Books: Pai-hua

LIVING CHINA—Edited by Edgar Snow —Reynal & Hitchcock ($2.50).

In China, biggest and oldest civilized country in the world, few people can read and write. Of those few, many fewer know the "correct," classical language, in which all Chinese masterpieces have been written, time out of mind. In 1917, when China's civilization began to come rapidly apart, plain speech (pai-hua} began to be literarily respectable, is now the accepted written language for China's literates. To give a sample of what present-day Chinese are reading, Journalist Edgar Snow last week published a translation of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!