The Ugly Chinaman

Originally from mainland China, Bo Yang came to live in Taiwan and suffered under the rule of the KMT during Taiwan’s dictatorial period. He is considered one of the greatest writers of Taiwan, and wrote a great deal, but what he is most famous for is his book “The Ugly Chinaman” which deals with his perceptions about the flaws in Chinese culture. (And patterned after a similar book called “The Ugly American” which came out some years previously by an American author.)

Thanks to Connie needing to read a condensed version of that book for one of her classes, I recently had the chance to read this essay about Chinese culture. While I think that the essay (which was written some 20 years ago) doesn’t entirely apply to the modern culture of Taipei around me, I can still see a lot of the truth in it. Reading it made me rethink many of my perceptions of these people around me, and I am still considering his words.

For your reading pleasure, the essay can be found here:

http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~mszonyi/280/280Bo_Yang.htm