'History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme' - Mark Twain.
A gallimaufry of random China history and research interests
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Coincidences – Tagore and Taiwan
I happened to spend the other morning skipping round the interweb and read a post on the China Beat blog about philosophers touring round Republican China (click here) – Russell, Dewey and, of course, Tagore. After reading it I then stepped out for breakfast in the Tianmu suburb of Taipei and quite accidentally noticed that someone (no idea who or why) had placed a Tagore quote into the pavement. Couldn’t get a good picture but it’s:
‘I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and found that life was service. I acted, and behold, service was joy’
I asked the guy who owned the shop directly opposite when it had been put there and by who but he said he’d never noticed it before and had no idea who Tagore was. Still there it is.
As someone who divides their time pretty evenly writing about China now and China back then this seemed like a place to throw all the interesting bits that fall through the cracks somehow and never get used anywhere else.
It's basically the stuff that doesn't get used in my writing about modern China or in the books I do about old China - i.e. probably of little interest to anyone but me and therefore ideally suited to an obscure blog up a dark cul-de-sac of the Internet.