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64 Stroke Characters

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For a (very) short time while I was a budding Oriental Languages scholar at the University of Chicago, I bemoaned the fact that I was unable to read the classical Chinese text, Monks and Nuns in a Sea of Sins because it hadn’t been translated from the Mandarin, and my knowledge of Chinese characters, informed by Fenellosa, was so rudimentary as to be non-existent. What I do remember is that characters are classified by the number of “strokes” (quite appropriate in regards to the Sea of Sins text, I would point out) required to write each and that the character with the most strokes is ‘dragon’ which has sixty-four.

So when I saw an e-mail about a book called Sins of South Beach I first thought, how odd, I didn’t realize that Alex Daoud had picked up Mandarin while in prison, but then, of course, I realized that these two tales are completely unconnected.

On another note, the War and Peace novel about the drug wars remains unwritten. There was a good one written in the late 1970’s called The Transfer, but it is forgotten. It was brought to my attention by Richard Koster (www.rmkoster.com) but other than that text, the closest exemplars are in the realm of non-fiction, starting with The Invisible Empire and moving on to more-hysterical texts.

Written by mokane

May 14, 2008 at 12:05 pm

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