Yan Ge on the Banquet tradition


The ultimate purpose of a banquet is to get its diners drunk. Only in this way can we connect and become friends, squeeze each other’s shoulders and make dirty jokes. When it goes wrong, it can be ugly: Fights can break out; women might be abused for sport. But when it goes right, mistakes are forgiven; the diners perspire, devour, quaff and sing together, and then, only then, will business be done.

At the party, it soon became obvious that the purpose of this banquet was to get me to sign my next novel with this publishing house. And very quickly, it was clear that the deal would not be sealed: Not only had I refused to drink, but I also disclosed apologetically that I had already signed with a different press.

attached to: Yan Ge


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