Monday, April 03, 2006

Career Change?

Chaotica (Luan...) asks in an email if I will go back to research in the future. My first answer is: I don't know. My second answer is: Have I really left it? Our understanding of research need not be restricted to in the university, at least the way I see it. In my view, what I am doing now is a form of research; you could call it participant-observation or my sociological phase, an immersion in one specific Chinese medium, and the media is something in which I have been interested for a long time--from bronze vessels to silk manuscripts spit out of the mouths of anamolous creatures to Daoist talismanic script to paintings of cranes hovering over the palace to the Complete Books of the Four Repositories (Siku Quanshu四庫全書)-->from uttered words to strange symbols to calligraphic forms and manuscripts to printed texts--from the newspaper to radio to television to the internet. So, the way I see it, I am simply following through, for right or wrong, in that Benjaminian pattern. And...I'm speaking and reading Chinese in a Taiwanese work environment. I start May 1st.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Annikaos said...

I thought you would comment on the research-thing question. Doing research within the university is like being a text in the Siku quanshu and doing research outside of the university is like being a text who did not find the approval of the Manchu emperor and his bureaucratic staff - so it appears to me with an increasing clarity. I am listening forward to your shows!

8:56 PM  
Blogger Wulingren said...

Different things work for different people. There are great writers who are not connected to a university.

9:58 PM  
Anonymous girl on a train said...

I agree. I don't see this as a career change at all for you. I believe it's a natural progression, and that this job will lead you through other doors that have yet to open for you. What an exciting time in your life, Wulingren! You are truly living it! I admire your "boldness."

4:07 AM  
Blogger Wulingren said...

Annikaos,

I think I misunderstood you comment the first time I read it, but yes. I remember at the Penn library a collection of books that didn't make it into the Siku, or were forbidden from entering it. Also, think of the great books--like Journey to the West--by people who didn't fair well in the exams. Anyone out there, did I spell "fair" write? I've had a problem for a while with fair/fare and bare/bear.

7:21 AM  
Blogger Wulingren said...

Thank you so much for the encouragement, Girl on a train! I guess I felt stuck in place and had to make a bold move to somehow set things in motion. Life does fill me with wonder at times. Things do happen when you least expect it, though would they have happened if I had never bought the plane ticket, about which I was very nervous at the time. Sure, different things might have happened, and now, I can never know what they would have been.

7:28 AM  

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