Penguin Literary Lunch – Paul French on “Man’s Fate”

After my intensive week of filming, dancing, interviewing, rehearsing, reading, hosting, and everything… I decided I deserved a little treat and for my Friday lunch (I don’t get weekends off, just Friday lunch and Monday afternoon, yippee) and went over to The Bookworm for the last of their Penguin Literary Lunch series.

And while I was disappointed that there was no penguin on the menu (this is China, it could happen) I was pleasantly amused by Paul French’s discussion of “Mans’s Fate” by André Malraux. As a proper Beijinger, I am naturally inclined to be disenchanted by all things Shanghainese, but I was finding myself intrigued by the story and French’s analysis of the Shanghai mystique. Wondering if maybe I should find an excuse to spend more time in that city…

Tormented assassins, French smugglers, compulsive gamblers – Man’s Fate takes us to Shanghai at its seediest – and most intriguing. For our final Penguin Classic Lunch, Paul French (Carl Crow, Through the Looking Glass, and the forthcoming Murder in Peking) discusses this noir classic.

… it doesn’t help that I have recently become fascinated with classic Shanghai black and white films thanks in big part to The World of Chinese movie nights at the Jianghu Jiuba in Nanluoguxiang. How could anyone not be fascinated after watching Zhou Xuan’s mischievous and ever-changing expressions in “Street Angel”? :) Not that I have time in my schedule for any more fascinations… but its ever so hard to resist. If nothing else, I’ve got Malraux on my reading list (though I’m going to be geeky about it and try to find a copy in the original French). And now back to my textbooks! :)

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