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Out of the mouths of babes

In this case, my nearly 20-year-old daughter, who said just now, “The trouble with China is that it just keeps happening.”

If only I had time to convey the drama of these final weeks of work on the Encyclopedia of China! This project is evidence, Rachel and I concluded, of my delight in attempting things that should be done, no matter how impossible they might be. We will survive and there will be, quite soon, a beautiful 5-volume encyclopedia, but if you could see the way we are all obsessively working on this snowy afternoon you might wonder if we couldn’t somehow draft in Santa’s editorial elves to come in at night to run macros, find transliterations and tone marks, and rewrite disjointed sentences. Maybe after Christmas, and in the meantime we wish things in the world would just stop changing for a little while.

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