'Whistleblower' Pierre Ryckmans - Simon Leys dies
Simon Leys (pen name of Pierre Ryckmans) has died in Canberra, Australia aged 78. He was the man who blew the whistle on the West’s Maoist delusions and was vilified and ostracized for doing so by Maoist personalities such as Michelle Loi and Han Su-yin. His The Chairman's New Clothes/Les Habits neufs du président Mao (1971) revealed the real condition of the country and the people during the Cultural Revolution and earned him the opprobrium of the sinological community dominated by Maosit ideology well into the late 1970s.
Having observed and exposed China's reality as a young Belgian diplomat he was practically driven into exile after his identity was revealed by French sinologue Michelle Loi. He moved to Australia in 1970 and taught Chinese literature at the Australian National University and was Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Sydney from 1987 to 1993.
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