Enduring as the Universe

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Language: English
Format: 21.8 x 14.4 x 3.2 cm
Page: 423
Publication Date: 07/2017
ISBN: 9787508536637
The long novel, Enduring as the Universe, is another masterpiece by Zhang Haidi following her Dream on Wheelchair and The Topmost. Zhang explains the reason for writing the book in the Preface: “I have long cherished a dream—writing a book about the sky dotted with stars—before I couldn’t even hold a pen. Actually, it originates from my childhood meditation about the sky and it also mirrors my adult regret over the passing of time.” She depicted an immense universe with boundless starry sky and splendid natural landscape. She also created a number of roles pursuing individual dignity and high spirit, such as Du Kecheng, an astronomer, Zeng Zaiping, an expert in potamology, Yu Jinfei, a sculptress, and Zhu Lining, a zoologist. These roles will lead the readers to deeply and rationally explore the minds of the modern people.

Editor's Recommendation

Every person across the globe has to live through worries, expectations, desires and disillusions. A lifetime is just a very short journey in the vast universe. It will soon vanish as a meteor. However, people have never stopped looking for the answers to the questions in their hearts, even though they may encounter difficulties and feel exhausted and confused on the way. What the people want is a return with definite answers. Then, the journey is worthwhile.

About Author

Born in September 1955 in Ji’nan, Shandong Province of China, Zhang Haidi (f.) has been Chairperson of the China Disabled Persons’ Federation since 2008. Praised as a first-class writer, she is a Member of the National Committee of the China Writers Association. She used to be Vice-Chairperson of the Shandong Provincial Writers Association. Her published works include: Wheelchair Dream, The Topmost, and Enduring as the Universe (novels); Questions of Life, My German Diary, Beautiful English, and Unsinkable Boat (prose); and Chinese translated works of First Term at Trebizon, Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived, etc. She has also published Optional Works of Haidi (six volumes).

Table of Contents
1. The observatory
2. The old church
3. The west coast
4. The solar system
5. The small station
6. The pursuer
7. The camels
8. The statue
9. The small woods
10. The ashes
11. The lust
12. The old album
13. Loneliness
14. Her right hand
15. Green tea
16. The sleeper
17. Francois’ leaf monkey
18. The Monster City
19. Turmoil
20. The Milky Way
21. Plagiarism
22. Pomelo tea
23. Resignation
24. Collision
25. Dragon Bird
26. Evidence
27. Cold coffee
28. Yardang
29. Zoige
30. The little fox
31. Negotiation
32. The haven
33. The soprano
34. Confrontation
35. The log cabin
36. Apollo
37. Fireflies
38. Apple juice
39. Café
40. Darkness
41. Miss the appointment
42. The theory of evolution
43. The call
44. Meteorolite
45. Notebook
46. Haze
47. Meeting
48. Betrayal
49. Pendulum
50. Storm
51. Headiness
52. Microorganism
53. Lion
54. Wolves
55. Terra-Cotta Warriors
56. Night watchman
57. Manuscript
58. Roaring flames
59. Boat tracker
60. Broken cave dwelling
61. Remains
62. Bird’s nest
63. Secret
64. Far-strider
65. Microscope
66. Tears
67. Parachuter
Sample Pages Preview

Far away from the coastline, the city boasts of beautiful sceneries with lower altitudes and a moderate climate. In the northwest of the city stand several peaks, of which the highest one (more than 1,000 meters high) is Jiufeng Moutain with a dense forest and fresh air. Driving along the winding path lined with trees you can reach the top of the mountain with an open ground and unexpected red buildings. Nearby, several dome shaped white buildings surrounded by white fences come into view. Characteristically, the lower part is shaped into cylinders with tracks on the upper part and a huge hemisphere on the top. The roof windows on the hemisphere are usually closed in the daytime, and open as the lights turn on and the stars shine at dusk. On that occasion, some cast dim light and others seemed to be dark, or even darker than the night sky. On these tranquil nights, large eyes observe the unfathomable sky. Until the morning star rises in the east, the roof windows are silently closed one after another, with only one left for the rising sun.
Jiufeng Mountain is very far for urban residents. Most of them don’t care about the white buildings, and some even don’t know anything about it. Recent years have witnessed a growing number of visitors to the neighboring attractions rather than the observatory. Compared with the resorts, the observatory appears a little desolate and has a touch of mystery to it. Its name fills people with awe partly due to the fact that it’s related to the universe. Those who frequent the observatory are also awe-inspiring. The observatory seems to be detached from humans’ earthly life and public concern.
Du Kecheng is sitting in front of a computer. Behind him there is a reflector telescope pointing at the night sky with a 1.2-meter caliber. As head of the project, Mr. Du and his team members are thoroughly scanning the multiband solar system, part of his ambitious plan. He gazes at some light spots, bright and dim, on the screen. These are stars outside of the solar system. Besides, there are many small light spots moving fast or slowly, most of which are asteroids or homeless fragments and stones wandering within the system. Most of them have been numbered and documented, but there are still some unexpected visitors in between, including some dangerous Near-Earth Objects (NEOs). His eyes are fixed on them
for thousands of data are connected with every small object and the data are constantly changing. Those NEOs, in particular, are likely to make a surprise attack at the earth at any minute. Therefore, it’s necessary for them to dedicate themselves to endless calculations,
which requires accurate observation and timely data processing. Nonetheless, the formulae for processing the data are inaccessible now. The conventional way of observing data makes it hard to catch up with the world’s advanced system. Without the basic formulae, digitalization is reduced to an empty talk.
All of a sudden, an unfamiliar light spot flashes into Mr. Du’s eyes. Unlike other asteroids in orbit, it seems to be evasive. He immediately takes off his spectacles and rubs them with a piece of Kleenex. Then he can see it clearer. It’s indeed strange with low brightness. He focuses on it and opens the automatic tracker and the digital camera. Within a few seconds, it disappears. So he turns the telescope on that area, but it doesn’t show up. In the early morning after the roof windows are closed, he repeatedly watches the video of that light spot and calculates it with the traditional formulae, finally reaching a tentative conclusion that it’s an NEO. But it’s impossible to collect such data as its orbital elements, its size and its composition for want of advanced instruments and limited time. As an experienced astronomer, he is certain that this mysterious object is potentially dangerous, perhaps quite dangerous.
He immediately returns to his office and finishes a report. It’s almost 8 o’clock. He feels his mind is in a fog. Anyway, after a shower he feels refreshed. Ding Lan, his secretary, comes with his breakfast. Mr. Du asks her to inform other members of a meeting as he eats.


Whenever I look up into the sky, many feelings rise in my mind. I even tried to speak to them, but in vain, thus throwing me into confusion. Compared with the infinite sky, human beings seem to be tiny and insignificant. However advanced and large the telescope is, it’s impossible to observe the edge of the universe. I’m wondering where we are, where we’re from, where we’ll go, and whether we feel lonely in the boundless universe. Is it possible for us to find bosom friends? If so, what can they do for us? And what can we do for them?
Human beings have been accustomed to the solar system, the sun being at the center. They have been used to living around that center. Nowadays, the universe is making people increasingly upset about the fact that the further they can observe, the more problems they will meet with. As a matter of fact, even prior to human evolution the universe existed and is changing all the time. Therefore, it’s unlikely for people to know it in a short time or even in the future. It will exist even after human beings disappear. I’m often troubled by the question what the astronomers and astronauts expect of the deep blue.
One day, I was determined to write this book. Till now loneliness has been my constant companion. At times I watch the sky in a daze. Now thinking is gaining increasing importance in the sheer vanity. Without thinking, one is not living in a real sense. I do hope that thinking outlives the body. On finishing this book, I suddenly feel relieved for these words will enable me to enjoy the company of the sun, the everlasting existence.

Enduring as the Universe