Category Archive: Peony Author Press

KIM JONG UN’S NEW YEAR SPEECH: WHAT IT REALLY MEANS (PART 2 OF 2) NORTH KOREA’S FORMER POET LAUREATE TAKES A LOOK AT KIM JONG UN’S NEW YEARS SPEECH – IT SEEMS THIS YEAR IS ALL ABOUT STRENGTHENING LEGITIMACY, NOT ECONOMIC REFORM OR BOLD FOREIGN POLICY.

NK News.org

by Jang Jin-sung

 

North Korea’s vision for 2013: as seen through Kim Jong Un’s new year speech

Kim Jong Un’s new year speech contains two thematic halves. The first half summarizes the events and accomplishments of 2012 while the second half lays down objectives for the year ahead. The summary of 2012 boasts of the nation’s political stability and unity after Kim Jong-il’s death. It also pays special attention to the successful rocket launch. The most important part of a new year speech, however, is the second half, in which objectives are set for the coming year. Traditionally, this section is divided into five parts and this year’s speech is no exception.

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Why the West Fails to Understand Chinese Literature

By Duncan Jepson

Fifteen years ago I bought a copy of Wang Shuo’s Playing For Thrills from Dillons in London’s King’s Road, a book briefly heralded by some in the West as ushering in China’s equivalent to Beat literature. Alas, this new literary genre never really took off.

Shuo and his peers wrote lots more but the books never caught on in the West. Readers there found these stories meandering and character-lite. What was more appealing to Western taste was “heavy scar” literature — writers recounting the pain of loss and suffering endured during the most terrible of the Maoist years. I have always used the comparison between Western and Chinese art — the former requiring a single perspective, complete with vanishing point; the latter having none at all — to illustrate the divergent cultural approaches to story-telling. These can lead to vastly different views of our shared world. Click here to read more »

KIM JONG-UN’S NEW YEAR SPEECH: WHAT IT REALLY MEANS

by Jang Jin-sung

 

NORTH KOREA’S FORMER POET LAUREATE TAKES A LOOK AT THE NEW LEADER’S SHIFTING TONE OF VOICE.

 

Kim Jong Un’s new year speech has broken a silence held for 19 years, for during this time, there was no new year speech in North Korea. Under Kim Il-sung, the new year’s speech was that occasion in the year when the leader provided guidance to his people. As all power is concentrated under the leader, the new year speech provided a framework and sets the tone for the coming year. Kim Il-sung made the speeches himself. After his death however, Kim Jong Il did not continue in his father’s footsteps. Instead, he chose to convey his message through editorials published by the important state mouthpieces such as Rodong Sinmun, the Korean People’s Army and the Youth Vanguard.

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South Asia: preview of 2013

The Telegraph

By Dean Nelson

 

2013 will be a year of reckoning throughout the region with India, Pakistan, Afghanistan Bangladesh and Nepal all facing elections, and Pakistan and Afghanistan reaching a decisive moment in the war on terror.

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Shanghai-based illustrator Xie Peng on his debut graphic novel

Time Out Dubai

By Jenny Hewett

xiepeng

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Shanghai-based illustrator Xie Peng on his debut graphic novel Darkness Outside the Night

Time Out Dubai

By Jenny Hewett

Darkness

Shanghai illustrator Xie Peng’s new graphic novel is a doleful tale, centred on the frustrations of a nameless cone-headed child who grapples with his own existence. The book, co-authored by writer and filmmaker Duncan Jepson, has received widespread critical acclaim. But Xie never set out to create an artistic masterpiece. Click here to read more »