The World Shakes China

China has yet to shake the world; its external influence has been comparatively inconsequential since the industrial revolution. Instead, it is the world that has shaken China.

Issue: Spring 1996

"One might trace the history of the limits, of those obscure actions,
necessarily forgotten as soon as they are performed, whereby a
civilization casts aside something it regards as alien. Throughout
its history, this moat which it digs around itself, this no man's
land by which it preserves its isolation, is just as characteristic
as its positive values."
--Michel Foucault

In the recent Italian film Il Postino, the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda
teaches an uneducated mailman first the word and then the art of
metafor. The mailman is a quick study, and soon he is asking Neruda
an intriguing question: "Is the world perhaps a metaphor for
something else?" Neruda pauses and then says that he will have to
think about this question. But he never gives the postman his answer.

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