Words from a Brick in the Wall (Or, What the Dialectical Poet Tries to Say But Fails to Say, and What He Might Whistle or Sing)


  • Xiaolu Guo


manifesto, perpetual revolution, state and myth, China, art and politics, love is political


This is the manifesto from the end of my novel I am China. The novel is about a Chinese punk musician in exile in the west and his love and hate relation to the state as well as his relationship with his poetess lover in China. The novel is written in an epistolary form – in the story the letters and diaries are discovered by an English literary translator from Britain. The manifesto is supposed to be written by the musician Kublai Jian, and focuses on the political nature of being an artist in this world and the possibility/impossibility of revolution. The manifesto suggests that a true artist is committed to perpetual revolution.

Author Biography

Xiaolu Guo

Xiaolu Guo, novelist, filmmaker, and essayist, was born in China in 1973 and moved to the UK in 2002. She has published several novels both in English and Chinese. Her most well known book is the Orange Fiction Prize shortlisted novel A Concise Chinese English Dictionary for Lovers (translated into 28 languages.) Her other novels include 20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth, and UFO in Her Eyes. Her recent novel I am China, longlisted for Baileys Women’s Prize and is NPR’s Best Books of the Year. Guo is named by Granta Magazine as one of the Best of British Young Novelists (BOBYN) in 2013. She also directed award winning feature films such as She, A Chinese, UFO in Her Eyes, and has held her film retrospectives at Central Pompidou in Paris 2010, Swiss Cinematheque in Lausanne and ULLENS Centre in Beijing.






Experimental Writing Manifesto