Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lisa Brackmann on architecture, demolition and community

Thursday it was Christopher G. Moore on the destruction of traditional Bangkok architecture.

Today it's Lisa Brackmann, another author with whom I'll be panelizing at Bouchercon 2010 next month, on the same phenomenon in China. Here's Brackmann in an interview from earlier this summer:
"Central to the novel [Rock Paper Tiger] is the importance of community, and how do we have meaningful communities when everything is for sale, and this happens in a global economy? I thought about this a lot in terms of Beijing, where modernization has swept away traditional neighborhoods and replaced them with anonymous high rises. Sure, there were a lot of problems in the old hutong areas, and I totally understand the need and desire for central heating and modern plumbing and all of that. But something is inevitably lost as well."
(Lisa Brackmann will be a member of my "Flags of Terror" panel at Bouchercon 2010 in San Francisco, Friday, Oct. 15, at 10 a.m. Click here for the complete Bouchercon lineup.)

© Peter Rozovsky 2010

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Blogger Other Lisa said...

Looking forward to the panelization!

Lisa Brackmann

September 25, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I visited Guilin in 1990. I guess fighting with the Japanese had already done much of the demolition years earlier, but I did see a number of amusing examples of China's imperfect transition to Western-style consumer capitalism

September 25, 2010  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

I read a pretty depressing article about JG Ballard's house in Shanghai. After surviving for more than 70 year apparently it has been knocked down, rebuilt in grey concrete and turned into a restaurant. There is little or no notion of 'listing' a historic structure when the developers want the land.

September 25, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Adrian, I get the feeling from crime novels I've read set in contemporary China that the notion of historic preservation has not caught on. Qiu Xiaolong writes about the changes in attitudes brought about by "socialism with Chinese characteristics," but he doesn't have much to say about the destruction of historical buildings. I wonder if it takes writers from the west, where historic preservation is a part of most people's mental landscape, to lament such destruction in China. Hmm, I should ask Lisa Brackmann about this on our Bouchercon panel.

September 25, 2010  

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