Perry Link, der er en af de mest anerkendte vestlige eksperter i kinesisk sprog og litteratur, har lige udgivet bogen An Anatomy of Chinese: Rhythm, Metaphor, Politics.
Den er der en anmeldelse af pÃ¥ Los Angeles Review of Books, hvor den bliver kaldt for ‘en skattekiste af indsigt’. LÃ¦s anmeldelsen. Med eksempler fra kapitlerne om rytme, metaforer og her politisk retorik:
Linkâ€™s third chapter, on political language, is a far-reaching analysis of the starkly different worlds of political language and ordinary language in China, from the Mao period to the present. Link offers example after example of China-specific cases of Orwellian euphemism, abstraction, and other tactics that strip language of the information-sharing functions for which ordinary language is used. He writes extensively of the â€œlanguage gameâ€ that plays out again and again in the political arena, in which language serves primarily to gain and retain power, rather than to inform or assist.
A particularly insightful example is the use of the phrase â€œtiny minorityâ€ (jÃshÇŽoshÃ¹ æžå°‘æ•°) to refer to political opponents of the Party. Link sums it up elegantly:
Phrases like â€œsmall bunchâ€ and â€œtiny minorityâ€ have the added advantage of leaving plenty of room for the average citizen, at the receiving end of the rhetoric, to choose to join the majority. If troublemakers are a small minority, then the choice for you, the average citizen, is easy: come to the center and join the mainstream. If you do, the safety of knowing that the authorities approve is reinforced by safety of numbers. A person who joins the mainstream does not have to defend the choice.