A Chinese Testament: The Autobiography of Tan Shih-Hua

A Chinese Testament: The Autobiography of Tan Shih-Hua

A Chinese Testament: The Autobiography of Tan Shih-Hua

A Chinese Testament: The Autobiography of Tan Shih-Hua

Excerpt

Two people have made A Chinese Testament. Tan Shih-hua provided the raw material. I put it into shape. To see one's own life in detail and to tell its story requires great skill. Tan Shih- hua did not possess this skill. He accepted with enthusiasm my proposal to write an accurate biography of a Chinese student. For a half year we conferred daily for four to six hours. He generously placed the depths of his wonderful recollections at my disposal. I dug into them like a miner. I was, at various times, his examining judge, father confessor, interviewer, companion, and psycho-analyst.

What I have written in this fashion is really an interview. But as this interview embraces more than twenty-six years of a man's life, it might be called a "Bio-Interview."

Tan Shih-hua was a student of mine in the Russian Section of the National University in Peking. His home province is Szechuan in South China. The hoes of seventy million inhabitants work its fertile soil. Silently, on canvas slippers, he used to enter my room in Peking, and later in Moscow. A cone-shaped robe on his narrow shoulders hung in light folds over his sunken chest. Silently and unnoticed he went back again to his native land.

He was not a communist, the Kuomintangism of his father was transferred to him as an inheritance. He protested with bitter indignation the treason of the Kuomintang's generals, but he never left the party. His generation shows clearly the breakup of the social energies of the leading classes of the old China. The leaders of the new China will come from the depths of the new classes--classes which Tan Shih-hua had learned to shun from childhood.

Chinese communists, who have seen parts of this book, have . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.