You are alone. You sit almost beside me. Two seats between us. Your face quite pale in the dim light, but beautiful. I too am alone in the cinema. I always alone in the cinema before I meet you. I am bit confused whether if cinema make me less lonely or even more lonely. (...)
I think the loneliness in this country is something very solid, very heavy. It is very touchable and reachable, easily.
The loneliness comes to me in certain hours everyday, like a visitor. Like a friend you never expected, a friend you never really want be with, but he always visit you and love you somehow. When the sun leaves the sky, when the enormous darkness swallow the last red strip in the horizon, from that moment, I can see the shape of loneliness in front of me, then surround my body, my night, my dream.
Something missing, something lost in my life, something which used to fulfill in my China life. (...)
But here, in this place in the West, I lost my reference. And I have to rely on my own sensibility. But my sensibility toward the world is so unclear.
'Love', this English word: like other English words it has tense. 'Loved' or 'will love' or 'have loved'. All these specific tenses mean Love is time-limited thing. Not infinite. It only exist in particular period of time. In Chinese, Love is '爱' (ai). It has no tense. No past and future. Love in Chinese means a being, a situation, a circumstance. Love is existence, holding past and future.
If our love existed in Chinese tense, then it will last for ever. It will be infinite.
Sobre XIAOLU GUO:
Xiaolu Guo, who lives in London, has made several films and written several books; this novel is her first written in English. The narrative device she uses is ingenious and risky: a kind of diary kept by a young Chinese woman coming to England to improve her shaky knowledge of the language. It begins: "(SORRY OF MY ENGLISH)". The story is about "I" and "you", and the title promises us love. The book keeps the promise. It is also, of course, about language, and translation, and the immense difference between thinking in Chinese and thinking in English, and being Chinese and being English, and about what can and cannot be understood between even the tenderest lovers.
Her novel, A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers, is deliberately written in raw, broken English, but even so it is a remarkable testament to Xiaolu’s capacity to absorb and render idiomatic English.
It takes a particular sort of mentality to be able to absorb a language organically, but a brain of an altogether different order to be able to write well in another tongue.
What, I ask Xiaolu, are my chances of picking up Mandarin in a mere five months? “Not unless you are really crazy and mad. For Mandarin you really need to go there and have a Chinese lover.”
This is not an altogether bad idea. But finding a Chinese lover is not on the curriculum of the teach-yourself Mandarin course.