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The Sexual Revolution is such old news in the West that we're twenty years into the backlash. But the controversy stirring up around Zhou Weihui's sexy novel //Shanghai Baby// could be an early sign of the enormous cultural changes that globalization is about to bring to mainland China.
The story centers on a young urban Chinese woman who falls in love with a handsome but impotent drug addict. She then gets involved with a virile German neo-Nazi who eventually leaves her to the depravities of underground Shanghai. The book sold at least 80,000 copies before being banned by the government, but is still being circulated through unofficial channels, as well as being available on the Net. (I don't read Chinese, but for the great many Thelemites who do, I think it's available here.)
Weihui, who claims to have been inspired by the works of Henry Miller, among others, has been hailed as one of the best of China's new generation of writers. Since the furor erupted over Shanghai Baby, she has gone into seclusion, but has expressed hopes that the book will be published in Taiwan, France, and Japan. Although there may be elements of Shanghai Baby that might give one pause (Nazi chic in China – just what we need), it would be interesting to see an English translation as well.
Since it's beginning to look like we're going to lose economic leverage to encourage greater freedoms in China, maybe the next best thing is for us magicians to visualize everyone in that country getting laid. A lot.
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