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Book Link 图书链锁： The Writing on the Wall" - How Asian Orthography Curbs Creativity
【显而易见 - 为什么亚洲基于汉语的象形文字损害阻碍人的创造力】
陈凯一语：Kai Chen's Words:
汉纳斯的关于汉语阻碍人的创造力、想象力的精彩论述"The Writing on the Wall" 【显而易见 - 为什么亚洲基于汉语的象形文字损害阻碍人的创造力】是每一个愿意并勇于了解自身文化语言的中文系的人们必读的良书。 望每一个汉语的受害者与害人者深思并寻找答案与替代语言。
William Hannas' courageous and deep analytical book on Chinese character-based Asian orthography needs to be read by everyone Chinese character-based Asian language user. Thus people can understand why the Asians lack creativity and imagination. Courage with strong will to face the truth is needed and only through a thorough understanding we can start to find solutions and replacement.
Creativity Only For The State
June 10, 2003
This review is from: The Writing on the Wall: How Asian Orthography Curbs Creativity (Encounters with Asia) (Hardcover)
"The Writing On The Wall" by William Hannas opens eyes and minds to new arguments about nature or nurture. The timeworn topic is well worth exploring, and it is especially interesting when a Westerner looks across several Asian regions to address it. Fortunately, the author speaks Vietnamese, three dialects spoken in China, Japanese, and Korean. His perspective is unique among Westerners and his views are worthy of careful note.
The book reminds us that China was an empire with a central authority, and all were subordinated to the emperor. So it was for thousands of years; and so it is today with the Communist Party as emperor. Where is there a need to be creative unless it is to devise methods to bring greater glory and power to the State?
This seems similar to the Middle Ages in Europe. Kings and barons ruled fiefs, and their subordinates curried favor. Again, what else was there to do? But, when the kings and other powerbrokers began to speak and write the languages of the little people rather than Latin and French, things began to change. In East Asia today the powerbrokers write in a language [character based] that the little people do not easily comprehend. Memorizing 3,000 characters certainly supports exercising form over substance. And, as in Mandarin times, having completed the form, one could enter the elite. Today, one must perform what work to enter the elite? Answer: memorize 3,000 characters, perform exceptional Party (emperor) work, or be closely related to one who has.
The main job today in China is to accrue power and hegemony. There's little scope for creativity here, given the thousands of years China has practiced at it. So how creative does today's Chinese elite need to be? Only enough to keep the West away from the door, for example by fanning the fires in the Middle East and being able to hold the U.S. 7th Fleet at bay. These seem like simple tasks that can be accomplished with a bit of technology transfer to upgrade antiship weapons and build nuclear strategic deterrence. The technology transfer is well documented in the book and woe to the West for letting it happen so easily.
So is it nature or nurture? Hannas clearly notes that there are many Chinese who have emigrated to the West who have demonstrated creativity. The role of spoken and written Asian languages in creativity is worthy of consideration, and it is well covered in this book.