“-it’s the emotional generosity with which they treat all of their characters.”

A postcard shop in Beijing, China (Summer 2014)

I often feel as if I’m writing not for a particular audience but for a better version of myself—a version that can’t be dismissive or judgmental, a version that understands that in order to write the kind of fiction I strive to write, it’s essential to feel compassion for even the least sympathetic people. And if there’s one quality that links all of the writers who have been the most important to me, it’s the emotional generosity with which they treat all of their characters.
— Molly Antopol

A quick note about the photo:

I was fortunate enough to sight see Beijing, China for a few days during my summer break, days before I flew back to Stanford last September. Personally it wasn’t the most pleasant trip I’ve taken, but it only strengthened the fact that I need to undergo more maturity and then return there for a second, third and more times. One of my fondest memories from this trip though, was definitely this quaint shop I spotted in one of Beijing’s many famous small alleys or hutong. 

Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure they’re a franchise and rather commercial because I spotted another one as I walked further down the alley but even so, this doesn’t make the shop and its concept any less quaint. They carry a wonderful selection of postcards on contemporary and vintage China. Of course I had to send some and I did, to people I know would appreciate them – one to Eldest Bro at home, and the other to my longtime pen pal-friend A (who occasionally drops by this blog!). To me, this little shop embodies my love and appreciation for written words; I thought the above quote complemented the photo just right. That emotional generosity transcends not just between writers, but also between receivers of my written words.

Thank you for your tender care with them, and for giving me a reason to keep writing.


3 thoughts on ““-it’s the emotional generosity with which they treat all of their characters.”

  1. This is super random but I was drawn to the two sentences hanging on both sides of the entrance at first sight. I decided to translate the phrases for those who can’t read Mandarin as they are quite quite thought-provoking. (Left) If only everything in life is just as it was when we first met , (Right) at that time we thought that it was just a usual occurrence. These two phrases were drawn from two different poems, so my translation may be a bit off heh but I do try to put things into context. Basically the first half laments about how the person wishes things to be as it was in the beginning, as the person has grown to appreciate simplicity later on in life in the second half. Loved the photo and your lovely words. Thank you for your kind words, it’s been an honour for us as readers to be included in this lovely little world of yours too. :)

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