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09 November 2006 @ 10:52 pm
Dragon Empresses and Tea  
For some reason I keep hearing a phantom kettle heating up. I don't know why! As I am sitting here, typing on the keyboard, somewhere behind me I can hear the sound of water beginning to bounce off the sides of a metal kettle just before the steam rushes out of the spout fast enough to trigger the whistling that signals the boiling point. Yet when I turn around, there is nothing behind me except my father at the kitchen table testing something on his laptop computer. It's very strange. I ought to ask my father if he hears it, but I'm not sure I could even describe the sound to him.

This morning I finished Imperial Woman by Pearl S. Buck. I enjoyed reading it, but I'm not sure I would recommend it to other people. The writing can be very dry at times, especially because Buck loves to focus on all the tiny details in a person's dress or building decorations. I enjoy that sort of obsessive attention to minutiae, but I know it would bore my boyfriend to tears. Tzu Hsi, the main character, is not a very likeable woman. She's cold, aloof, spoiled, and clearly thinks the world of herself. There has never been any as ambitious and power-hungry as she. Anchee Min's also written a fiction book about her called Empress Orchid; I'm going to try to get a copy of it off of BookMooch or Paperbackswap.

The phantom kettle stopped. I wonder what that sound was.
blackmage runs with daggers.ruien on November 10th, 2006 10:10 am (UTC)
The one thing i have to disagree with the article linked to Tzu Hsi, the foreign influence did not cause the ill sentiments towards the Manchurian; those have always been there. The Manchu were foreign conquerers of China, themselves.
Suzik00kaburra on November 10th, 2006 05:39 pm (UTC)
That was alluded to multiple times in the book - the Emperor and the princes were all very concerned about appearing powerful, because the Court was not Chinese and any display of weakness would lead to rebellion.