Wolf Totem by Jiang Rong

Posted: October 8, 2013 in Book Notes
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  • Tengger is the father, the grassland is the mother, and the wolves kill only animals that harm the grassland.
  • War demands patience. Opportunities present themselves only to the patient…
  • The nomadic inhabitants safeguarded the “big life” – the survival of the grassland and of nature were more precious than the survival of people. Tillers of the land, on the other hand, safeguarded “little lives” – the most prescious of which were people, their survival the most important. But as Bilgee had said, without the big life, the little lives were doomed.
  • Half of a Mongol is hunter. If we could not hunt, our lives would be like meat with no salt, tasteless.
  • Chinese write their books to advocate Chinese causes. The Mongols suffer because they can’t write books.
  • On the Mongolian grassland, peace does not follow peace, but danger always follows danger.
  • …we’re farming people, not nomads, and we seek to impose our habits and customs on other people.
  • The grassland had always been a battlefield, and those that survived were the strongest and wisest, the ones best suited to eating and fighting, animals who could eat their fill yet never forget what it was like to be hungry.
  • The most important thing for an overpopuplated race is to stay alive. There can’t be any nutrients left over to feed aesthetic cells.

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