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  • Author:lemon
  • Release on:2018-03-07
I read this book after seven or eight years of living in Taiwan. I had known about it for a while, but Taiwanese bookstores, usually well-stocked with English language books about China and Taiwan, did not carry it. No wonder. I finally found someone with a copy and then took it to a printer to get my own copy - the Taiwanese way. The Taiwanese believe, not in copyright, but copyleft. Get it? I underlined so many passages in the thin volume it looked like it had been in the custody of a chop-wielding Chinese bank teller. Nearly every assertion and anecdote resonated. Bo Yang said what I had been thinking, but was too afraid to say it, except to other Westerners.

在台湾居住了七八年以后我读了这本书。对这本书我只是听说过,台湾的书店里经常有大量的关于中国和台湾的英文书籍,并没有卖这本书。这不足为奇。我最终问别人拿了一本复印本去复印了一本----以台湾人特有的方式。台湾人没版权意识,他们反版权,懂吗? 我在这本薄薄的书中用线划下了很多段落,他在书中所讲述的内容每每引起我的共鸣。柏杨所说的正是我之前所想的,但是我没敢说出来,一般只对西方人说。

If a Westerner had penned this book, they would have been branded a racist, or been accused of not understanding "the real China," a common Sinophile charge. But because Bo Yang was Chinese - born in China and later a resident of Taiwan - and because he was a well-known historian, writer, journalist, etc. (he headed the Taiwan chapter of Amnesty International and was an advisor to the Taiwanese government after he did a spell in prison as a dissident) nobody can say boo about this book, not least of all because every sentence is lethally accurate.

Because of the title, I had thought The Ugly Chinaman was a sort of angry tirade, but it is not. It is a well argued denunciation of the ills of Chinese culture. But a neophyte likely would not understand; it helps to live in Chinese society for a while before reading.
TUC begins with a dialogue between a doctor and TB patient. The patient accuses the doctor of fabricating the diagnosis and says it is doctors like him who harm the motherland. The patient barks, "It's people like you who are to blame for China's problems. You make foreigners look down on Chinese people because you give them the idea that we're all suffering from TB. Traitors like you suck the blood of the Chinese people and kiss the asses of the barbarian devils. God will strike you dead! Imperial court guards! (coughs) Take him away!"
It's a reference to the lack of introspection and the proclivity to deny and ignore serious problems. We see examples of this all the time in the news. Villagers say their water has been contaminated by a nearby factory, and local officials accuse them of treason. Recrimination is commonplace. Problems snowball. No one wants to see them; others are afraid to speak up.The book ends with a series of refutations, too. Bo Yang published a series of angry responses written by other "academics" in opposition to his thesis that Chinese culture is, and I quote, primitive, and that Chinese people need to Westernize for the benefit of all. The book's format, then, is very clever: an angry denial, a series of propositions and examples that outline a damning thesis, and more angry denials. Bo Yang knew that no matter how well-reasoned or well-supported his argument, Chinese culture is, to many, beyond reproach. By criticizing Chinese culture, you are only shaming your ancestors, who created it.The Ugly Chinaman is a very bold and interesting book. It is a brave man who can look at his own culture in the eye and say, "You're sick. You need help." Apparently, when this book was published, it sold hundreds of thousands of copies in East Asia. Anyone who has spent time in Chinese society ought to read it.Troy Parfitt is the author of Why China Will Never Rule the World
书中的这个例子是为了表明中国人缺乏内省的精神以及否认和忽视严重问题的倾向。我们每每看到类似新闻在发生。村民说,他们的水已经被附近的工厂污染,当地官员指责村民们叛国。反责是司空见惯的现象。但问题就像滚雪球一样没能得到解决。没有人想面对这些问题;其他人则不敢说出来。本书也以一连串的反驳作结。他在书中末尾发表了一系列其他学者针对他的论点所作的反驳文章,而他的论点就是中国文化是原始的以及中国人需要进行西化才能让大众受益。所以这本书的结构就非常清晰了:先是人们对中国文化弊端的愤怒否认,然后是柏杨所列出的表明中国文化弊端的主张和例子,最后这种主张和例子受到了更多愤怒的否认。至此,柏杨明白了不论他的理论多正确,证据多有力,对于很多人来说,中国文化都是无可指责的,批判它相当于是在侮辱创造它的祖先。《丑陋的中国人》是一本大胆而有趣的书,这个勇敢的人用自己的视角观察自己的文化,然后说:你病了,你需要帮助” ,当它出版的时候这本书似乎在东亚卖出几十万本。在华人社会生活过的人都应该读读。