​​         Chinese Stories in English   

Fifty-One Flash Points 
Feng Tang 

Inscription One:
      Some monks who have full access to the highest levels of wisdom can even decide anew how things should happen after they’ve happened. But it should be pointed out that these monks are mere grains of sand in the Ganges, even if they know on which side of the balance the grains of sand should be placed at any given moment.
——
Kimarajiva’s Notes on Reading the Sutras, Translation of a Surviving Scroll

Inscription Two:
Kimarajiva could have refined into a second Buddha
      If he had not broken the ring.
      It’s really curious, how did he break any ring?
——Feng Tang’s Collection of Short Songs, Number Forty-Two of "Not Three"

One

      On October 6, 2011 by the Gregorian calendar, the day after Steve Jobs died, thirteen people in ten cities world-wide announced that they had inherited Jobs' mantle. They used various means to make their announcements and the reasons they gave also differed.

Two

      On October 6, 2011 by the Gregorian calendar, I was walking along Zhongguancun Avenue in Beijing's academic and technology district.
      Now that I think about it, I’ve forgotten why I was walking there. Maybe it was just because it was a nice day for a walk, with a sky so blue it looked high and transparent, and a crisp breeze that refreshed the mind without chilling the body. Beijing is like those women whose looks will grab you in the guts but are a problem through and through. Occasionally she gets good, though, and you forget all her problems in an instant, like you’re seeing her at that moment for the first time.
      People come out from their respective residences in high spirits whenever the weather’s nice, and the parks get crowded with people. An assortment of old people pushes carriages with an assortment of children. Old people who have no children to push sing Beijing opera or dance folk dances from Xinjiang Province. And a variety of people who are neither old nor young run five kilometers, ten kilometers, half marathons or full marathons. It’s like that any nice day without fail.
      I walked onto the campus of Tsinghua University and stood for a few minutes in front of a large lawn vaguely reminiscent of the Republican era, 1911 to 1949. Three couples on the lawn were having their wedding photos taken. The three men couldn’t control their giggling as they snuck drags on their cigarettes, and the three women used glances, gestures and voices to remind them, “Get serious, you little brat. Can’t you be serious? Wedding pictures are always like this. If you can’t complete the great cosmic harmony on the happy bed later on, what’ll you do then?”
      I looked over the three women and saw how they felt in control, like the goddess who conquered the forces of nature in the legend “
Nüwa Mends the Heavens”. And I saw that there’d be many moments in the three men’s futures when they’d need to drown their sorrows in booze.
      Once I’d tried to sneak into Peking University. The guards there seem to be much more intelligent than the security at other universities, and they always try to sort out the bad guys by their expressions, but the forty-plus-year-old me put on glasses to infiltrate the place and didn’t get questioned at all. I felt all smug inside, like when I went to the Zen Meditation Center in San Francisco after eating Buffalo wings and drinking beer and got asked, "Do you follow the
Caodong sect of Zen?"
      The girls on the Peking U. campus were all strutting their stuff, walking tall from the dining hall to the classroom and carrying lunch boxes bigger than their heads, acting like no one else was around. The ginkgo trees hadn’t turned yellow yet. I remembered how they’d look after they turned, standing upright on the side of the road like a row of lit matches.
      That day when I was wandering around Zhongguancun Avenue, I met three people. They were all within ten years of age of one another. They all asked, "Do you believe it? Watch me now that Steve Jobs is gone."
      The oldest was Young Vast, a guy I’d known for a long time. He hated talking to people in person, but people liked to hear him speak. He told me many times, in all sincerity, that he’d give ten years of his life not to have to talk to people face-to-face anymore. But if the time ever came that he didn’t speak for a year, he wouldn’t be able to get anywhere on anything he wanted to do. He often got nervous when he talked to someone. His last resort was to stand there smiling sweetly and not say a word.
      That day, when he ran into me, he wasn't smiling. He said, "Get serious. Jobs died yesterday, and I’m really upset. He laid such a good foundation. He had the ideas and Tim Cook put them into practice. He was responsible for strategy, and Cook was in charge of tactics. He had a limitless supply of cash. He cultivated his insights to within one meter of the top of the pyramid. What a pity. The only person who could put pressure on me in science and technology is gone, and I’m devastated. Don’t laugh.
      “After I heard the news yesterday,” he continued, “I forced myself to get through two meetings that had to be held at work. I left the company’s office building by myself after dark and ordered a fried cake at a pancake stand on the side of the road. While the old lady was making my pancake, I could no longer control myself and ended up sitting on the curb right on Zhongguancun Avenue crying my eyes out. I took the pancake from the old lady’s hand when it was done and ate while I cried. My tears flowed on the pancake and mixed with the chopped green onions, hot sauce, eggs and crispy wheat-cake, but I didn’t care. I stuffed it all into my mouth, salty tears and all.
      “I thought it over again today, though. From another point of view, the only person who could compete with me in science and technology isn’t there anymore. All of a sudden there’s a lot more things I can do. He had bad luck, but mine is just fine. Jobs got the wind blowing, so now a pig can stand in the draft and fly. I'm a ferocious tiger and Jobs left me his mantle. He gave me his ideals and mission, too. His soul is wings on my tiger. I want to change careers. I won't do the English school anymore. I’ll get rid of the old Oriental English Training Academy – it's never given me a sense of accomplishment, anyway. I want to do cell phones, to make the tools that'll be most important for mankind for the next hundred years, or the next millennium, or even ten thousand years.”
      I questioned him. "Cell phones are indeed getting more and more important, absolutely no doubt about it, and will be the artifact that people use the most in the future. But there's a problem. On what basis will you lead the cell phone industry? Or, to ask it another way, what're your qualifications for making cell phones?
      "Cell phones are cash burners, and you don't have any money," I continued. "Even if you use all your ideals and charisma to form a 'reality distortion field' like Jobs did, and thaw out some funding, you won't necessarily be able to take the psychological pressure of burning up money. And if your phones don't have style, people will just hang them up. The phone industry's production chain is a long one, starting from design, R and D, procurement, production, marketing, commercial channels and logistics, all the way through customer service and after-sales maintenance and things. If you don't know any capable people in the business, how'll you get a team together? What's more, the competition's fierce, with multinational corporations, state-owned enterprises and private enterprises all doing cell phones. And they're all doing well."
      Vast thought for a moment, then said, "It doesn't matter how many companies are doing cell phones. They don't have the insight that Jobs did. Why would I do cell phones? It's quite simple. It's because cell phones at present aren't good enough, even Apple phones. As a human being, I'm very disappointed."
      I'd done management consulting for ten years, and now I was into investing. Vast’s idea seriously challenged my professional judgment. My professional instincts were piqued and I kept trying to persuade him. “You can still do a lot for humankind. Take your oral skills. You can find an area in the reality distortion field where the competition's not so intense, but the hot spots really are hot to get done. These areas have four basic characteristics:
      “First, the market segmentation is small enough and not strongly attractive, so that big companies like Apple, Siemens, Hitachi or Huawei won’t deploy a lot of forces to outgun you. Second, the market segmentation is big enough to accommodate the next ten players, otherwise there’s no room for you to survive. Third, the market is growing fast enough, more than twenty percent annually, so that your life is relatively comfortable and you can afford to make some mistakes. Fourth, there’s a good market for derivatives, where telling a good story comes back as financing for everything from products to services to systems to platforms to your business ecology. Start small for now, but with room in your imagination for lots more, from a billion to ten billion to a hundred billion to a trillion. You can use valuation models to quantify your imaginings.
      “Now, let me point out a few areas with these characteristics. One example is headphones. Headphones these days won’t cut it! If you do good headsets, you’ll develop them for virtual reality, and smartphones will have to be connected to your VR platform.
      “Another example is electric cars. In the thirty years since China opened up to the West, the automotive industry has been the biggest failure in trading access to our markets for technology. But now an historic opportunity to turn the corner has come up and making cars is easier than ever before. It’s like when
Media Tek, Inc. and its ilk emerged in the cell phone industry. Cars are the largest commodity after houses, but houses can't be standardized, and cars can. Cars are the largest product that can be standardized. Electric cars can certainly be made intelligent. An ocean of data is generated whenever the car moves, and there’s plenty of room to grow the market.
      “Still another example: air purifiers. Look at the air quality in Beijing, or provinces like Hebei or Henan. It’s lousy. There’s lots to be done, from small items like air purification masks and car air purifiers, to medium-sized things like house air purification systems, to big jobs like clearing away haze from artillery, bombs and demolishing buildings."
      Vast had a simple answer. “These areas you mentioned aren’t bad. Your strategic vision is quite good. But Jobs didn’t do headphones, electric cars or air purifiers. I’ve inherited his mantel, so I don’t do them, either. I just want to do cell phones."

Three

      Four-fifths of the people I’ve met after the age of forty-five, I’ve not wanted to meet a second time. While some of those four-fifths seemed important to my work, I didn’t see them again if I could avoid it. My dad taught me that the only thing you can actually control is your time. Some people aren’t in fact as important as they seem, and the truth is, if you use your brains, you can find substitutes you really want to see to replace them.
      The remaining one-fifth are mostly of two types, fun people and good-looking people, and basically none of them are both. People who’re both fun and good-looking get hurt if they’re overly intelligent, and don’t live long if they’re deeply emotional, so they usually hang it up early and have no time to go out and meet people.
      Violet Zhu was one woman I wanted to see a second time. She wasn’t the kind of "flirtatious slut" that males in the population all like. She was tall with long legs, and her thighs were almost the same thickness as her lower legs. With a relatively small upper body, a tiny head and short hair, the overall impression she made was like a drafting compass. She looked great in a dress, especially a short one.
      Violet fell in the “fun people” category, but had a kind of chilling wisdom. She grew up in a hospital environment. Her parents said she was childish until, one day, she objected loudly and told them, "I’m not childish. I observe everything in light of death. I’ve always felt that I won’t live long, and I thank you for accompanying me. Try to look at the world from my point of view, from the realistic perspective that people have to die and that you and I might die tomorrow. You’ll find that your thinking, your words and deeds and your mannerisms are all childish, and my behavior is easily understood."
      When Violet saw me the second time, she told me: "I operate a human resources consulting company, but I put my personal interests to one side and don't talk about them. I do want to advise you, though, when you invest in a company, don't overvalue its strategies and business model. Look more at the founder of the company and his team, especially the founder. Strategies can be sorted out, and you can feel your way through the business model, and even the team can be mixed around, but the founder is irreplaceable. Or if he can be replaced, then it's better to go and invest directly in whoever replaces him and save a lot of trouble. So, in addition to commercial, financial, legal and information technology adjustments, you have to pay attention to manpower adjustments. The founder's importance should be the better half of your investment decision."
      I took a drink of my cold beer and noticed that Violet was a lot cuter when she wasn't talking about work. I decided to tease her about her job. I said, "Is it more important to look at the person, or to look at his work product? Admittedly, it's great if you can tell the difference between a superior person and his inferiors, but in real life, no one is invariably superior, and no one is invariably inferior, either. Sometimes people aren't what they seem, and the proof is in the pudding."
      Violet was maybe twenty-five years younger than me, and their generation speaks more directly than we do. "We’re talking about probabilities. Aren’t you a science nerd? Do nerds turn crotchety when they get old? Of course, how he goes about his work, his ability to handle things, is better. But when you’re investing in a company, do you have the opportunity to work with the founder and see how he handles his job? Who taught your generation common sense?"
      I took another sip of my beer. "So tell me,” I asked, “how do you do due diligence with respect to manpower?"
      "Let professional people do their professional work. Hire my company and I’ll help you."
      "What scientific techniques do you use?"
      "I match birth-year signs, analyze astrological charts and get agreeable blood types. I also use traditional fortune telling, the eight birthdate characters, physiognomy, palmistry and other things. It depends on whether you tend toward Westernized or Chinese methods."
      “Do you think our currency, the
renminbi, will depreciate next year? Will tomorrow’s stock market be up or down?”
      "Flake off! If I knew those things, I’d do fine staying at home playing the stock market and watching American TV shows. I just run a human resources consulting company!" Violet raised her leg in a gesture to kick me. I looked carefully and her leg really was long.

Four

      On New Year’s Day, 2011 by the Gregorian calendar, Jobs, who was born in the Year of the Ram in the Chinese astrological cycle, blood type O, and a Pisces, began dreaming about the summer when he was nineteen and made a pilgrimage to India. He dreamed he was trying to sit cross-legged like a statue of Buddha, but he couldn't do it no matter how hard he tried. He could only sit on one leg. But when he woke up, he tried to sit cross-legged and did it painlessly. He sat for one day without getting hungry, thirsty, sleepy, tired, bored or uncomfortable.
      He was shocked by this incident. The flesh did not seem to be a limitation to him. He could switch his mind on or off like a light, making it as placid as Lake Tahoe in winter or as lavish as the mountains in Yosemite in spring. But at that moment, it also seemed that his body had left him and was floating between the earth and the sky, possessing for the first time certain qualities that had no physical sensation. This paradox seemed like love, where the woman is finally no longer in control of you. She’ll stop loving you at that moment and has already left you, or will leave soon.
      The so-called absolute freedom or final state is actually quietude. “The sound of birds flying disappears among the myriad mountains,”* but if the old man sheds his straw raincoat and bamboo rain hat and puts away his fishing pole in a moment of reverie, he will complete the final step to this absolute quietude. Jobs shocked himself by thinking this. He knew it was the harbinger of his transition to the next world, and once there's a harbinger, there's no escape. The so-called transition isn’t something one can say he’ll put off, so as not to die. One only has the ability, in a limited way, to decide for oneself on which day to go.
      Create, protect, destroy. Without destruction, there’s no new creation. Apple has protected itself very well, but where is the destruction? In the summer of 2011 by the Gregorian calendar, Jobs announced his resignation from Apple.

Five

      From his notes, it would seem that Vast was unable to distinguish between reality and the realm of dreams. Before he was forty, he was constantly searching in the dream world to try to find what he should do with his life. But his dreams were always like a funhouse mirror, and the picture they presented always made him afraid to determine whether it was scientifically realistic.
      On average, normal humans spend more time sleeping than studying, and the time they spend dreaming while they’re asleep exceeds the time they spend daydreaming while they’re studying. Vast always felt that the ocean of information he collected during the day via his eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind was digested and sorted as rapidly as possible while he slept. In his sleep, his eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind were in sleep mode, but still constantly collected massive amounts of information.
      He tried to follow the instructions of his dreams to arrange his strategic direction in the real world. He’d done breakdancing, resold computers, taught English, run an English training school, and even written a book. It was titled "My Struggle" and was formally published in a socialist country. But he always felt that something was still wrong.
      On October 7th, 2011 by the Gregorian calendar, Vast phoned me to say, "Jobs has been buried. The day was chosen to make it even clearer that I’ve inherited his mantel. Science and technology will advance, just watch me."
      Like the straight man in a comedy routine, I asked, "Why do you say that?"
      "I dreamed of him for seven days before he died. I got a ton of information from my dreams over those seven days. I have reason to believe that most of the information came from Jobs. If you don't believe it, get his ATM card and give it to me. Give me three chances and I’m confident that the password I enter will be correct.
      “These seven days, I woke up every morning more tired than when I went to bed. I felt more and more that I was having an ominous premonition. Jobs was taking the most important information in his physical existence, the information that he especially wanted to leave to someone in the world, and copying it as fast as possible for me. He knew his time was running out, or you could say, he didn’t time to leave it to do himself. I’ve never dreamed of anyone for seven straight days, including the goddess who was my first love. What’s more, after he died he was buried on the seventh. All this shows that I’m his chosen successor. There’s no other explanation.
      "I want to make a cell phone, a cell phone as redefined by Jobs. I want to redefine the cell phone after Jobs’ death. It’ll be the best cell phone in the Eastern Hemisphere, and then the best in the whole world. Then I’ll make the next generations of cell phone, until I make a cell phone that’s suitable for use in the spirit world, an integration of human and machine, a phone for the ages. Then you’ll be able to call the most famous beauties of history,
Bao Si and Daji, or even your dead grandmother. The fee may be quite expensive to start, like a long-distance call between China and the United States in 1975. That was ten U.S. dollars a minute. But it’ll fall quickly until any living person can afford it.
      “Don't look at me like that. I’m not joking. Get serious, expand the borders of your knowledge and set your imagination free. Think about it. Memories exist in the human brain, but in what form? What form did Jobs’ insights exist in? If they didn’t exist in some form, how could they be remembered and used? And if they really exist in some form, why can't they be copied, transmitted and inherited? In fact, you could make a prototype using current science and technology. I have a great idea for making an app, 'Love Transcends Death'.
      “For example, your father’s dead. Of course he’s not dead, but supposing, as an example. Suppose your father’s dead and you miss him. You can't pull yourself out of the doldrums. You can download this 'Love Transcends Death' app and upload all the information you can find about your dad: emails, text messages, WeChat, Weibo, sound recordings, videos, photos, writings and stuff. And the app will also use your own search engine and algorithms to find everything about your dad that’s online. There might be more there than the things you collected.
      “The app will form a synthesis of your father from this information and send you emails, texts and WeChat and Weibo messages. It can even phone you to discuss things, and help you come up with ideas and give you advice. While it has no tangible body, in its values and outlook on life, and its habits of thinking, speaking and writing, it will be the same as your father. It will make you feel like your father isn’t dead, just gone to another city for business or a vacation. It’s quite possible that within the next ten years, when virtual reality and 3D printers have improved a little, you’ll be able to get your father with a flesh-and-blood body that you can’t distinguish from reality. After all, you and your father won’t have had too much physical contact. I don't know about you, but I never kissed my father after the age of five.
      “I’m done. I got into Jobs email inbox using the password he gave me in my dream on the sixth night. My computer’s downloading the stuff like crazy. It’s too exciting. I can’t chat with you on the phone anymore. I’m going to go change the world.”

Six

      I went to the city where Violet was. I was thinking about who I could see, who I wanted to see, who could be innocuous, and I thought of her.
      “2011 is almost over. How about we have dinner tonight?”
      "Okay. It's the end of November, after all, and we can wish each other season's greetings."
      She said I'm one of the few adults she's ever met who's not too annoying, like she wasn't yet an adult. What she said made me feel quite amiable. I revealed my age, and she said, "No wonder! Born in the same year and month as my youngest uncle. You're the same sign."
      Then she spent the evening talking about her youngest uncle, as if he were her first love.
      She'd lived with her grandfather and grandmother when she was a child, and her uncle lived there, too. He'd only done two things between the ages of fifteen and twenty. One was to empower her, and the other was to receive a sign from the cosmos in their yard. He said that if she had the Root of Wisdom, he could turn her into someone just like him. Every time he pushed his palm toward her through the air, she'd make some kind of expression to show that she'd felt it. When he asked her what she felt, she said, "The heat flowed, shining with boundless radiance."
      Later she started making “been touched” expressions even though her uncle hadn’t gestured. He looked at her through squinted eyes and was silent for a while. Then he looked up at the sky and saw two swallows flying over. He whispered to himself, “Seems the vital energy has come. Earthlings can become quasi-extraterrestrials through training.”
      When lunch or dinner was ready, neither Grandpa nor Grandma would ever dare call her uncle in to eat. They always had her call him. When she called for the fourth time, he’d shout at her, "XX your grandmother! If you keep making noise, it’ll affect the aliens coming to pick me up and I’ll kill you."
      "What happened later?" I asked.
      "He got sent to a mental hospital. He took a lot of medicine, and when he’d taken enough, his disposition was very good."
      "And later?"
      "He got out of the hospital, got married and had a son. His greatest pleasure now is playing a video game with his son. StarCraft."

Seven

      Jobs never thought about which day he would transition to the next level. It would just be some day after the summer of 2011 by the Gregorian calendar.
      He also didn't think about what the moment of his transition should look like. He did often imagine that moment in his mind after resigning from his position, though. Sometimes the moment seemed like bungee jumping. He had to make a decision right then, like in the beginning when he was settling on a decisive business strategy. Even though he knew that it might not be complete solitude after he pulled the switch, at that moment he could not be as natural and unforced as floating clouds or a flowing stream.
      Sometimes the moment was not so different from any other moment, as if countless leaves were trembling in no particular order and suddenly one fell. Sometimes the moment lay between awareness and unawareness, like when a teacup slips from one’s hand and breaks on a stone tile. The moment might even occur in a dreamlike sleep, like the instant a sperm hits the cellular wall of an egg or when an embryo’s heart first starts to beat.
      While Jobs was in the process of imagining that moment, he was wondering who would be the next Jobs? What would he say to that guy? If he only said one sentence, what would it be? If he could say three sentences, what would they be?
      Jobs considered which enlightened thought he would choose from the following three:
      "1. Think of each day as your last, and live it well."
      "2. Don't ask what technology can realize now. Ask what you want, then persist at it until the people around you want your head. Then you’ll get the product you want, and then you’ll get everything. If you want a device for daily use to look beautiful, for example, make it so beautiful it’s eye candy even when not in use, so beautiful it feels good in the hand. For example, if you want a device for daily use to be quiet, make it so quiet you can’t hear the fan, so quiet your mother will forget to snore when she falls asleep."
      "3. Everyone will die."
      The doctors at Stanford Medical Center expended a lot of effort trying to convince Jobs to eat more after his pancreatic cancer surgery. Jobs' theory was that not eating, or eating less, would be better at killing tumors that remained after the surgery.

Eight

      I received a package from Vast toward the end of August 2015 by the Gregorian calendar. I opened it and found seven cell phones, each a different color: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, aqua and purple.
      I kept the red one for myself and gave the others to people around me.

Nine

      Violet called and asked me to go to her office. She said she had something she wanted me to see. I asked whether she could send me a screenshot, or a WeChat message with a photo, or just tell me about it over the phone. She said she couldn’t.
      Her computer was on when I walked into her office. She looked like she’d seen a ghost.
      “Did you know that Vast is doing
Series C-round financing?”
      "I heard."
      “The lead private equity firm hired me to handle the due diligence on the manpower.”
      "So you matched Vast’s birth-year sign, analyzed the astrological charts, tallied blood types, examined the eight birthdate characters, looked at his physiognomy and read his palm?"
      “I’ve been trying a new method for personnel due diligence investigations recently. Relax and listen to me. A weird biotech company suggested this weird analytical method to me. I didn’t believe it either at first, but they didn’t charge a fee for this one time, so I figured, no reason not to try it. Problems would be easier if we had another perspective to look at them from. If it was too ridiculous, we just wouldn’t use it.
      "The biotech company’s Director of Technology asked me what it was about Vast that I wanted to know. I said I wanted to see whether he’d really inherited Jobs' mantel, or just his faults and not his destiny. If he’d really inherited Jobs' mantel, the valuation in this round would be reasonable.
      "The technical director laughed softly. 'If you wanted to test the other thing, the technology hasn't been perfected to such an extent. But testing whether Vast has been possessed by Jobs, we have just solved the problem of doing that. Do you know about DNA? Do you know what genes are?
      "'The product awareness or creative abilities and bewitching personalities of religious leaders are determined by certain genes. Very much by happenstance, we collected hairs left from the tonsuring of hundreds of Zen monks from the early Tang Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. Who saved these hairs? You know, some old ladies are hoarders. They collected hairs from other parts of the monks' bodies as well. You know, the DNA in hairs is the easiest to preserve intact. They also collected some teeth that the monks had lost, but the DNA on them wasn't very useful – lots of residual DNA from bacteria got in the way. Of course, they also collected some so-called relics, the remains of cremation, but DNA in bones is basically ruined by the high temperature and cannot be extracted.
      "'We'd recently developed a genetic testing and computing platform. Using that platform to test for diabetes, we found it was strongly related to forty-five genetic loci. And testing the creative ability and bewitching personalities of the monks, we found they were strongly related to fifty-one loci. '"
      "And then?" It wasn't yet dark outside, but things were turning dark in front of my eyes. I felt beads of cold sweat on my neck.
      "Later we managed to find some of Jobs' hair from the Stanford Medical Center. Jobs had the fifty-one strongly related loci identified by this platform, and the intensity was very high, as you can see on this chart of his results. Then look at this."
      Violet showed me her computer screen. Fifty-one flash points blinked on the screen, which was almost indistinguishable from Jobs' results.
      "This is the results of Vast's genetic test," she said.

Ten

      Many years later, with Vast standing at the launch party for the first generation spirit phone, the SPHONE, facing 11,000 earth people, I certainly recalled that distant evening on July 7, 2007, in the town of Palo Alto in the California Bay Area, when I bought him a first generation Apple phone.

*[Fannyi – This is the first line of a poem by
Liu Zongyuan (柳宗元), Marquis Hou of Liuzhou, as translated by Fannyi. The full poem, as translated by Qian Zhongshu (钱钟书), reads:
      “Thousands of mountains can’t hear the wings of the birds,   千山鸟飞绝,
      “Thousands of paths can’t find any footprints of the livings.  万径人综灭。
      “A lonely boat carries a grass raincape behind an old man,  孤舟蓑笠翁,
      “In the snowed river he alone fishes, fishes and fishes.”        独钓寒江雪。
See
http://bbs.tianya.cn/post-english-139039-1.shtml
      Regarding the substantial difference between the two translations of the first line, Fannyi is reminded of the quote from Rabindranath Tagore: “Poets are sick people, and those who translate poetry are insane.”
]


2017年中国短篇小说精选 Best of Chinese Short Stories 2017, p. 133
长江文艺出版社,责任编辑:刘程程,周阳; Translated from 单向空间 at
http://static.owspace.com/wap/293993.html, under the name 乔布斯的衣钵.




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