Foreign News: The Storyteller

Kan Sung-yun is a professional storyteller, one of those who, troubadour-like, spin wondrous yarns for China's listeners. At Nanking's tea houses, sipping tea and cracking melon seeds, Kan unfolded a repertory that ranged from ancient sagas of Homeric scope to the modern story of a nude, female ghost that would have done credit to Thome ("Topper") Smith. But spectacled "Dim-Eyed Kan" was too bright for his own good.

During the Japanese occupation, his ready wit landed him in prison for telling tales from history wherein overbearing conquerors came to naught. After the Japanese...

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