Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Joseph von Sternberg at the Great World

220px-great_world_entertainment_center_in_the_1930sI’ve been re-visiting Shanghai, in these nights – both for my Ned Land story and for another project that was stumped by the chaos after my father’s death, and now has started again in earnest.

And so I was checking my details both in my library and online, and stumbled once again on the Great World Amusement Center, established in 1917 and bombed to hell by friendly fire in 1937 during the Battle of Shanghai… the place was full of refugees from the Chinese districts, sure they’d be safe as the Japanese were not supposed to attack the International Settlement.

The place was rebuilt, weathered war and revolutions, and is still going strong – even if I doubt it’s up to its old standard as a wretched hive of scum and villainy – and here’s an insider’s view, from Joseph von Sternberg’s Fun in a Chinese LaundryContinue reading