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December 31, 2009


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A rich post. You probably also know Robert Byron's classic of British imperial travel writing, THE ROAD TO OXIANA (1937; rpr. with an Introduction by Paul Fussell; Oxford UP 1982). Byron combined respect for what he saw with a British arrogance that makes the book irresistable but impossible to emulate.

Hello Professor! Thank you so much for reading what turned out to be quite a long post! Also, thank you for reminding me to sit down and really read The Road to Oxina-- which I have only read parts of by way of Bruce Chatwin (who thought it was like a "sacred text" of travel writing). I have sometimes wondered if Byron made up the word "Oxiana"-- (from Transoxina).

By the way, I really enjoyed your post at China Beat this morning (link below)... Languagehat had a recent post too about the pleasures of creating wiki articles, in which he said, "It's nice to feel I'm contributing to the sum of human (or English-speaking, at any rate) knowledge in this way." Looking forward to part 2.

I found this blog while searching on Twitter for "tang dynasty". Your stream of consciousness is mesmerizing and rich and your thoughts seem to occasionally meander around the same subjects which seem to have made an impression on me. I am enamored with the romance of the Silk Road and the Tang Dynasty, not with necessarily was, but what it could have been and still could be.

I think I'll enjoy your blog very much.

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