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Tuesday 27 January 2015 from 6.45pm - 'The History of Paper' with Alex Munro & an early celebration of Chinese New Year celebrations

Chinese New Year 2015
Chinese New Year 2015

Join us to celebrate Chinese New Year early with special Guest Speaker, Alex Munro, on 'The Paper Trail' 
The Paper Trail tells the story of paper,a simple Chinese invention, has wrapped itself around our world, with history'smost momentous ideas etched upon its surface. From the time of its emergence inclassical China 2,000 years ago, paper has allowed ideas, religions,philosophies and propaganda to spread around the world with ever greater ease.It was sufficiently simple to produce and cheap to acquire that it enabledbooks to be mass-produced and to travel, not simply across large distances butalso down the socio-economic scale. It also enabled an ongoing dialogue betweencommunities of scholars who could engage easily with one another's ideasacross continents and years, sparking more regular moments of scientific andartistic brilliance.

The Paper Trail traces the westwardvoyage of this ground-breaking invention; beginning with the Buddhisttranslators responsible for the spread of paper across China, Japan, Korea andVietnam. It describes the theologians, scientists and artists who used paper tocreate the intellectual world of the Abbasid Caliphate, and journeys with themissionaries and merchants who carried it along the Silk Road. Paper finallyreached Europe in 1276 and was indispensable to the scholars and translatorswho manufactured the Renaissance and Reformation from their desks, feeding notonly change in the arts and theology, but in politics too, as politics became asubject more widely read about and understood.Paper created a world in which free thinking could flourish, andbrought disciplines from science to music into a new age: the paper age. Paperstill surrounds us in our everyday lives - on our desks, wrapping our food, inour wallets. It has become universal, and also supremely disposable. But forthe first time in its history it is losing ground globally to a serious rival

About Alex Munro - Alexander has worked for the Times in London and Reuters in Shanghai, and contributed chapters to two books, one on travel and the other on China. He has also edited two travel poetry anthologies, including China: City and Exile. The Paper Trail (Penguin, 2014) is his first full-length book.

Venue: Imperial China, White Bear Yard, 25a Lisle Street, London WC2H 7BA. Cost £25 for Members and £30 for Non Members + paypal fees.

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We would prefer that everyone pays online, but if this is not possible please send a cheque made payable to Chopsticks Club, and sent to Theresa Booth at 52 Gloucester Terrace London W2 3HH. Payment must clear prior to the event.

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