On the Smell of an Oily Rag (2007)


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Scholarly and scatological, this cornucopia of fun and wisdom is a breathtaking picture of speech, thought and images from the world’s richest and oldest culture. On the Smell of an Oily Rag gives an insight like no other into how English-language and Chinese-language cultures collide, contrast and illuminate each other. It’s about what is lost in translation and what can be gained by it. ‘Very big, China.’ – Noel Coward ‘This is a book every structuralist should have on their shelves and read every day.’ – Bruce Elder, Sydney Morning Herald


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