Pu Wang and John PlotzJul 21, 2022
Pu Wang and John Plotz Look Back on their Cixin Liu Interview
New Books Network 2022
Our first August rebroadcast was John and Pu's 2019 interview with SF superstar Cixin Liu (you may want to re-listen to that episode before this one!). Here, they reflect on the most significant things that Liu had said, and to ponder the political situation for contemporary Chinese writers who come to the West to discuss their work.
They consider whether our world is like a cabinet in a basement, and what kind of optimism or pessimism might be available to science fiction writers. They compare the interview to a recent profile of Liu in The New Yorker, and ponder the advantages and disadvantages of pressing writers to weigh in on the hot-button topics of the day.
Discussed in this episode:
- Cixin Liu, The Three Body Problem, The Dark Forest, and Death’s End
- Jiayang Fan, “Liu Cixin’s War of the Worlds” (New Yorker interview/profile)
- Yuri Slezkine, The House of Government: A Saga of the Russian Revolution
- Isaac Asimov, The End of Eternity
- George Melies (dir.), A Voyage to the Moon
- Fritz Lang (dir.), Metropolis
- Frant Gwo (dir.), The Wandering Earth
- Ivan Goncharov, Oblomov
Transcript available here.
Elizabeth Ferry is Professor of Anthropology at Brandeis University. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. John Plotz is Barbara Mandel Professor of the Humanities at Brandeis University and co-founder of the Brandeis Educational Justice Initiative. Email: email@example.com.