Zhongshan Road 中山路:追寻近代中国的现代化脚印在线阅读

Zhongshan Road 中山路:追寻近代中国的现代化脚印


外语 / 英语读物 · 10.9万字



译者:Callum Smith




第1章 Prologue(1)

In Beijing, there is a place called Xiangshan (Fragrant Hills). Once upon a time, there was a Xiangshan in Guangdong too. Xiangshan, Guangdong was the birthplace of revolutionary Sun Yat-sen. Xiangshan, Beijing would later be his last home on this Earth. These two places are pivotal in defining modern China's history.

Formerly Xiangshan County, Zhongshan City, Guangdong Province over the past hundred years gave the world a handful of great individuals, instrumental in the development of modern China, including Rong Hong (Yung Wing), Zheng Guanying (Cheng Kuan-ying), Tang Tingshu (Tong King-sing), Xu Run (Chui Yun), Sun Yat-sen, Tang Shaoyi (Tong Shao-yi), Liu Shifu (Lau Shi-fu) and Guo Le (Kwok Lok). People say that modern China began in Guangdong—and modern Guangdong began in Zhongshan.

"Zhongshan Road," fateful birthplace of Sun Yat-sen (given name Zhongshan), is all but one of many Zhongshan Roads in China, and every Zhongshan Road has its own place in modern China's history. All these roads transcend geographical constructsas well as concepts of mere names, and come together to form a living record of China's modern history.

On the dawn of the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China, the author journeyed off on the Zhongshan Road, following the path of modern China's development, in an attempt to get a perspective on China's progress, and ponder on a nation's future.

2008 WAS NO ORDINARY year. Not only was it a celebration of 30 years of economic reforms, but it was also Beijing's fulfillment of the Chinese people's biggest wish: hosting the Olympic Games. In so many ways, this year would be a high point for the Chinese people, but it would also be the starting point for even greater social reform. This year, the Chinese nation would stand in glory, but also with aspiration; in pride, but also with critique; looking back, but also looking forward…

With the passing of the year 2008, the People's Republic of China would celebrate its 60th anniversary, and in traditional Chinese time, a complete cycle of 60 years (jiazi). And being 30 years since the economic reforms, so too would this be the midpoint of another cycle. 2008, this extraordinary year would become a momentous point in history to be spoken of, analyzed and critiqued for many years to come. So on this occasion, it is worth taking a step back, to reflect on the hardships and experiences of this nation, because every experience, every plan and every action that we make today has profound and unpredictable consequences not just for China—but also for the world.

Today, we find ourselves at a defining point in China's development.

A day-to-day exposure to current events leads me, a media specialist by profession, to ponder upon the significance of the two anniversaries—the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic and the 30th anniversary of the nation's economic reforms—and what I could write for the history books. Based on my personal experiences and impressions throughout these three decades of great change, I wrote the novel The Old House in Yuanqing Alley. The simple tale of the ups and downs and powerful emotions of the common-folk of Yuanqing Alley tells us the story of a turning point for Chinese society. We understand the inevitability—and the need—for our nation to reform. The Old House in Yuanqing Alley later was nominated for the seventh Mao Dun Prize for Literature.

Whether as a realist observer of a civilization's fate, or as a reporter interfacing with society on a day-to-day basis, the common experiences of the Chinese people in light of these reforms and the steps taken on the road toward modern China have always been central to my speculation and the focus of my works. Having completed The Old House in Yuanqing Alley, my personal enquiry into the fate of this civilization has no end in sight—and my hunger for thought on the economic reforms of Deng Xiaoping is far from satisfied.

Reincarnation may or may not be a reality, but causality in our actions is definite. The reality of now is the product of actions past. How, from a historical perspective, to trace the fate of a nation and map a path for development is the challenge I have set myself of late.

But I am not alone. All that I so diligently seek to fathom is likely on the minds of most people. And it is due to this common ground that I was fortunate enough to meet, learn from and walk together with an inspirational group of Zhongshan City scholars.

In June 2008, a group of employees at the Zhongshan Daily newspaper came to Shenzhen with the vision of poet Qiu Shuhong and a proposal—as an academic of Sun Yat-sen's role in the revolution, they invited me to complete a composition on the topic of Zhongshan Road. In all of China (including Taiwan), there are 326 roads named in memory of Sun Yat-sen, and of those there are over 187 named "Zhongshan Road." We can loosely define the former as "generally" the Zhongshan Roads, the latter more "specifically" the Zhongshan Roads. We could say Zhongshan Road is the king of street names. Together, the Zhongshan Roads systematically form a rare spectacle, and they all share one thing in common—almost every Zhongshan Road is at the pinnacle of a city's prosperity. Not only a reflection of that city's style and features today, but capturing its history and development as well. These unique, distinguishing characteristics make "Zhongshan Road" not simply a geographical construct, and not just a simple memorial of Sun Yat-sen. They are a living part of China's modernization and urbanization. They capture unique political and economic circumstances, forming a string of historical and cultural icons and puzzles worth examining—and worth solving.

The implications of Zhongshan Road are profound, its meaning extraordinary.