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June Fourth Elegies

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  48 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Liu Xiaobo (born 1955) is a pre-eminent Chinese literary critic, professor and humanitarian activist. Since his hunger strike in Tiananmen Square in June 1989 he has been a thorn in the side of the Chinese government, helping to write the Charter 08 manifesto calling for free speech, democratic elections and basic human rights. He was arrested and convicted on charges of ' ...more
Paperback, Bilingual Edition, 256 pages
Published April 2012 by Jonathan Cape
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The blurb by Paul Auster on the back of this book begins, "One cannot talk about these poems strictly in terms of poetry." To me, this sounds like, "These poems aren't very good, but we sure do like the guy."

And fair enough. Still, this is a book of poetry and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed.

I'd been really exited to read this/anything by Xiaobo. When he won the Nobel Peace Prize and China would not allow him or any of his associates out of the country to claim the prize, I changed
Danny Daley
Liu Xiaobo is a personal hero of mine. To be honest, sometimes I tear up when I consider his affect on me, and the way that he helped me to understand the nature of suffering and sacrifice in this life. This book collects some of his poetry over a 20 year period, some of it written for his wife, some of it about the events of Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. Liu was instrumental in the events of Tiananmen, as an organizer and leader of the protests, and there is no doubt that his humility in re ...more
An absolutely beautiful collection full of haunting imagery and beautiful word choice. Fantastic.
In this volume, Liu Xiaobo writes a series of poems on June 4th. This series of elegies is difficult to translate, and it is made worse by the bad translation of Jeffrey Yang. Though Liu Xiaobo is a strong voice speaking out against totalitarianism, the problems with the translation make it difficult to get a feel for what Liu Xiaobo was trying to say.

Furthermore, I find modern Chinese poetry to be a little inelegant, particularly compared with earlier Chinese poetry. Even the best modern Chine
June Fourth Elegies is a heart-wrenching exploration of twenty years of grief for the lives and freedom lost in the Tienanmen Square Massacre. Each word seems carefully chosen to evoke the precise feelings of keen loss and deep sorrow.

*Disclaimer: I won a copy of this book through FirstReads, though this in no way affects my review.
Che'rei Holley
The June Fourth Elegies by Liu Xiabo is a collection of poems that he wrote over a 20 year span about his experiences and grieving over the 1898 Tiananmen Square massacre of protesting students. Very moving and heart-wrenching. A must read. I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
A.P. Sweet
I won this on the Goodreads contest and really enjoyed it. The translation comes through with very little effort which i like. I recommended this book to anyone who is interested in poetry that questions humanity and life.
Jalynn Patterson
I am not a big fan of poetry. But this book was very beautifully written. My family seen all the translations. They just love sitting and looking at all the Chinese writings.
I'm embarrassed to say this is the first thing I've sat down and read by him, and I'm shocked how good it is, both the poetry and the essay.
Poetry written every year for two decades to commemorate the massacre of the young people at Tiannamen Square.
Bryan Neuschwander
Introspective, disturbing and graphic requiem of disinterred guilt and ghosting shame. Powerful images.
Very depressing. Interesting poetry. But very depressing.
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Liu was born in Changchun, Jilin, in 1955 to an intellectual family. In 1977, Liu was admitted to the Department of Chinese Literature at Jilin University, where he created a poetry group known as "The Babies' Hearts" (Chi Zi Xin) with six schoolmates. He graduated with a B.A. in 1982, went on to study for an M.A. and a PhD degree from Beijing Normal University.
He became a teacher, literary critic
More about Xiaobo Liu...
No Enemies, No Hatred: Selected Essays and Poems La philosophie du porc et autres essais 中國當代政治與中國知識份子 류샤오보 중국 을 말하다 Sinking of Big Country: Memorandum to China/大國沉淪:寫給中國的備忘錄

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“Those who flee freedom live on
but their souls die in fear
Those who thirst for freedom die
but their souls live on in resistance”
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