Asian Studies and other stories

I finished two novels in two days. The first is Comfort Woman by Nora Okja Keller. It’s for my Literature of Korean Diaspora course. Obviously it’s about a Korean woman who was a comfort woman during the Japanese occupation of Korea (pre-WWII). The second is The Rice-Sprout Song by Eileen Chang, for my Modern Chinese Fiction course. It’s about the life of Chinese peasants just after the Land Reform, around the time that the Communist Party was supporting the Koreans in the Korean-American war (post-WWII). Also, in one day, I’ve read half of Three Kingdoms (the Iliad of China) by Luo Guanzhong. It’s about the battles between the different powers in China after the fall of the Han dynasty in the 3rd century. And I’ve watched Jodhaa Akbar for Hindi Film class, about the marriage of Muslim Emperor Akbar the Great to the Hindi Princess Jodhaa in the 16th century. They’re all amazing stories; I’m enamored with Jodhaa Akbar. Well, actually, Comfort Woman was a nice literary piece, but sexual slavery, obviously, is not cool. The next Hindi film we’re seeing is Bandit Queen, about this girl who was married off when she was 11, and of course she was forced to consummate the marriage at that young age, and it’s just so repulsive.

So many stories to be told, not enough time to do the telling.

My twelve-year-old brother got surgery on his knees two days ago. He was born with bow legs, and he had to sleep with leg braces when he was younger, to straighten them. He wasn’t supposed to get the surgery until after the Winter Olympics because some health care funding was diverted to the event, but apparently somebody cancelled, so my brother got an earlier slot. Anyway, I went into the operating room with him, gown and all, to wait on him until the anesthesia kicked in. He was so adorably brave. His last words before going under were, “I can feel a little pain on my wrist [where the IV thing was]. I’m feeling drowsy now. My perception of ralty isnrak shfieua hfsidhf.”


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