Am I becoming controversial? "The Grand Historian Makes a Virtue of Necessity" is a mere reading list, according to Nicholas Liu, but Andy Quan thinks that the whole sequence "uses Asian images and ideas in ways that are not kitsch but instead playful and original and matches it with a voice that crackles with energy." Besides the question of personal taste, the different opinions pivot on a number of interesting issues, such as the reviewer's familiarity with Chinese history, his attitude to the same history, his poetics regarding historical references, his stance towards the recuperation of a lost tradition, in this case, that of Chinese homosexuality. That both Liu and Quan are part of the Chinese diaspora--Liu is Singaporean whereas Quan is Canadian--only makes the comparison more interesting.
Quan's review has just appeared in Mascara Issue Seven. The same issue publishes new poems by Patrick Rosal, and a youtube video of Franz Wright reading "Night Flight Turbulence."