Soundtrack: Still Fighting It by Ben Folds + the Squid Game version of Fly Me to The Moon by Joo Won I binge-watched Squid Game in less than a day. Apart from what everyone else has written on (class inequality, debt, the lost generation, critique of capitalism, EAT THE RICH), which I have little more … Continue reading Squid Game Thoughts: the dystopian island
There are two endings to Blind Mountain. In the censored Mainland Chinese version, the police comes and rescues the female protagonist from her rural prison. In the version for international release, which is the one I watched, the girl grabs the knife closest to her and, in a climactic eruption of violence, stabs her "husband" … Continue reading Movie Review: Blind Mountain《盲山》(2007)
Back in my sophomore year, for a class on global fictions, I read Liu Cixin's The Three Body Problem and even ended up writing a paper on it: Reimagining Communities: Hospitality in The Reluctant Fundamentalist vs. The Three-Body Problem. That was my first foray into hard sci-fi. Quite stunning. Yesterday, at noon, I watched him speak at the … Continue reading SWF 2020: 刘慈欣谈科学与幻想的无限可能
Singapore Writers Festival 2020 is happening from now till 8 Nov. 🎉Read my overview of the festival here. This is my first time hearing Zadie Smith's voice and she is just as sharp as she is on the page. Parts of what she says resonate so much it feels like she is stapling words into … Continue reading SWF 2020: Zadie Smith’s Intimations
In 1997, two decades after the end of the Cultural Revolution, Wang Xiaobo died prematurely of a heart attack. This was five years after his debut novella The Golden Age made him one of the most widely read and discussed authors among disillusioned youth in China. While initially met with hostility from the literary establishment, … Continue reading Book Review: The Golden Age 黄金时代 by Wang Xiaobo 王小波
MY FAVORITE SEMESTER INTELLECTUALLY! ❤️ Before I gush, a few things: I'm back to four classes (and also auditing a fifth). This has been the best schedule I've had so far, with no classes on Thursdays AND Fridays. But in terms of sheer reading, I have to average three books per week (not including some … Continue reading My Junior Spring Harvard Classes ≧◡≦
I’m not sure that Morocco or France are my countries... No, my country is language. My country is a library. Have you ever felt utterly exhilarated just listening to someone talk? I was in a conference room somewhere in the basement of the Center for European Studies. Leila Slimani was in conversation with my Advanced Fiction … Continue reading Confession: “I Was Born A Writer”
Public announcement on the blog!!! : ) There's now a blog tab apart from Chronicle and Contact called... Academic 💙🤖📘🧬🌏 ...where I've pooled together the A-grade papers/creative coursework I've written for my Harvard classes. In short, I present to you the intellectual arc of my college career. There are some that I wish I could've done better, … Continue reading Tada! All my Harvard papers in 1 place.
🌟 07/10/2019 🦄 Just want to mark this date on the blog: July 10, 2019 (even as the minutes slowly tumble into July 11, 2019). If there's one day I want to carve into my memory from this entire summer thus far, it's July 10. It's the most exhilarating and stimulating day I've had in a … Continue reading A day ft. Jeff Zucker, Fareed Zakaria & Amanda Lee Koe
Easter Egg: Screenplay at the end of the post. 🥚✨ ♪(๑ᴖ◡ᴖ๑)♪ 🌏 Harvard China Forum 💡 April 12th to 14th, Harvard College China Forum happened. Remember last year when I was the Programming Associate in charge of the Culture Panel (ft. Fang Wenshan 💕)? As the Programming Chair this year, I oversaw how my amazing team … Continue reading April is tough. And brilliant. ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ
Brevity features short posts on the interesting, incisive, or inexplicably moving ideas I encounter at Harvard. It’s a record of the detail in those intellectual and creative moments, as well as an exploration of the curious questions that keep me up at the midnight hour. Here’s an honest snapshot of my mind. Sometimes, I realize how much more I have … Continue reading Brevity: Renaissance Woman
Before I get swept up in the semester, let me close the chapter of winter break. I'm writing down my internship thoughts in the polar chill of Cambridge, MA. January has ended. Everything's days and continents away. Did you do anything meaningful over the break other than drink bubble tea?Yes!! (Doing meaningful things and drinking … Continue reading Interning at Northern Light Venture Capital in China
Author's Note: This short story was submitted as the final paper for a class last semester. The protagonist of this story is the act of writing itself. I am fascinated by the idea of the separation of the writer and the person into two selves, of the tension existing within the diasporic writer. Set in … Continue reading [Story] The Writer
I realized I'm almost through with September and have not talked about the biggest chunk in my sophomore life thus far—my classes! There's a reason why I've literally had no time to write about this. Life has been an absolute whirlwind. Here's a snapshot of the residential problems plaguing our suite of four: I discovered … Continue reading My Sophomore Fall Harvard Classes! (ft. Life)
She isn't sure what it is, the colors—Supreme red, the blocky black letters of Balenciaga, the wild marbled swirls of Dries Van Noten—sharpening like psychedelic blotches, the strap on her shoulder suddenly prickly and leaden, an indignant discomfiture that rises like a gorge in her throat until she furrows her brows and realizes with a … Continue reading [Story] Hills
Brevity features short posts on the interesting, incisive, or inexplicably moving ideas I encounter at Harvard. It's a record of the detail in those intellectual and creative moments, as well as an exploration of the curious questions that keep me up at the midnight hour. Here's an honest snapshot of my mind. *** In contemplating topics as disparate and … Continue reading Brevity: Why Literature?
Dear You, what is art for? Last week, I was in Washington, D.C. with seven other Harvard students on a 10-day Wintersession at Dumbarton Oaks revolving around this topic: Culture and Power: Art, Philanthropy, and Diplomacy in America. In those 10 days, I've seen art like this: And this: Interestingly, this: But also this: Lastly, my … Continue reading Girl in D.C.
Hi friends, I'm trying out a new feature on this blog (on top of regular posts). Let me know what you think. 🙂 Brevity features short weekly posts on the interesting, incisive, or inexplicably moving ideas inspired by my Harvard professors and classmates. It's a record of the detail in those intellectual and creative moments, as well … Continue reading Brevity: Can Fiction Save Felons?
I write this so that, years down the road, I can remember my exact state of mind when making this choice that had a bearing on how I choose to lead my life. It's arguably the most monumental decision I've had to make in my brief 19 years of existence. This is a raw, honest, … Continue reading PSC Scholarship: Yes, Maybe, No
Disclaimer: this is a piece of satire (not autobiographical!), but then again definitely all art imitates life. The structure is a parody of Girl by Jamaica Kincaid, which depicts a very different world of expectations -- simmering beneath the mother's long string of admonishments and words of advice to a daughter are the layered themes of … Continue reading The Modern Child
This...unsettles you, from your ordinary, rooted world. I was in the land of photogenic temples -- places of worship perching atop seaside cliffs, nestled in misty mountains, carved within caves, and residing around every bend in rural villages. There was more to Bali than temples, of course -- soaked green carpets of rice terraces, beer-bottle thronging beaches, and museums … Continue reading Bali: opening to you, the heart of life