Saturday, June 21, 2003


With regard to my last post, this quote from Edward A. Gargan's nonfiction book THE RIVER's TALE: A Year on the Mekong, seems somehow appropriate:

"Yet the Mekong no more binds Asia together than does a wider notion of a shared Asianness, an idea bandied about by the proponents of authoritarianism...who claim to find some deeper meaning in a grab bag of aphorisms ladled out under the rubric "Asian values." A Tibetan monk would find little to say to a Thai insurance agent, even though at sunrise both wake next to the Mekong River, and both are Buddhist. Indeed, as the Mekong scythes its way through mountains and slithers past rice paddies, the river itself is called by many names on its three-thousand-mile journey to the sea: to the Vietnamese, it is the Cuu Long; Tonle Thom, Tonle Sap, or Tonle Thuc to the Khmer; Mae Nam Khong to the Thai and Laotians; Lancang Jiang to the Chinese; and to the Tibetans, Dzachu."

And yet it is, of course, the same river. I'm still working through my thoughts on how I think this quote relates to fiction and to fantastical fiction at this point in time, but there is a resonance that is making me think about it.

The book, by the way, is excellent, despite a rather bad first paragraph.



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