东北游记 | In Manchuria: Journeys Across China’s Northeast Frontier by Michael Meyer

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2020年4月25日08:00:00东北游记 | In Manchuria: Journeys Across China’s Northeast Frontier by Michael Meyer已关闭评论 324 次浏览
东北游记 | In Manchuria: Journeys Across China's Northeast Frontier by Michael Meyer

In the tradition of In Patagonia and Great Plains, Michael Meyer’s In Manchuria is a scintillating combination of memoir, contemporary reporting, and historical research, presenting a unique profile of China’s legendary northeast territory. For three years, Meyer rented a home in the rice-farming community of Wasteland, hometown to his wife’s family, and their personal saga mirrors the tremendous change most of rural China is undergoing, in the form of a privately held rice company that has built new roads, introduced organic farming, and constructed high-rise apartments into which farmers can move in exchange for their land rights. Once a commune, Wasteland is now a company town, a phenomenon happening across China that Meyer documents for the first time; indeed, not since Pearl Buck wrote The Good Earth has anyone brought rural China to life as Meyer has here.

Amplifying the story of family and Wasteland, Meyer takes us on a journey across Manchuria’s past, a history that explains much about contemporary China—from the fall of the last emperor to Japanese occupation and Communist victory. Through vivid local characters, Meyer illuminates the remnants of the imperial Willow Palisade, Russian and Japanese colonial cities and railways, and the POW camp into which a young American sergeant parachuted to free survivors of the Bataan Death March. In Manchuria is a rich and original chronicle of contemporary China and its people.

生活在现代中国的人,都明白见证传统流失,老景翻新的感觉。在北京,也许你上周还在一条巷子里的小店吃面条,下周再去就发现那儿已经变成了一堆瓦砾。相比之下,东北的历史还不算那么遥远。

你乘坐的火车可能行驶在以沙皇命名的铁路上;你漫步而过的建筑不是佛教古寺,而是洋葱圆顶的俄罗斯东正教教堂;你走过的大道两旁种着日本赤松;树木掩映之下,是殖民时期各国政府的办公楼,散发着浓浓的旧时代气息;你还可以去参观溥仪的“傀儡皇宫”;看看二战时期日本关押盟军战俘的地方,其中包括了巴丹死亡行军的幸存者;你站在朝鲜战争期间美军飞行员俯冲轰炸过的大桥上,就是站在中朝边境上,跨越了鸭绿江。

17世纪早期,东北,开始比较频繁地出现在有记载的古代历史中。当时在世界的另一边,莎士比亚正在创作经典戏剧,英格兰调调清教徒登陆普利茅斯岩,开始创建美国。

也许你不知道这里曾经发生了什么故事,有什么样的过往。而在我眼里,这些恰恰就是历史的印记,记录了东北的兴衰荣辱,也缩影了现代中国的起落沉浮。
1993年,美国的人口普查不再把农民的数量算在统计范围内,只有不到2%的美国人居住在农村。但中国,有将近一半的人口,大概七亿人,还住在荒地这样的乡村。不过,这个数字正在直线下降:2000年以来,中国有四分之一的乡村已经悄然消失。

我很清楚,在东北,能够对中国的过去一探究竟。但没有料到,在荒地,我能一瞥这个国家的未来。

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