou became well known not only in Shanghai but also internationally.”
- The Shanghai Haze by Gloria Davies: Back in the late 20s, Shanghai’s best known writer, Lu Xun (of which there is a park named after him up in Hongkou), had strong words against the publishing industry. “it seemed to be enveloped in an intellectual ‘haziness’ or ‘vagueness’ (menglong 朦胧) which was pouring forth from a ‘spate of new periodicals’ that had appeared earlier [in 1928]. Of the contributors to these periodicals, he wrote: ‘They seem to have exhausted themselves by thinking up great and lofty topics but with no thought for the deadly dull content that follows.” To have a cultural critic like him now…
- Shanghai Culture Lost by Xu Jinlin (translated by Geremie R. Barmé): A thought provoking look at Shanghai culture in modern times by a Shanghai resident. It questions the “cultural monopoly bequeathed by the Planned Economy” and asks why Shanghai has developed to have “culture” without the “Shanghai” part attached.
Thanks to Danwei for the link!