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L they believe to be sacred the fierce and otherworldly Mongolian wolf Beautifully translated by Howard Goldblatt the foremost translator of Chinese fiction this extraordinary novel is finally available in Engli Old longings nomadic leap
Chafing at custom's chain;
Again from its brumal sleep
Wakens the ferine strainThe Wolf Totem like The Call of the Wild a book that it is often compared to calls for a return to unfettered nature with its individualism and harsh but utterly logical values The wolves don’t kill because they are cruel but because like all other living creatures they need to eat to sustain themselves The beautiful Inner Mongolian grassland which serves as the setting for this novel is not a peaceful Eden; it is a fiercely contested battleground where humans wolves and other animals have been waging war against each other since time immemorial Nature has its own system in which the constant warfare serves as a balancing measure that guarantees the survival of the grassland and all the species that depend on it The traditional Mongolian herdsmen understand this and strive to maintain the delicate ecological balance on which their livelihoods depend However when ignorant outsiders agriculturalists mostly Han Chinese with no regard for sustainable grazing impose their production uotas and machine gunned the wolves to virtual extinction the ecosystem collapses and the grassland slowly turns into desert An already familiar and distressingly common scenario all over the world but which is perhaps even pertinent for China a nation that has suffered extreme environmental degradation in the name of progressBut Wolf Totem is not just a stinging yet well meaning ecological fable it is also a strident call for Chinese nationalism The Chinese the author believes has become a “sheep like” race the antithesis of the dynamic wolf like nomadic races The sheep like characteristics of the Chinese particularly their lack of assertive individualism had resulted in China’s humiliation before foreign powers and allowed atrocities such as the Tiananmen Suare massacre to be perpetrated against them “There’d be hope for China if our national character could be rebuilt by cutting away the decaying parts of Confucianism and grafting a wolf totem sapling onto it It could be combined with such Confucian traditions as pacifism an emphasis on education and devotion to study” Jiang Rong an academic who was jailed for his involvement in the 1989 Tiananmen student movement apparently sees no contradiction whatsoever between wolfish ualities and pacifism He ardently believes that this is China’s way out of its current malaise and constantly preaches it through his characters It becomes rather tiresome after a while and one inadvertently begins to think of counter arguments Didn’t the Chinese eventually assimilate the conuering nomadic races? How come China has endured for almost five millennia as a major power while the proud descendants of Genghis Khan are now merely one of its minorities? Haven’t the Chinese proven themselves to be adept at lupine tactics by becoming an economic juggernaut in less than a generation? And what is the appeal of this novel if it is merely an ideological tract disguised as fiction? It is surely not its debatable ideological message Nor is it the human characters which for the most part are merely mouthpieces for the author’s theories It is the vivid cinematic evocation of nature red in tooth and claw that had me reading into the wee hours The bone chilling description of how a wolf pack traps and devours a herd of warhorses The blood curling account of an epic wolf hunt under the moonlight with hundreds of riders with flaming torches and baying dogs The harsh lives of the nomadic herders and their animals told with convincing details and understanding that could only come from long familiarity Oh and the story of Chen Zhen and the wolf cub both endearing and tragic These are the meat of the story and they are substantial enough to outweigh the obvious flaws For several days I was transported into the distant Mongolian steppes riding against the wind with a pack of hounds scanning the endless horizon for sheep and wolves and that should be reason enough to pick this book up

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狼图腾China's runaway bestseller and winner of the inaugural Man Asian Literary Prize Published in China in 2004 Wolf Totem has broken all sales records selling millions of copies along with millions on the black mark I finished this book 2 days ago after having my head buried in it for 4 days and I just can't stop thinking about it It is the most wonderful book and has shot straight into my Top 5 of all timeFrom the very first page I was hooked Jiang Rong creates such a vivid and compelling narrative that I found myself similtaniously gripped with the story yet trying to slow down and savour every word so beautiful was each sentence Wolf Totem is semi autobiographical and Jiang's passion for the Mongolian grasslands shines through on every page The description of the grasslands themselves the wildlife the lifestyle and survival was stunning So few books make me believe that I am there at the actual place but with this book I was there on horseback hiding from wolves fleeing for my life braving blizzards and building campfires I smiled I cried I hoped and I silently pleaded all within the space of an hour I also fell in love with wild Mongolian wolves To get to know them was a pleasure they are clever cunning brave brilliant and I loved following their story from both sides the good and the bad The Little Wolf that was captured and raised by humans both endeared me and broke my heart While this book is most certainly a tale of the grasslands of the last 10000 years and what happens when modern living creeps in it is also a book about so much I can't praise this enough; I am sad that it has ended as I could have read on for another 500 pages What a beautiful book one I highly recommend and one I will be reading again and again

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狼图腾 kindle Ç Paperback read ☆ jiang rong Í [EPUB] ✰ 狼图腾 ✶ Jiang Rong – Johns-cycling-diary.co.uk China's runaway bestseller and winner of the inaugural Man Asian Literary Prize Published in China in 2004 Wolf Totem has broken all sales records selling millions of copies along with millioEt Part period epic part fable for modern days Wolf Totem depicts the dying culture of the Mongols the ancestors of the Mongol hordes who at one time terrorized the world and the parallel extinction of the anima First of all thanks to GR friend Alice for mentioning this book to me I would never have heard of it if not for our chats and it would have been such a shame to miss the experience of reading Wolf TotemThis is a novel based on the author's experiences as a student worker in Inner Mongolia from 1967 to 1979 While there he became fascinated by the wolves of the region and the life on the grassland Chen Zhen our main character is also a Han Chinese student who has been sent to the grasslands and becomes a sheepherder like the author did Chen connects mainly with an older Mongolian man named Bilgee one of the last true nomadic herdsmen of the area a man full of knowledge about both facts and myths relating to wolves and their place in the grasslands ecosystem Chen learns to respect not only the wolves but the way of life that he is experiencing even as it disappears before his eyes The government sends farmers workers military men all of which create chaos in an area that had supported nomadic men and animals for thousands of years But because the new people lack the awareness to see beyond what they can take from the land the circle is broken andthe partnership between Man and Nature is spoiled foreverAt first I was annoyed by the constant references to 'You Han Chinese' and 'You Mongols' when the characters were comparing their lifestyles The earlier parts of the book are full of such comments which point out the difference between the nomadic and agrarian cultures Were the Chinese truly weaker because they had become settled? And the Mongolians tougher braver and smarter because of their rugged nomadic lives? This is a debate that could go on forever with no final decision Add in the next layer the idea of the industrial farming which we use today and there is even to argue about All of the traditional knowledge about Nature is being lost How many of us these days would be able to raise crops and animals on our own or to prepare them for the dinner table? After a few chapters I settled into the style of the story and was not as bothered by it There is a lot of natural history information woven into the book about the grasslands wolves marmots mice gazelles even the horse herds that were such a part of Mongolian life Any reader with too soft a heart towards animals will be probably be disturbed by some of these details and by some of the scenes in the story Nature can be cruel but the actions of Man are worse Because he is so fascinated by the wolves Chen Zhen decides to raise a cub in order to observe wolf behavior up close Of course he does not stop to think that this wolf would not then be a true wolf he would be a captive whose attitudes would be severely affected by that captivity Little Wolf amazes Chen but as he matures the life on the grasslands deteriorates I saw Little Wolf at first as an image of the grasslands then after another chat with my friend Alice I agreed with her that the cub represents Nature itself not simply on the grasslands of Inner Mongolia but all over the planet And I found myself ashamed of being human We have truly fouled our nest and have no one but ourselves to blame for our future