For a Song and a Hundred Songs: A Poet's Journey Through a Chinese Prison

For a Song and a Hundred Songs A Poet s Journey Through a Chinese Prison In the spring of news of the Tiananmen Square protests and their bloody resolution reverberated throughout the world A young poet named Liao Yiwu who had up until then lead an apolitical bohemi

  • Title: For a Song and a Hundred Songs: A Poet's Journey Through a Chinese Prison
  • Author: Liao Yiwu Wenguang Huang
  • ISBN: 9780547892634
  • Page: 338
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In the spring of 1989, news of the Tiananmen Square protests and their bloody resolution reverberated throughout the world A young poet named Liao Yiwu, who had up until then lead an apolitical bohemian existence, found his voice in that moment, and, like the solitary man who stood firmly in front of a line of tanks, Liao proclaimed his outrage only his weapon would be hiIn the spring of 1989, news of the Tiananmen Square protests and their bloody resolution reverberated throughout the world A young poet named Liao Yiwu, who had up until then lead an apolitical bohemian existence, found his voice in that moment, and, like the solitary man who stood firmly in front of a line of tanks, Liao proclaimed his outrage only his weapon would be his words Liao s memoir, For a Song and a Hundred Songs, captures the four dehumanizing years he spent in jail for writing the incendiary poem Massacre Through the power and beauty of his prose, he reveals the brutal reality of crowded Chinese prisons the harassment from guards and fellow prisoners, the torture, the conflicts among human beings in close confinement, and the boredom of everyday life Hailed by Philip Gourevitch as one of the most original and remarkable Chinese writers of our time, Liao presents a stark and devastating portrait of a nation in flux, exposing a side of China that outsiders rarely ever get to see This honest account and witness to history will forever change the way you view the rising superpower of China.

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      338 Liao Yiwu Wenguang Huang
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      Published :2018-09-19T18:04:32+00:00

    One thought on “For a Song and a Hundred Songs: A Poet's Journey Through a Chinese Prison”

    1. Intense personal memoir about a Chinese poet who wrote a personal response to the Tiananman Square tragedy and then a second poem and worked with a number of poets to create a film about it. They all ended up in jail. As the primary writer of the poems and film, Yiwu spent more time inside, first in detention and held for longer than allowed, then in the detention center awaiting his trial which took 2 years. He then was sentenced for 2 more years at a labor camp. What was especially fascinating [...]

    2. For a Song and a Hundred SongsIt’s not easy to read a prison memoir like this one: For a Song and a Hundred Songs, A Poet’s Journey through a Chinese Prison by Liao Yiwu is a confronting book and it took me a while to get through it. It’s a bit like reading Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – one can’t just scamper through it, because each chapter is a catalyst for all kinds of reflections about the power of the stateLiao Yiwu is the author of The Corpse [...]

    3. Liao Yiwu, a Chinese poet, chronicles his journey from diffident and politically apathetic poet to outraged and engaged activist because of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre, and, further, his terrifying descent into the penal system as he is detained and arrested on charges of being a counterrevolutionary for a poem he wrote and a film version of the poem he helped make. The portrait of the Chinese prison system and "justice" system he depicts, and the violence and debasement, at both the hand [...]

    4. Książka czytałam bardzo długo. Wynikało to z tego że opis pobytu w więzieniu jest przedstawiony bardzo szczegółowo. To opis okrutnych, poniżających, dehumanizujących praktyk więziennych. Rozumiem dlaczego autor zdecydował się na ten zabieg, wiem ze wnosi on wiele do książki będącej uczciwym opisem pobytu w zakładzie, jednak dla mnie tak trudnym i wymagającym ze lektura była istnym koszmarem. Podsumowując książka świetnie oddaje doświadczenie życia w więzieniu niestet [...]

    5. Liao Yiwu was a rather self-indulgent and apolitical poet prior to the Chinese military's June, 1989 massacre of protestors in Tiananmen Square. Learning of that news, however, Liao quickly became a protestor himself. He composed a poem, "Massacre", that was widely disseminated, and he followed that by participating in a commemorative film titled "Requiem". As might be expected, the Chinese authorities did not take kindly to these projects. Liao was arrested in 1990, and spent four years in pris [...]

    6. While I appreciate insight into life from an intellect's or artist's perspective, this book takes a different spin. Liao Yiwu found himself in an unanticipated connection with the student-drive political uprising in China's Tiananmen Square during 1989. As a reader, you have the opportunity to consider how Liao thinks and participates artistically in the world. Upon being placed in a detention center and then prison, I found myself fascinated with the social structure, forms of interaction (both [...]

    7. Poet Liao Yiwu's account of four years spent in a Chinese prison is raw and disturbing yet also a deeply human and essential read.The Chinese equivalent of a beatnik, poet Liao Yiwu was known to drink hard, get into fights, and seek out adventures, staying up late into the night with his artist friends to contemplate life. And that’s all he cared to do.But something snapped inside him upon hearing the news well past midnight on a sleepless June 4, 1989, that government troops would crack down [...]

    8. Liao Yiwu's For a Song and a Hundred Songs is an incredible book - brilliant and devastating, inspiring and humbling. The book recounts the years of his incarceration (for the 'crime' of writing and recording a poem in protest against the Tiananmen massacre), years that Yiwu describes in a way that is neither romanticized nor self-righteous, allowing the specificity of detail to speak for itself. Solzhenitsyn is invoked a number of times, and it is no small praise to say that Yiwu's writing does [...]

    9. Liao Yiwu could have been a prototypical hard drinking, womanizing fraternity brother on an American campus, but instead he got swept into the Tienamen Square protests, about which he wrote song lyrics that got him imprisoned for four years first on Song Mountain Penitentiary, the basis of the title. Liao has a great English translator, and the prose is simple, clear and engrossing. The story of prison life recalls those of the people in Soviet gulags. China, Liao says, puts more people into its [...]

    10. Forget the cover - the shaved head gives you the impression the author is a monk.Hardly.Liao Yiwu writes like Hemingway - He pulls you into these stories of hell right from the start - waking up like Yiwu did sometimes - with the stinky toes of the "Walking Dead" in his face - because there was no space in the cells to sleep - and it was his job to make sure the Walking Dead - the condemned - didn't kill themselves before their executions. starving, cattle prod beatings - and the worst - left be [...]

    11. An awesome read. I bought "For A Song And A Hundred Songs:A Poet's Journey Through A Chinese Prison" after reading an excerpt in "Tricycle:The Buddhist Review". The small sample in the article was enough to get me curious. It's not a "Buddhist" book but instead "A Poet's Journey Through A Chinese Prison". It's a memoir of Liao Yiwu's life, from poet in China just before the Tienanmen Square protests, to his imprisonment for 4 years as a "counter-revolutionary" after writing 2 poems about the Tie [...]

    12. Liao Yiwu's prosaic language suits his descriptions of the Chinese criminal justice system, and reading this book was helpful as I read news about the Bo Xilai trial now underway.I found it interesting that prisoners everywhere, regardless of the regime, organize themselves in similar ways and enforce similar hierarchies to maintain their own order and power. And what I found also particularly enlightening is how the brutal prison system fosters and encourages the brutality among prisoners. His [...]

    13. Ich hatte zum Anfang Probleme dem Buch zu folgen. Was sich aufhob, als es losging mit den Verhaftungen und dem Rest. Zum Ende hin allerdings, war ich dann wieder etwas verwirrt um kam, warum auch immer, wieder nicht hinterher.Sein Schreibstil ist flüssig,scher und dennoch gewöhnungbedürftig.Die Erinnerungen und all das was er erleben musste und durfte, zeigt immer wieder, dass man es an andern Stellen des Lebens einfach nur gut hat.

    14. After reading this book, I can definitively say that I don't want to go to prison in China. I can also say that I have some concerns about purchasing products manufactured in China, after reading about the prison slave labor. I did question the author's animosity towards his wife at the end of the book - it sounds like in addition to his time away from her in prison, he treated her pretty terribly before his incarceration.

    15. A fascinating, addictive read. The protagonist is not a particularly sympathetic character, and the worst punishments are carried out not by the state but by fellow prisoners. However, I suspect if all prisoners were able to tell their stories, and more people within China read them, the system would get improved. I highly recommend if you want to understand better the human rights situation in China.

    16. A must-read, life-changing book. Images of unimaginable brutality and suffering. The best and worst of humanity and the range of all human drama playing out between inmates inside the confines of a prison cell. Disturbing, funny, terribly sad. I will never think of modern China in quite the same way again.

    17. Een indrukwekkend boek van een Chinese schrijver, die voor zijn gedicht over de massamoord op het Tian an Min plein in 1989 tot vier jaar gevangenisstraf werd veroordeeld. Ongelofelijk, zijn beschrijvingen van de Chinese gevangenissen en zijn leven daar. Het is een rauw boek. Ik vond vooral de gedichten achterin erg mooi.

    18. Auf eine berührende Art und Weise schildert Liao sein Leben in verschiedenen chinesischen Gefängnissen. Die Brutalität, mit der die Inhaftierten behandelt werden, spottet jeder Beschreibung. Das Buch ist sehr interessant - teilweise aber auch langatmig.

    19. fremd und doch so vertraut. Eintauchen in eine andere Kultur, in eine andere Sprache, eine andere Symbolik - und am Ende dieses Bemühens steht ein nackter Mensch.Nackt bis auf den Kern der Seele.Hochachtung!

    20. Liao Yiwu, a poet who wrote a poem, Massacre, about the Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989 and was imprisoned for it, is an unlikable man at the beginning of this memoir, but his experience as Prisoner 0-9-9 in China is amazing.

    21. It's rare that I dislike a book or an author, but I so disliked Liao Yiwu's chauvinistic attitude towards women and high self-regard for his art that I am ashamed to say that I could not dredge up the compassion for his story as a victim of the Chinese paranoia regarding Tiananmen.

    22. Just finished this grim but powerful memoir of a Chinese counterrevolutionary poet from the Tiananmen Square student protests and massacre of 1989. The author, Liao Yiwu, tells a terrifying account of his time spent in a Chinese detention center and prisons. An important read.

    23. plan to spend more time reading. WAs discouraged to really get engaged with this novel based on some of the reviews I read.

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