Winter 1947 • Vol. IX No. 1 Nonfiction |

China Letter No. I

I am told that China has had a conscious culture, a mature (if not an adult) civilization, for three thousand years; I know well merely the past year of it, and my excuse for these letters can be only that the authors of one of the two good books on China were here four months: Auden and Isherwood, Journey to a War. Out of a hundred, I know but one other to recommend: George Cressey, China's Geographic Foundations; he cannot, and does not try to, describe the life of a people, but he understands and has compiled the facts which make the life what it is—I am in his debt. There are half a billion people in China: the population has doubled in the past dozen generations. It is an agrarian civilization—even the capital is a great sprawling barnyard—and to see it in these times is proper punishment for those innocents like me who have publicly mourned the passing of the agrarian ideal. Six-sevenths of the population is jammed into a third of the land, and this is not maldistrib

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Hemingway

By Robert Penn Warren

I am told that China has had a conscious culture, a mature (if not an adult) civilization, for three thousand years; I know well merely the past year of it, […]

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