Ming Pao Monthly and Chinese Intellectual Tradition

In raves on December 14, 2007 at 3:34 am

I have been amazed by how much my reading habits have changed over the past two years.

I no longer read hard copies of daily newspapers and magazines on a regular basis.

Instead I subscribe to news feeds using the Google Reader. I scan through hundreds of articles electronically on a daily basis to imbibe the latest trends of our Web 2.0 era.

But I was recently reminded of the pleasures of reading a hard copy of a magazine when I bought a copy of Ming Pao Monthly in Hong Kong.

Ming Pao cover

Yes, I could read some of the articles online for free at the Ming Pao Monthly website but there is something about reading a literary and scholarly magazine slowly, on the train, in the hotel room, while waiting for a friend at a cafe…

The key word is “slowly.” Because pondering on the dilemmas of our times takes time and attention, both rare commodities these days.

Only then, will the pleasures of the essay on the encounter between ailing Chinese scholar Ji Xianlin (季羡林) and famous actress Lin Ching Hsia(林青霞) come to life on paper. So will the weight of the burden of China’s environmental crisis be truly felt.

Perusing the pages of Ming Pao Monthly, I am reminded anew of the responsibilities of the Chinese intellectual. They have to bear the burdens and sorrows of our times before everyone else. 先天下之忧而忧,后天下之乐而乐。

And that certainly takes time,attention and heart.

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