Friday, September 27, 2013

Chinese Silence No. 80, for David Gilmour

I said I would only teach the people that I truly, truly love. Unfortunately, none of those happen to be Chinese, or women.

I can’t really give you the tour.  I’ve just moved, it’s a mess, and I just got out of bed, and the books here, well, they’re so sophisticated you probably wouldn’t understand them, and…

Okay, I’ll be honest.  It’s because you’re Chinese.

I don’t have anything against Chinese people.  I just don’t love them.  When I was given this job I said I would only teach the people that I truly, truly love.  Unfortunately, none of those happen to be Chinese. 

Usually at the beginning of the semester a hand shoots up and someone asks why there aren’t any Chinese people in the course.  I say I don’t love Chinese enough to teach them, if you want Chinese go down the street to Lee’s Garden.

Chekhov, of course, was not Chinese.  He had a loud Western laugh, so they would never let him into a Chinese restaurant.  Everyone who ever met Chekhov somehow became a little less Chinese.

I’m a natural teacher.  What I teach is guys, real guy-guys.  Heterosexual, not Chinese.

I read this book about China once.  There were men with long fingernails stroking tiny bound feet.  I know the difference between pornography and great literature.  All my favorite parts are underlined.

I teach only the best.  What happens with great literature is that the Chinese in the shadows keep moving around.  Stop that.  What’s intolerable is Chinese who give up all their secrets, like Fu Manchu.  I’ve watched him a hundred times and there’s nothing new in him.