Iron and Silk Peter Hessler is one of the most popular writers on contemporary China.
I was excited to read this. Overall it does end up sounding similar to Hessler, just with less understanding. I think when reading travel writing it is usually obvious how much time the author spent integrating themselves into the culture, Hessler clearly spent more time in China than Salzman.
You would not expect a memoir about a cello playing martial arts master in China for the purpose of teaching English to medical students a funny book and yet it is. It is very funny and eye opening. You cannot help but laugh out loud at some of his exploits as he tries to make his way through Chinese bureaucracy and customs.
But then you remember, in South Central China, there is a regulation for everything real or otherwise. Ostensibly an exploration of his mission to learn martial arts and calligraphy, it ends up being a study in how to keep our eyes open to enlightenment.
He had studied kung fu, Chinese art and calligraphy.
At Yale he majored in Chinese Literature. This is a memoir of his experiences while in China. The book is told in a series of vignettes, and divided into sections.
It begins with two episodes that bookend his tenure — arriving and leaving China. The rest of the memoir is roughly in chronological order I think.
Salzman is an astute observer and writes in a clear yet atmospheric way about his experiences. The various people he meets — professors, bureaucrats, fishermen, students — come to life as he describes their clothing, customs, habits, living conditions and demeanor.
Much of the book focuses on his own efforts to expand his knowledge of martial arts, calligraphy and Chinese Mandarin, Cantonese and the local dialect.
I was a little disappointed to not have more information about the classes he taught and the students he encountered, though there are a few scenes about those experiences. The area of China Salzman lived in is still not often visited by Westerners. In the early s few Chinese had themselves traveled beyond their own villages, let alone to other countries.
Most of the people he encountered had never seen a Westerner before, and many were stunned to silence on first seeing him. Reading this memoir gave me a glimpse of China that I do not know.Year Film Subject(s) Lead actor or actress The Story of the Kelly Gang: Ned Kelly: Frank Mills: Origin of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata: Ludwig van Beethoven.
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Mark Joseph Salzman (born December 3, in Greenwich, Connecticut, is an American writer. Salzman is best known for his memoir Iron & Silk, which describes his experiences living in China as an English teacher in the early pfmlures.com: Jessica Yu.
Feb 15, · In order to film "Iron and Silk," Mark Salzman's account of his experiences as a teacher in China, Mr. Salzman has stepped back into his own memories to create a .
Iron and Silk has 3, ratings and reviews. mark said: Salzman is a sweet guy, there's no doubt about it. his tales of his time in china are direct, /5. out of 5 stars - Iron & Silk by Mark Salzman (English) Paperback Book Free Shipping!