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June Fourth Elegies PDF, ePub eBook The first publication of the poetry of 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Liu Xiaobo, with a Foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama Liu Xiaobo has become the foremost symbol of the struggle for human rights in China. He was a leading activist during the Tiananmen Square protests of June 4, 1989, and a prime supporter of Charter 08, the manifesto of fundamental human rights publ The first publication of the poetry of 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Liu Xiaobo, with a Foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama Liu Xiaobo has become the foremost symbol of the struggle for human rights in China. He was a leading activist during the Tiananmen Square protests of June 4, 1989, and a prime supporter of Charter 08, the manifesto of fundamental human rights published in 2008. In 2009, Liu was imprisoned for “inciting subversion of state power,” and he is currently serving an eleven-year sentence. He was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for “his prolonged non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.” Liu dedicated his Peace Prize to “the lost souls from the Fourth of June.” June Fourth Elegies presents Liu’s poems written across twenty years in memory of fellow protestors at Tiananmen Square, as well as poems addressed to his wife, Liu Xia. In this bilingual volume, Liu’s poetry is for the first time published freely in both English translation and in the Chinese original.

30 review for June Fourth Elegies

  1. 4 out of 5

    Horace Derwent

    I'm heartbroken to hear this https://qz.com/1014645/im-sad-for-my-... this book is to break your heart and have you recheck your faith whenever a great man dies, evil enriches. evil slays people who have a great mind he had a great mind, he was just a great mind. he was the awakening and conscience of china, he was just the soul that tried to flee out of this decadent race, this rotting nation, as well as he eagered to awaken chinese people...just like he once said, this nation lies to its conscien I'm heartbroken to hear this https://qz.com/1014645/im-sad-for-my-... this book is to break your heart and have you recheck your faith whenever a great man dies, evil enriches. evil slays people who have a great mind he had a great mind, he was just a great mind. he was the awakening and conscience of china, he was just the soul that tried to flee out of this decadent race, this rotting nation, as well as he eagered to awaken chinese people...just like he once said, this nation lies to its conscience, i realized that that was the real reason he died this nation is so fuct and lost, it chooses to get fuct in the ass by the communist party and quite enjoys it, and, most of the peoples here really don't give a faq about it. well, whoever you're, if this book infuriates you, which means that you can just go faq yourself this book of his gives me more reasons to reconsider my life and situation, more shits to settle my mind down. therefore i worry and detest more in order to get me sober out in this inebriated nation of hypocritical prosperity and ornate bloom, i was born a slave, but i ain't a serf. they wanna put hims to serfdom, hes resist, get tortured and die. what about me? what about you? 我無罪:劉曉波傳 向良心說謊的民族 : 劉曉波文集 變態辣椒__流亡中的漫畫家 Chinese Cartoonist in Exile IN LOVING MEMORY OF LXB

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jonfaith

    Beloved my wife in this dust-weary world of so much depravity why do you choose me alone to endure The June Fourth Elegies are a powerful but limited collection. The strength is that they bear witness to state atrocity and maintain the memory. There may be a lack of success in the certainty displayed. I don’t suggest there is a question about the events described. It is more an instance of such being delineated in absolute terms, bereft of any human doubt or error. It is only in the late middle s Beloved my wife in this dust-weary world of so much depravity why do you choose me alone to endure The June Fourth Elegies are a powerful but limited collection. The strength is that they bear witness to state atrocity and maintain the memory. There may be a lack of success in the certainty displayed. I don’t suggest there is a question about the events described. It is more an instance of such being delineated in absolute terms, bereft of any human doubt or error. It is only in the late middle section detailing the decadence of the late 1990s that humanity is understood in terms outside of yearning martyrs. This verse is uncomfortable as it should be.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Owlseyes inside Notre Dame, it's so strange a 15-hour blaze and...

    The Passion of Liu Xiaobo Perry Link in: http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2017/07/... China’s Charter 08 http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2009/... (view spoiler)[ /spoiler> (hide spoiler)]

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Reading June Fourth Elegies was something of an ordeal. Not because Lui's poetry is bad (it isn't), but because of the unrelenting, unstinting, non-blinking twenty-year stare down the wrong end of a gun barrel, at the blood dripping off a bayonet's edge, at the bloody smears left on the pavement of Tiananmen Square by tank tracks, and at the despair felt by the poet over the lives lost to authoritarian oppression, at the collective wilful forgetting of what happened on a day seared into his memo Reading June Fourth Elegies was something of an ordeal. Not because Lui's poetry is bad (it isn't), but because of the unrelenting, unstinting, non-blinking twenty-year stare down the wrong end of a gun barrel, at the blood dripping off a bayonet's edge, at the bloody smears left on the pavement of Tiananmen Square by tank tracks, and at the despair felt by the poet over the lives lost to authoritarian oppression, at the collective wilful forgetting of what happened on a day seared into his memory. There are some words of beauty in Liu's poetry, but they are stark and cold. Having finished the book, by an effort of will getting through the middle section, determined not to look away, I'm left with a heavy feeling of oppression. Lui's annual return to the subject of massacre and murder, of senseless loss, and grief, and mourning, and self-recrimination, speak of the deep and unhealed trauma he suffered at Tiananmen that June fourth, of the survivor's guilt he carried with him out of the Square, and the subsequent years of harsh imprisonment and harassment. These certainly aren't poems to be read for relaxation, nor to be poured over for exquisite turns of phrase. They are often oblique and difficult to follow due to the almost complete lack of punctuation; they're also viscerally effective, and claustrophobic in the intensity of despairing emotion spilled by Liu onto the page.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Krzysztof

    The blurb by Paul Auster on the back of this book begins, "One cannot talk about these poems strictly in terms of poetry." To me, this sounds like, "These poems aren't very good, but we sure do like the guy." And fair enough. Still, this is a book of poetry and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed. I'd been really exited to read this/anything by Xiaobo. When he won the Nobel Peace Prize and China would not allow him or any of his associates out of the country to claim the prize, I changed The blurb by Paul Auster on the back of this book begins, "One cannot talk about these poems strictly in terms of poetry." To me, this sounds like, "These poems aren't very good, but we sure do like the guy." And fair enough. Still, this is a book of poetry and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed. I'd been really exited to read this/anything by Xiaobo. When he won the Nobel Peace Prize and China would not allow him or any of his associates out of the country to claim the prize, I changed my facebook icon to a picture of an empty chair (facebookisnotasuffientformofactivism,forrealchangepleaseattendaprotest), along with hundreds, maybe thousands of others who supported him. I'd wanted to, if not be inspired, at least get a touch of Voltaire from this book. There were snippets that I enjoyed, such as: I am a cripple powerless to escape this city this age where there's only one thing to celebrate: I still have an exiled soul Having an exiled soul is absolutely a thing worth celebrating. So do I give this two or three stars? Something began to unsettle me as I got further into this book and it wasn't his cliched imagery or overwrought rhetorical bent. I think it was that, despite personally railing against China for so long and supporting virtually any criticism of the country, I find it distasteful when someone appears to be pursuing a cause to the exclusion of all others. I'd mentioned this in my review of The Holocaust Industry, but the Chinese tend to view every tragedy within China as greater than tragedies that occur elsewhere. Maybe that's unfair, and I know that most countries are guilty of the same thing to some extent, but that was definitely the sense I had while living there. I am all for harping on about the June 4th incident, but not because of the murders that took place. I feel strongly that these occurrences continue to matter because the social/power structures that led to them are still in effect! Life is transient. Death isn't tragic, because death happens to us all. To my mind, a thing can only be tragic if it's out of the ordinary. And so let's please stop focusing on historical offenses and start focusing on present day offenses! I realize that it seems like I'm splitting hairs here, since in the June 4th case, the historical offense is the same as the present day offense. My problem is with the application of adolescent imagery to continually and ineffectually depict an affront, rather than attack from a present-day stand-point. Here, I've got to quote from the afterward: From the translator: " . . . historically the US has been broadly aggressive about spreading its own culture and economy to the rest of the world while being indifferent, or averse, to the cultural inflow of other peoples." and, from Xiaobo: "I frequently heard praise such as 'It's the first time I've ever heard a Chinese speak like that' or 'That a Chinese can have such an understanding of Western philosophy!' or again, 'How could China have produced such a rebel like yourself?' Every time I heard this kind of approbation I felt like I hadn't left China, but rather had been stuffed into somebody else's luggage and thrown onto a plane as a curiosity to be taken to a strange land. Where they decide to place you is where you have to be." I'm going to call total bullshit on these quotes (no non-Chinese person says 'A Chinese') and I think if either author were being honest with themselves, they'd fess up. These quotes are indicative of an immense inferiority complex much of East Asia has. Is the US indifferent to Chinese culture? Well, given that China has produced nothing of value since the Cultural Revolution and is now resting on its firework and fork-inventing laurels, probably. But, you ask, what in Mao's name does this have to do with anything? Are you just using this review as a platform to spit your Chinese-hating vitriol? Look, I'm no America lover either, and remember that empty chair facebook picture I mentioned? It's just that I hate seeing this kind of divisive language in a world where defiance (especially through poetry) should be unifying. But it's more complicated than that, even. It's not just inferiority. There's an implied superiority, too. A whole heck of a lot of people there believe that their culture is so complex that Westerners truly CAN NOT understand it. Once again: bollocks. The superiority keeps us from unifying and the inferiority keeps us whiny. Don't whine. Get pissed. Stop claiming, as a teenager would, that no one understands you and accept that your culture is as (not more) fucked than the rest (America, I'm looking at you now) and take to the streets.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Hy Hy

    Read this after Liu died in custody. Beautiful poetry especially when taking in the context of when and why they're written. It helped me to appreciate them even more when I knew in what period of his life each of these poems were written. Beautiful as stand alone poems as well. I especially love the ones about his wife Liu Xia.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    An absolutely beautiful collection full of haunting imagery and beautiful word choice. Fantastic.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carissa

    I can appreciate the outpouring of emotions that these poems were meant to express in light of a tragedy committed by the government, but most of these poems were okay.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lee

    In this volume, Liu Xiaobo writes a series of poems on June 4th. This series of elegies is difficult to translate, and it is made worse by the bad translation of Jeffrey Yang. Though Liu Xiaobo is a strong voice speaking out against totalitarianism, the problems with the translation make it difficult to get a feel for what Liu Xiaobo was trying to say. Furthermore, I find modern Chinese poetry to be a little inelegant, particularly compared with earlier Chinese poetry. Even the best modern Chine In this volume, Liu Xiaobo writes a series of poems on June 4th. This series of elegies is difficult to translate, and it is made worse by the bad translation of Jeffrey Yang. Though Liu Xiaobo is a strong voice speaking out against totalitarianism, the problems with the translation make it difficult to get a feel for what Liu Xiaobo was trying to say. Furthermore, I find modern Chinese poetry to be a little inelegant, particularly compared with earlier Chinese poetry. Even the best modern Chinese poet, Haizi, usually leaves me unimpressed, particularly when translated into English. I would recommend just reading the Introduction by Liu Xiaobo, which, though is just as problematic as far as the translation is concerned, is much more readable simply because it is prose and not poetry. I found the Introduction moving me to tears some times.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Danny Daley

    Liu Xiaobo is a personal hero of mine. To be honest, sometimes I tear up when I consider his affect on me, and the way that he helped me to understand the nature of suffering and sacrifice in this life. This book collects some of his poetry over a 20 year period, some of it written for his wife, some of it about the events of Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. Liu was instrumental in the events of Tiananmen, as an organizer and leader of the protests, and there is no doubt that his humility in re Liu Xiaobo is a personal hero of mine. To be honest, sometimes I tear up when I consider his affect on me, and the way that he helped me to understand the nature of suffering and sacrifice in this life. This book collects some of his poetry over a 20 year period, some of it written for his wife, some of it about the events of Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. Liu was instrumental in the events of Tiananmen, as an organizer and leader of the protests, and there is no doubt that his humility in relation to his perception of his own failures that day are based on guilt that he survived. Now serving a lengthy prison sentence on bogus charges and the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Liu is such a broken, honest man. His poetry is beautiful, evocative, and stirring. This is a book I cherish.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    June Fourth Elegies is a heart-wrenching exploration of twenty years of grief for the lives and freedom lost in the Tienanmen Square Massacre. Each word seems carefully chosen to evoke the precise feelings of keen loss and deep sorrow. *Disclaimer: I won a copy of this book through FirstReads, though this in no way affects my review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Che'rei Holley

    The June Fourth Elegies by Liu Xiabo is a collection of poems that he wrote over a 20 year span about his experiences and grieving over the 1898 Tiananmen Square massacre of protesting students. Very moving and heart-wrenching. A must read. I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

  13. 4 out of 5

    A.P. Sweet

    I won this on the Goodreads contest and really enjoyed it. The translation comes through with very little effort which i like. I recommended this book to anyone who is interested in poetry that questions humanity and life.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    I'm embarrassed to say this is the first thing I've sat down and read by him, and I'm shocked how good it is, both the poetry and the essay.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kayne

    Poetry written every year for two decades to commemorate the massacre of the young people at Tiannamen Square.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jalynn Patterson

    I am not a big fan of poetry. But this book was very beautifully written. My family seen all the translations. They just love sitting and looking at all the Chinese writings.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bryan Neuschwander

    Introspective, disturbing and graphic requiem of disinterred guilt and ghosting shame. Powerful images.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Very depressing. Interesting poetry. But very depressing.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Lampanelli

  20. 4 out of 5

    Greta Tedaldi

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Horton

  22. 4 out of 5

    Adeline

  23. 5 out of 5

    Loesja

  24. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alexandre Blanco

  26. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Goddard

  27. 5 out of 5

    Neutron Steinman

  28. 5 out of 5

    Xiaoyu Huang

  29. 5 out of 5

    Marly

  30. 5 out of 5

    Scott Businsky

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