Essays & Images on Cities, Travel and Contemporary Culture. A web journal of James A. Clapp, Ph.D., an UrbisMedia Ltd. Production

Vol.103.5: AMERICA’S PTSD

Ken Burns’ 12-hour Vietnam documentary series is airing this week to great fanfare from PBS, as though the treatment of this controversial war might be finally put to bed by its treatment

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Vol.101.2: THE LOST PAINTING, by Jonathan Harr (2006) BR

taking of christ

Caravaggio, The Taking of Christ (1602) oil on canvas (52.6 in × 66.7 in) National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin Owing to my concentration

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Vol.94.7: TEACHING ENGRISH IN ASIA, Part 3

© 1991, UrbisMedia-Ltd.

© 1991, UrbisMedia-Ltd.

A Lesson in Guilin

I never taught English in China. In fact, other than a little shipboard course in travel writing I have never taught English anywhere.  I doubt that a very brief experience in Guilin

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Vol.94.6: TEACHING ENGRISH IN ASIA, Part 2

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[Continued from 94. 2]

A multiple book review essay on:

  •  Iron and Silk (1987), Mark Salzman
  • Twilight In the Forbidden City (Revised 4th Edition, 2009) Sir Reginald Fleming Johnston
  • River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze (2006) Peter Hessler
  • Pretty Woman Spitting (2012), Leanna Adams 
  • Unsavory Characters, The Rather Eclectic Group That Are The English Teachers In China, Marc. C Rush  (2010)
  • Tune In  Tokyo: The Gaijin Diaries, Tim Anderson  (2011)
  • Without You There Is No Us, Suki Kim (2013)
  • Surviving Paradise, Peter Rudiak-Gould (2009)

River Town’s broad scope and textual elegance contrasts with Marc. C Rush’s

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Vol.94.2: TEACHING ENGRISH IN ASIA, Part 1

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A multiple book review essay on:

  • Iron and Silk (1987), Mark Salzma
  • Twilight In the Forbidden City (Revised 4th Edition, 2009) Sir Reginald Fleming Johnston
  • River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze (2006) Peter Hessler
  • Unsavory Characters, The Rather Eclectic Group That Are The English Teachers In China, Marc. C Rush  (2010)
  • Pretty Woman Spitting (2012), Leanna Adams 
  • Without You There Is No Us, Suki Kim (2013)
  • Surviving Paradise, Peter Rudiak-Gould (2009)
  • Tune In  Tokyo: The Gaijin Diaries, Tim Anderson  (2011)

Jimmy, a former graduate student of mine from Bombay, occasionally writes to me about pedagogical matters from the college in China where he has been

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Vol.88.3: WITNESSES, a triple BR of: THE PRIVATE LIFE OF CHAIRMAN MAO, by Dr. Li Zhisui (1994); THE MAN WHO STAYED BEHIND, by Sidney Rittenberg (2001]); REGINALD JOHNSTON, by Shiona Airlie (2001)

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The benediction “may you live in interesting times” is, of course, an ironic curse. But, so also would be that one

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Vol.87.4: MIDNIGHT IN PEKING, by Paul French (2011) BR

Period French postcard, with added fox by UrbisMedia

Period French postcard, with added fox by UrbisMedia

My mind kept returning to that last scene in Robert Towne’s screenplay of Chinatown (1974

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Vol.87.1: KILL ANYTHNG THING THAT MOVES, by Nick Turse, (2013) BR

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Him: How many Vietnam vets does it take to screw in a light bulb? Me: I don’t know. Him: You know why don’t know?<br

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Vol.86.6: HAUSSMANN, OR THE DISTINCTION, by Paul LaFarge (2001) BR

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In my old Seminar in Planning Theory I used to give my students a series of small writing assignments. “In one I would task them as follows: A director of city

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Vol.82.7: A VENETIAN AFFAIR, by Andrea Di Robilant (2003) BR

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“Some years ago, my father came home with a carton of old letters that time and humidity had compacted into wads of barely legible paper. He announced that

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