The coffin fell apart.
There was the sound of decayed wood crumbling, and a cloud of smoke surged out, like water vapour from a hot steamer.

Yan Lianke / Carlos Rojas

Abrahamsen Explicates Han Han

BEIJING — Three weeks after Han Han, China’s most prominent blogger, published three controversial blog posts in which he casts a sullen eye on Revolution, Democracy and Freedom, the online debate has slid into absurdity.

The latest nonsense came from Mai Tian, another popular blogger, who asserted that Han Han could not possibly be the author of his blog posts, given that he was racing cars on some of the same days they were published.

Han Han — novelist, racecar driver, and by the numbers the world’s most-read blogger — is a spokesman for youthful discontent in China. His caustic commentary on current events gives voice to popular outrage at official corruption and abuse of power, while avoiding direct attacks on the government that might result in censorship of his blog. The three essays mark his first foray into taking straightforward political positions.

Most of Han Han’s detractors, whether domestic or foreign, seem to be objecting to his preference for reform over revolution: his three essays are relentlessly skeptical about spirited resistance, essentially denying the heroism of dissidents. Further comments on the Chinese people’s lack of civic spirit and the hopelessness of opposing the government have made the essays even less popular.


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