APDP review in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Hong Kong

Esoteric, you betcha! Here’s the brief but positive review of our translation of Alfred Raquez’s Au Pays des Pagodes from the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Hong Kong….

 

In the Land of Pagodas: A Classic Account of Travel in Hong Kong, Macao,
Shanghai, Hubei, Hunan and Guizhou by Alfred Raquez edited and
translated by William L. Gibson and Paul Bruthiaux
Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2017, 530 pages with 5 maps and 56 b/w
illustrations. HB ISBN: 978-87-7694-201-4, US$90; PB ISBN: 978-87-
7694-202-1, US$33
(Reviewed by Colin Day)

This translation published by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies is
provided with a substantial introduction that tells us the material in the book
was originally published serially in 1898-99 in L’Echo de Chine: Journal des
Intérêts Français en Extrème-Orient, a weekly newspaper published in Shanghai.
It also tells us that the author using the pseudonym ‘Alfred Raquez’ was in
fact Joseph Gervais, a bankrupt, reprobate lawyer with a warrant out for his
arrest, who had fled France for the Far East in March 1898. Perhaps, with
such an author, one should not be surprised to find the writing lively and
engaging.

Briefly, Raquez/Gervais travelled widely in China, as the subtitle of
his book suggests, and wrote daily reports that tell of his experiences and
more valuably convey his detailed observations of life and customs wherever
he went. His writing on Macao, for example, provides both a colourful
description of the city and its buildings and also of the people that he saw as
he travelled around. Then in the very next report he shifts gears and provides
a prosaic but useful report on the industries of Macao. This is thus both an
enjoyable travel narrative and a useful source of information on China at the
end of the nineteenth century.

Buy the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Land-Pagodas-Classic-Shanghai-Exploring/dp/8776942023/

 

 

Advertisements

New Opium Traces…Quiet American

My latest Opium Traces article is now online over at PopMatters…it’s the first of a two-part look at pop representations of the American War in Vietnam.

First up, Graham Greene’s novel The Quiet American and the two film adaptations…

Dig it here: http://www.popmatters.com/column/how-the-quiet-american-continues-to-colonize-vietnam/

Blok M architectural history with the sterling eye of Tariq Khalil

Blok M is one of my favotire areas of Jakarta and my pal, the energetic and engaged Tariq Khalil, has penned a fine article about the architectural history of the place for Indonesia Design magazine.

Check it out here: http://www.indonesiadesign.com/architecture-interior/side-blok-m-wish-knew/

Singapore Red BESTSELLER!!!

Spotted this past week at Singapore’s Changi airport…

Jump on the band wagon and buy buy buy my book…then buy the first two books in the trilogy!

checkout the link at http://www.williamlgibson.com/#!singapore-trilogy

Saint Jack in Playboy 1978

Not long ago I wrote about the excellent film Saint Jack, shot on location in Singapore in the late 1970s, for my Opium Traces column at PopMatters.com. You can read that here.

One of the sources for my work is Ben Slater’s 2006 book on the film (link in the article), and one of Slater’s sources is an article about the film in the December 1978 issue of Playboy magazine. The article features some racy pictures (pretty but tame by today’s standards, but NSFW even still) as well as a long interview with the director Peter Bogdanovich…because, you know, people read Playboy for the interviews…

Out of the goodness of my heart, I’ve bought the issue and scanned the article and posted it here…click to enlarge and enjoy!

 

 

Hard-boiled Malaya Trilogy at Kinokunia

Spotted on the shelf…buy all three and experience the trilogy as it was meant to be read!

Check out the link at Monsoon Books: http://www.monsoonbooks.co.uk/

WOW! South China Morning Post reviews APDP

Check out the glowing review in the South China Morning Post of In the Land of Pagodas, our translation of Alfred Raquez’s first book Au Pays des Pagodes, published recently by NIAS Press.

Highlights:

“Gibson and Bruthiaux have renovated Au Pays des Pagodes with detailed then-and-now research and addictive footnotes that often outshine the author’s original text.”

“As the co-editors dissect the “Raquez” text, they turn his readable fin-de-siècle memoir into In the Land of Pagodas – a fascinating steampunk travel blog that reveals much about the French community in China, and how Raquez reinvented himself in it.”

In the Land of Pagodas is an impressive academic update and required reading for anyone with a connection to China.”

MY ODYSSEY

Being Part of Our Great History...

Forgotten Films

A look at the movies forgotten by time

Bunhead

Give her food and she will conquer the world

Wonderful Cinema

Short reviews on high quality films. No spoilers.

pacificREVIEW

An annual review of prose, poetry, and artwork, published in affiliation with San Diego State University

HAJI MAJI

SCRATCHY OLD ASIAN MUSIC

Street Talk

Word on the street is...