Ha Jin Quotes

You strive to have a good heart. But what is a heart? Just a chunk of flesh that a dog can eat.

Without writing, what would I have become? Nothing. In China the individual used to be treated as a screw or a small cog in the revolutionary machine. I wanted to be a human being with a voice.

The more you move, the stronger you’ll grow, not like a tree that can be killed if you uproot it.

Life is a journey, and you can’t carry everything with you. Only the usable baggage.

No, It’s hard to uproot yourself and really become yourself in another soil, but it’s also an opportunity, another kind of growth.

Indifference is the strongest contempt.

Writing is not a great profession as a lot of writers proclaim. I write because this is something I can do. Another thing—very often I think a lot of writers write because they have failed to do other things. How many writers can’t drive? A lot. They’re not practical. They are not capable in everyday life.

Every summer Lin Kong returned to Goose Village to divorce his wife, Shuyu.

When the first emperor wanted to unify the country, one of the major policies was to create one system of written signs. By force, brutal force, he eliminated all the other scripts. One script became the official script. All the others were banned. And those who used other scripts were punished severely. And then the meanings of all the characters, over the centuries, had to be kept uniform as a part of the political apparatus. So from the very beginning the written word was a powerful political tool.

The more you move, the stronger you’ll grow.

English has more flexibility. It’s a very plastic, very shapeable, very expressive language. In that sense it feels quite natural.

I work hard, I work very hard. All the books at least 30 revisions.

I don’t think of myself as a dissident, and I’m more of an immigrant than an exile.

We can’t continue to be like this. Who am I? Your fiancée or your concubine?