SECTION SIX


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COLUMN FIFTY-EIGHT, APRIL 1, 2001
(Copyright 2001 Al Aronowitz)

LETTER FROM CHINA


(Photo Courtesy of Myles Aronowitz)

Dear Al,

Very glad to hear from you, we are indeed out of touch for a long time, still I am missing you always . .

Something important to tell you, a publisher here (Suchuan People's Publishing House in Chengdu) hopes that I can write a book about my days at Harvard and in America. I can write anything freely about what I witnessed and felt (the event, the people) whatsoever---so I'll recall my visit to you and my attendance at the 1998 New York Paying Tribute to Allen Ginsberg organized by you, especially your wonderful Beat literature


Cultural Globalization
in Chengdu, China


website. I am to introduce you by my book to Chinese readers, so I hope to know more about your career/life-story, for you are the friend of Allen and a living witness of beat movement (having had close contact with many beat figures and you are among them). Al will be one chapter in my book if I've enough information concerned.  Also I want to know something about Elizabeth where you live---its connection with Allen's family. Anyhow I intend to tell Chinese readers something about Beats in this book. I hope you can come to my aid again.

I'd like to tell you my efforts to make Beats known in China is not however fruitless with my translation of Jack's ON THE ROAD and Selected Poems of Allen Ginsberg (SPAG) together with my articles published in some nation-wide literary journals and newspapers, my speeches delivered at literature conferences, my lectures in universities---in particular with the publication of SPAG in Sept, 2000, there is a very strong response from the mass-media in the country, the book is selling well with a second-printing and an English-Chinese version is to come soon; it is indeed significant as I've said in China judging its communist-social institution, the proof that the globalization of culture is irresistible.

SPAG is the first Chinese Edition in Chinese community the world over, as a matter of fact what the beats felt and thought and did. Interestingly, you can find their EXPREESION in China, which is now undergoing tremendous changes ideologically owing to its openness to the outside world---underground literature is very active, something alike with beats' literature in  50's/60's of America. Among beat fans here mostly are youngsters---artists and poets, jazz players, university students and scholars.

In Chengdu, where I live there are numerous bars much in western-mode, poetry recitation with pop music is a common sight and always foreigners (most from America and Europe) can be found there, the poems are self-composed, never published. I was once invited to recite Allen's poems.

I haven't heard anything from Gerald Nicosia for a long time too. I miss him and his Chinese-origin adopted daughter. Please say hello to him, also best regards to Ida.

Wen Chu-an

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