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Patrick Suskind's Perfume is a classic novel of death and sensuality in Paris 'In eighteenth-century France there lived a man who was one of the most gifted and abominable personages in an era that knew no lack of gifted and abominable personages. His name was Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, and if his name has been forgotten today, it is certainly not because Grenouille fell short of those more famous blackguards when it came to arrogance, misanthropy, immorality, or, more succinctly, wickedness, but because his gifts and his sole ambition were restricted to a domain that leaves no traces in history: to the fleeting realm of scent ...' 'An astonishing tour de force both in concept and execution' Guardian 'A fantastic tale of murder and twisted eroticism controlled by a disgusted loathing of humanity ...Clever, stylish, absorbing and well worth reading' Literary Review 'A meditation on the nature of death, desire and decay ...a remarkable debut' Peter Ackroyd, The New York Times Book Review 'Unlike anything else one has read. A phenomenon ...Everyone seems to want to get a whiff of this strange perfume, which will remain unique in contemporary literature' Figaro 'An ingenious and totally absorbing fantasy' Daily Telegraph 'Witty, stylish and ferociously absorbing' Observer Patrick Suskind was born near Munich, in 1949. He studied medieval and modern history at the University of Munich. His first play, The Double Bass, was written in 1980 and became an international success. His first novel, Perfume, became an internationally acclaimed bestseller. He is also the author of The Pigeon and Mr. Summer's Story, and a coauthor of the enormously successful German television series Kir Royal. Patrick Suskind lives and writes in Munich.
Based on a study using online ethnography as the major research method, this book explains why and how men in Hong Kong use QQ-an online instant messenger-to "chase" women in mainland China, especially in the neighboring city of Shenzhen. Chasing women through QQ is a reciprocal exchange process during which the resources to be exchanged in the interaction are not negotiated. Rather, the men provide resources to the women, hoping for rewards in return that are not guaranteed. This characteristic of the exchange makes men who chase women through QQ very strategic in their action. They try to maximize the rewards and minimize the costs by adopting myriad strategies, such as constructing an attractive online identity by strategic self-presentation. The role of emotions in the exchange process is also examined. Men learn the emotional norms through the online forum, but sometimes it is difficult for them to control their emotions; some men fall in love when they are not supposed to. As it happens, they have failed to calculate the costs and rewards rationally in that they may provide too many resources to the women without getting enough rewards in return.
This book provides original insights into the thought processes, motivations, desires, anxieties and risks of Hong Kong men seeking short-term sexual relations with women on the mainland. These insights are highly relevant to our understanding of the quickly evolving use of social media, a phenomenon of worldwide importance and deep implications.
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