A renowned soloist in ancient Chinese music died suddenly last winter. I hustled to Beijing as fast as I could for the funeral and cremation at which many distinguished figures appeared, above all from the arts. After the brief service, shooed from the small memorial chamber, a group of us adjourned to a private place. Our beloved friend had fulfilled much of her destiny, through performances, recordings, teaching, and so forth. But China remained to preoccupy us even in the midst of loss.

I was approached by someone I had never met but who knew of me. He was a true genius—I do not use the word lightly—and a brain-truster for the central government. Dispensing with all preliminaries, he directly posed to me the question: “What do we do? We all know that the system does not work, that we are caught in...

 

A Message from the Editors

As a reader of our efforts, you have stood with us on the front lines in the battle for culture. Learn how your support contributes to our continued defense of truth.

Popular Right Now