Paper Republic: Chinese Literature Matters

务虚笔记 (lit. Notes on Principles)

Novel by Shi Tiesheng.

Shi Tiesheng 史铁生 is probably the most unjustly overlooked Chinese writer and his novel Notes on Principles has become a modern classic. Telling the stories of five protagonists (a painter, a teacher, a poet, a doctor, a director and a disabled person) growing up in post-1949 China, it is a contemplation of life, suffering, myth, dreams and reality - a lucid search for self that should appeal to western readers. Notes on Principles has had a sort of cult status since its publication in 1996 – a remarkable achievement given the changes in society and literary taste in the last decade.