On the way to work this morning, I heard part of this report from NPR, about a wildly popular young writer who defines himself as "the voice of a generation." He is a pop culture figure in China, a twenty-five-year-old who sounded a bit narcissistic to say the least. His appeal to the "little emperors"-- members of the one-child generation-- rings true, apparently, and that is a little bit frightening to me. He seems obsessed with expensive labels (that few could even buy in the People's Republic), concerned entirely with money, dismissive of previous generations of writers. The report does say he speaks to the isolation and pressures faced by urban Chinese students today. Just as impressionable as any group of young people, Chinese adolescents (particularly girls) might be taking these material values too much to heart. I wonder to what extent they will begin to long for Gucci and Dior apparel and accessories, and to value those things more than their nation's older literature. I may be looking at it from too different a perspective, concerned for no reason at all. After all, I am a firm believer in the value of Harry Potter, and vehemently defend the series when faced with an anti-Harry opponent. Maybe there are many redeeming values in Guo Jingming's seven novels, and the writer's Cadillac will spur no sense of jealously in a Chinese youth's eyes.
Read the report and tell me your thoughts.