Peter Hessler and “The Outside World”

An appreciation of Peter Hessler’s latest astonishing New Yorker piece.

Any journalist could get a quick thrill out of describing a Chinese painting factory churning out thousands of scenes of Venice (known to the artists only a Shui Cheng, “Water City”), copying the details without a clue about what they are depicting. But Hessler cleverly uses these literal views of unknown places to illustrate the uses of information about the outside world in Lishui….

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