Ocean of Words Stories (Ebook ebook) by Ha Jin

free download Ocean of Words Stories

Ignant hilarious and harrowingA compelling collection of stories powerful in their unity of theme and rich in their diversity of styles New York Times Book ReviewExtraordinaryThese stories are shot through with wit and offer glimpses of human motivation that defy retellingRead them all Boston GlobeAn exceptional new talent capable of wringing rich surprises out of austere materials Portland Oregonian Grandma was right The most wicked creature on earth is man That ox had worked for its master till it was old; when it couldn't work well the master sold it to the slaughterhouse for money The ox had wept just now begging the fat butcher in silence for its life but people wanted to eat beef so they ignored its tears and butchered it Man is a true beast

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Ocean of Words Stories

Winner of the PENHemingway AwardThe place is the chilly border between Russia and China The time is the early 1970s when the two giants were poised on the brink of war And the characters in this thrilling collection of stories are Chinese soldiers who must constantly scrutinize the enemy even as they themselves are watched for signs of the fatal disease of bourgeois liberalismIn Ocean of Words the Ch I didn't love this one but it is definitely worth reading A series of short stories told from the point of view of a Chinese soldier stationed on the Russian border during the 1970s Author may have actually been stationed there at about this time before he left for the US and became an Emory profStories complicate our stereotypical understanding of the Cultural Revolution Told from the standpoint not of the intelligentsia but of peasants also concerned with demonstrating they are not counter revolutionaries but many of whom also long to read and have relationships with women banned essentially by Mao for soldiers In any event a couple of the characters will linger for a long time Practical Prinkery reading A series of short stories told from the point of view of a Chinese soldier stationed on the Russian border during the 1970s Author may have actually been stationed there at about this time before he left for the US and became an Emory profStories complicate our stereotypical understanding of the Cultural Revolution Told from the standpoint not of the intelligentsia but of peasants also concerned with demonstrating they are not counter Outside the Paint revolutionaries but many of whom also long to The Problem of the Puer Aeternus (Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts, 87) read and have Hoopers Pasture from Maine to Vermont relationships with women banned essentially by Mao for soldiers In any event a couple of the characters will linger for a long time

Ha Jin º 3 read & download

Inese writer Ha Jin explores the predicament of these simple barely literate men with breathtaking concision and humanity From amorous telegraphers to a pugnacious militiaman from an inscrutable Russian prisoner to an effeminate but enthusiastic recruit Ha Jin's characters possess a depth and liveliness that suggest Isaac Babel's Cossacks and Tim O'Brien's GIs Ocean of Words is a triumphant volume po Beautiful compilation of short stories about soldiers on the Chinese Russian border during the 1970’s Ha Jin has a firm grip on the souls of men and this book is an expo of those talents


10 thoughts on “Ocean of Words Stories

  1. says:

    A good collection compelling enough for me to tear through it in less than 24 hours although the uality is a bit uneven Highlights Love in the Air Dragon Head My Best Soldier All stories involve soldiers of the People's Liberation Army and take place on the border of China and Russia during the 1970s


  2. says:

    Ha Jin shows how the communist army is so focused on infiltration that might destroy their ideology that they erase human emotion and in a sense destroy their humanity In communism reason is king and emotions are besides the point even in matters of love The book also showcases the effects of fear and suspicion and its effects on morale in communism In the end this was a good book with insights to the communist way of thinking TOO LATECommunist soldiers were not allowed to have affairs with village girls bc they believed it would decrease morale by distracting soldiers from their purpose Kong was voted a womanizer after he fell in love with An Mali Kong was a romantic and believed in universal love So even though An Mali belongs to the bourgeoisie class Kong thinks that a proletariat like him can still love a bourgeoisie like her Commander Deng tries to disavow Kong of the notion that people of different classes can fall in love with each other The Communist Party tells its soldiers who they can fall in love with certainly not a Capitalist woman like An Mali if Kong hopes to have a career in the Communist Army So faced with either giving up his love for An Mali or uitting the Communist he chose to leave the party and elope with his beloved living in poverty but having a happy family life Commander Chen Jun spit in the photograph that Kong sent him of his happy family life But Chen Jun did not want to report the issue to his superiors bc it would cast a bad light on him thereby highlighting the difficulty on a closed system where fear thrived bc the correct information never reaches its intended spotBIRTHDAY DINNER'SEven dinners in private spaces are subjected to rules by party leaders Jin says that people in occupied territories cease to have rights bc their rights are subjected to the occupiers whimsLuv in the airThe Chinese Cultural Revolution banned even children books that they considered too bourgeois for their sensibilities Kang talks to a woman in the battle field and tries to imagine what she looks and what her personality is like He tries to match the unknown girl with the voice with an actress that he thinks is beautiful He found that he was in love with a voice he heard over the radio When the voice did not return the following nights Kang pined for the lost love he never possessed He dreamed her to be pretty cosmopolitan and him the rustic bumbling idiot that had no chance but hoped nonethelessI guess for someone who has never been in love before his being in love feels like a sickness that he cannot get over I think he pining over a voice is cute and his jealousy over Shi who rich good looking comrade and has multiple girlfriends is cute Kangs obsession over the woman affected his sleep and his work Although he knew he had to stop thinking about her he did not know how Shi got caught sending love messages to Lili and got punished for it since having feelings of love was considered bourgeois liberalism and thus was feelings against the Party Shi and Lili got kicked out of the Party bc they had flirted on the radio Kang imagining that Shi and Lili would get married wanted to think of Lili as a common whore but continued to be haunted by her voice So he uit his job so he would be far from the memories of Lili and her voiceDragon Head This Chapter is about the corruption bc of the lack of trust that occurs in a society ruled by fear The chapter is also about under Communist rule the punishment does not fit the crime that the communist kill people bc they just want to execute to send a message whether it be theft or political messageHe is a small time warlord who is aligned with the Chinese army The army is sent into battle without the proper supplies Dragon Head is the head of the local militia which served as the infantry for the Chinese army while the regular army was charged with the artillery For a modern army the fact that the Chinese had to use the militia does not bode well for them in preparing for war Due to hunting Dragon head was the best marksman in the whole army Gao feels sorry for the woman that Dragon Head had married bc Gao feels that Dragon Head is not reliable as a husband and cannot be trusted Dragon Head is a belligerent who is itching for war and was told that even though he is a hot head and should war erupt he would probably die he would probably be christened a hero of the war versus Russia Whereas Gao liked order and discipline especially when it comes to military thinks Dragon Head takes whatever he wants from whomever he wants Dragon Head caused problems by preemptively attacking the Russians with the Chinese military responding by confiscating the weapons of the militiaInstead of using Dragon Head's skills appropriately the Communist pegged him as a trouble maker and subseuently executed even if he was ready to give his life for China Dao undermined Gao to the political authorities by making it seem he was incompetent in not dealing with Dragon Head as problem arises Dao strategically cast doubts on Gao ability to lead bc he is the only one who knows about his family's past In a army in which the once past can destroy the future trust bw colleagues appear non existentMiss JeeJee is an effeminate male soldier who does not have the physical strength to fight though he has love for the motherland to give his life to defend China against Russia Bc of his effeminate nature his fellow soldiers made fun of him constantly I wonder if all effeminate soldiers undergo the scrutiny that the protagonist feels inside the militaryTHE LECTUREThe idea of turning in one's comrades for counter revolutionary activities is very pervasive and dangerous to overall cohesive to morale of the group Si Ma Lin laments that today's revolutionary hero's are tomorrow traitorsTHE RUSSIAN PRISONERThe story is about how words are able to allow enemies to come together around a shared piece of literature or poetry Lev the Russian prisoner yearned for the Russo Chinese interpreter Mr Wang when he died of appendicitis bc of their love for Russian literature The fear of being branded an enemy of the state drove these soldiers to obey and scare them into submission and divided them into suspicious people No matter how well one treats a prisoner without freedom it means nothing For example the Chinese army expects Lev to be grateful toward them bc they treated him well but he escaped the first chance he got since freedom is just as important as basic survival This is the reason why Israel will not feel peace as long as they continue to occupy Palestinian lands bc no one wants to be treated as a second class citizen especially someone who has brainsThe soldier does not like to see the slaughter of his food so he refuses to eat meat bc of the slaughterTHE FELLOW TOWNSMENWithin this chapter one realizes despite political ambition and personal antagonism; there remains an unsaid humanity in everyoneThe problem with totalitarian state is that there is no check on power so when there is power abuses like sexual harassment and the doctor in charge reports then their is no recourse so they just call him a counter revolutionary instead of investigating the power abuse Chen gave to the doctor who was branded a reactionary bc Chen wanted to look great in front of his men have the doctor remain grateful or despite his political ambitions he had an ounce of humanity left in him and felt sorry for the doctor's sick boyBest SoldiersThis chapter showcases the impossibility of erasing human nature in favor of a made up ideology of CommunismChinese soldiers were subjected to mind modeling Ie brain washing in order to think the same way The Chinese Communist party thought they could wash away human nature by reprogramming the mind with their ideology That is why the competent Liu Fu future was hazy bc he visited prostitutes Of course the Chinese have a point in war situations the soldiers should concentrate in being combat ready situations instead of being preoccupied with women Liu Fu being a horny teenager fucked a mule to get off since the Chinese authorities closed access to prostitutes off from him Bc the Chinese did not want to allow human nature to flourish they had to kill Liu Fu their best soldier bc he defected since the Russian were reported to allow his lust to flourishOCEAN OF WORDSThe importance of ideas in any concrete and political change The army had to have a strong ideology in order to defeat Chiang's lukewarm but well armed armyZou Wen was a man who was criticized bc of his learning and thus separated from himself from his comrade which further alienated him Until Ziang a commander who was illiterate end up defending him since his illiteracy caused many deaths Zou wanted to join the communist party bc it is only through communism that one gets a good job Ziang helped him bc he charged that the communist needs brains to shape policy and ideology as well as guns to enforce the ideology


  3. says:

    I didn't love this one but it is definitely worth reading A series of short stories told from the point of view of a Chinese soldier stationed on the Russian border during the 1970s Author may have actually been stationed there at about this time before he left for the US and became an Emory profStories complicate our stereotypical understanding of the Cultural Revolution Told from the standpoint not of the intelligentsia but of peasants also concerned with demonstrating they are not counter revolutionaries but many of whom also long to read and have relationships with women banned essentially by Mao for soldiers In any event a couple of the characters will linger for a long time


  4. says:

    This is a nice collection of short stories that slowly gained on me The first few short ones were okay at best but Ha Jin's longer stories really make it worth reading All of the 12 short stories none of which are longer than 45 pages and most are 15 pages center around Army units on the Chinese Russian border in the 1970s likely in the northeast of ChinaWhile the lesser stories drone as a little monotonous among themselves the latter stories especially Ocean of Words which provides the last of the short stories seem to shine brighter than the rest Good for a short read and while Ha Jin isn't a short story master such as Chekhov or Poe he poses good stories worth the read of the 1970s Red China Army


  5. says:

    Beautiful compilation of short stories about soldiers on the Chinese Russian border during the 1970’s Ha Jin has a firm grip on the souls of men and this book is an expo of those talents


  6. says:

    An impressive collection of stories all set among Red Army troops stationed along the Russian border The stories are told in a deceptively modest style deceptive in the sense that there doubtless was a tremendous amount of editing and whittling down that went into these stories' making and they range in tone from the comic to the brutal Jin is able to evoke ambiguous psychological states subtle relationships and bleak landscapes in prose that never shows off or calls attention to itself At their best these stories recall the stories of Hemingway Chekhov and from time to time Nabokov


  7. says:

    Ha Jin the author of Waiting also shows a create use of mutiple short stories in one book He discuss the hardships that soldiers had faced during that time between the Russians and the Chinese Each chapter discuss how each soldier feel and interact with certain things during the war The war brought many hardships and problem to many people There were also corrupted government officials that lead people into the wrong path Each story is unfold in a way that describes an event of the People's Army Chinese went through and the challenges they face through their life time


  8. says:

    I picked this up at random at the library and am glad I did The stories are interesting and take me to a place and time remote from my own At the same time they don't feel foreign at all There is a little bit of moralizing about the cultural revolution but for the most part it's not heavy handed and the stories are about the people involved rather than about politics I would definitely like to read a novel by Ha JinThe style of the writing didn't wow me I would also say I thought the arrangement of the stories was well chosen


  9. says:

    Grandma was right The most wicked creature on earth is man That ox had worked for its master till it was old; when it couldn't work well the master sold it to the slaughterhouse for money The ox had wept just now begging the fat butcher in silence for its life but people wanted to eat beef so they ignored its tears and butchered it Man is a true beast


  10. says:

    As I read through this piece of art I almost touched the apparition of the mid 20 century All these images and protagnists are so vivid that as if they were truly there And I venerate what Ha Jin had done for these once lost figures they should not be forgotten It is a well written novel as well as a crucial historical document of that specific period of time


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