I Have Seen the World Begin: Travels through China, Cambodia, and Vietnam (Hardcover)

Travels through China, Cambodia, and Vietnam

By Carsten Jensen, Barbara Haveland (Translator)

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780151007684, 352pp.

Publication Date: March 1, 2002



When Carsten Jensen set out by train from Denmark on a journey to the East, he expected to find lands of rich history and culture, and people
undergoing radical change at the end of the twentieth century. In this
illuminating narrative of his travels, there is this and much, much more.
Fusing social commentary and history with vibrant descriptions of people and places, Jensen brilliantly evokes the sights, sounds, and smells of these venerable civilizations. He examines the reverberations of the Tiananmen Square massacre in China, always attuned to the restless air of expectancy in the country, but also finds time for remote concerts of ancient Chinese music. He renders the pervasive sense of destruction, despair, and loss in Cambodia with particular sensitivity, wondering at the specter of death that still hovers over the landscape. And it is in Vietnam, with its palpable
legacy of colonialism and war, that Jensen ultimately loses himself in an extraordinary love affair.
At once compelling and richly informative, I Have Seen the World Begin is an incredible journey.

Praise For I Have Seen the World Begin: Travels through China, Cambodia, and Vietnam


"In the tradition of Bruce Chatwin, social commentary and global history are fused with elegant and evocative descriptions of countryside and people. . . . Here is a writer about whom we should be hearing much more."--The Independent (London)