An Early Chinese Alien Abduction Tale

*a nonfiction account as recorded by Ji Yun (1724-1805), Imperial Librarian and Investigator of the Strange, and translated by John Yu Branscum and Yi Izzy Yu; notes on Chinese alien abduction and fairy lore are at the bottom of the piece: One day I received a letter that was written in my language but seemed to be written in a foreign one. The thoughts it expressed were odd, confused, and almost impossible to decipher. The letter’s poor quality especially surprised …

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Franz Kafka’s Passion for Taoism

“The actual reality is always unrealistic,’ said Franz Kafka. ‘Look at the clarity, purity, and veracity of a Chinese coloured woodcut. To speak like that—that would be something.’”—Gustav Janouch, from his memoir Conversations with Kafka *** Franz Kafka (1883–1924) is revered for such short, expressionist pieces as “The Metamorphosis” and “The Penal Colony,” and longer works like The Trial. This is true not just in the West but across East Asia where writers from Haruki Murakami to Can Xue credit …

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