译者:L0op8ack   作者:ANAND RANGANATHAN



In preparation for my China visit, I had immersed myself in Mao: The Unknown Story, a riveting biography by Chang and Halliday. I was eager to finish the book while still in India – it is banned in China – and truth be told, the prospect of a midnight knock on my hotel room door made me think twice about lugging the book along. I chose the harmless autobiography of Naipaul’s editor instead.

在准备我的中国之行时,我已经沉浸于 张(?)Halliday合写的精彩绝伦的人物传记-《毛:鲜为人知的故事》

我急于在印度读完它 - 这书揭露了真相,在中国这是禁书。

The Unknown Story paints a devastating picture of the man whose sphinx-like face stares at you from every Chinese currency note. In short, Mao, if death had not intervened, would have destroyed and obliterated the country otherwise known as China, and would have killed even more people than the 70 million he managed to through his twisted policies. Mao was a poet – as I learnt through this masterful work – which goes on to prove that only bards can cause so much devastation through their creative writing; prose writers are slight and inconsequential in comparison – let Arundhati try and convince people to embrace anarchy, ultra-Left ideology, Marxism, and collectivisation as effectively as Mao. (Wait a minute…)



毛是一个诗人(poet 双关语:空想家)

我通过了解他的”伟大业绩“学习到 - 只有诗人才能仅仅通过写作就引发这么大的破坏,相比之下散文家就显得那么无足轻重了。

Here is one of Mao’s early poems, when he was young and impressionable and merely crystallising his thoughts and ideas that would later compel his people to eat each other in desperation during the great famine that followed the great leap forward.
Sorrow, piled on my pillow, what is your shape?
Like waves in rivers and seas, you endlessly churn.
How long the night, how dark the sky, when will it be light?
Restless, I sat up, gown thrown over my shoulders, in the cold.
When dawn came at last, only ashes remained of my hundred thoughts.
Not bad, is it? Which is why it came as a surprise a few hundred pages further down in the book, when the same genial rhymester said this:
“Do unto people what you would never do unto you.”



He may be praised to the skies in Chinese schools, worshipped at politburo gatherings, but the naked truth is that Chairman Mao’s imprint on China is now but a watermark on her currency notes. It is unthinkable that all this economic progress would have happened under his keen eye and nod. Max Plank once famously said: “Science proceeds, funeral by funeral.” So do nations that are burdened with the legacy of beatified leaders who see progress only through their narrow eyes and narrower viewpoints. Sooner or later people start worshipping their leaders and stop following them. For China to become the future it was crucial that Mao became history first.


马克斯.普朗克(Max Plank)曾经说过一句名言: 科学前进路上尸骨累累。所以,国家要背负短视又视野狭隘却被美化的领导者的遗债。

I am in Tianjin, a city of 14 million that I hadn’t heard the name of a few weeks ago. It has a GDP per capita ($ 15,000) higher than any other city in China, higher even than Beijing and Shanghai. And no one I met before or since my visit to China knows of Tianjin. Seeing the city up close, strolling through its malls, parks and public squares, I find it hard to believe that an incredibly prosperous metropolis is for most Indians a KBC trivia! Figuring out this conundrum is not easy, and hours of skull-knocking makes me conclude that unaccounted, unimaginable, disposable, disposed wealth is to blame.





An Indian city, you see, is unique; its USP is its culture, the crumbling state of its buildings, the distinctive architecture, the civility of its residents, the mishmashed display of its filth and opulence. Every city, from Allahabad to Mysore, has a peculiarity, a certain buzz that makes it unique and different from other cities. Its people display a range of skin colour, facial features, dress codes, spitting acumen, road wisdom, eve-teasing expertise.


每一个城市,从阿拉哈巴德 到 迈索尔,都有自己的个性。每个城市都有与其他城市不同的嚣闹声,它的人民有不同的肤色、五官、着装规范,随地吐痰时的造型,抢道的智慧,强奸犯的的专业知识等等。

With wealth though, comes parity, comes uniformity – everything glistens, one building shines just like another, one road is as smooth as the next, every car is an Audi. Wealth erodes individuality. Tianjin is like Beijing is like Shanghai is like Hong Kong, from the airports to the railway stations to the bus depots, from the cars and the buses on the roads to its manicured street flora to the glowing shopping malls. Wealth, money, gold, possessions, they are the great equalisers. When the belly of its residents is full, the city ceases to have an underbelly. And Tianjin glistens just like one more studded diamond in the Chinese tiara. It’s all the same to you after a while. Beauty begets boredom.

虽然财富带来平等,也带来同质化 - 一切都都是土豪金色,每一栋楼都和其他一栋楼一样发着相同的夺目光彩,每一条路都和其他路一样光洁平整,每一辆车都是一样的牌子Audi。





The buildings are immense – when they are not tall they are impossibly wide, like the Tianjin Museum or the Tianjin Convention Centre. But the beauty, if you must, is state-orchestrated, like East Germany on steroids.

建筑是巨大的 - 不高就不会堆出那么多,比如天津博物馆、天津会展中心等。


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