From Doctor Liu:)
my respected professor:
Never had I expected getting a letter written by yourself, and I can not express my excitement in English now.
I like the name of your work 《The Enemy of Nature 》, I guess the Nature includes both the Nature and Human Nature, and the Enemy means the capitalism as a whole. All the people across the world have been suffering from the damage to the ecosystem and the environment by the capitalism's globalization. In recent 20 years, I myself have experienced the ecological disaster in China. When I was a child, I could enjoy swimming and fishing in the crystal river in front of my house, but now, the river has no water anymore, let alone the fish. Only in my dreams can l go back to my pleasure of childhood, and when I am awake I always worry about the local poeple's lack of water, fresh air, health care, and harmonious interpersonal relationships, which we possessed only 20 years ago. In fact, across China, including Beijing City, we are now facing the unprecedented ecological crisis, but the more dangerous is that we have been following the developed capitalist countries' mode of production and consumption step by step under the pressure of the globalization. As a doctor student in the leading University of China, I want to find an answer to the problems, because we China have never met with such serious ecological crisis 20 years before, I can hardly find any systematical theory about that disaster, so, I like your, my respected professor's work, and I want to find some keys in your thoughts to change the matter radically.
(From Professor K:)
Dear Liu Ren:
Your English is excellent, though there are a few typographical errors. More, your letter is very moving. I have been following developments in China closely, and have watched from a great distance the sickening degree of ecological collapse there. The Chinese case was very much in mind when I composed THE ENEMY OF NATURE, though I wrote little directly about it. In part this was because the country is so important and complicated as to make an adequate discussion distracting for the main theme of the book-about which, by the way, you GUESS very well. When THE ENEMY OF NATURE first came out there was an immediate _expression of interest from a Chinese publishing house with offices in Shanghai and Beijing, but this was withdrawn soon after without an explanation. Still, I hope some day that its argument will play a role in the momentous developments in China, around which so much of the future will depend.
With best wishes.
(From Doctor Liu:)
Would you like to give me the name of the Chinese publishing house, and maybe I could find the reason.
(From Professor Kovel:)
Well, I didn't have this in mind when I wrote you, but if it is possible for you to find out what happened, I would be very grateful-even more so, of course, if it is still possible to have an edition in China. Below is the last exchange I received that mentioned the publisher; after that, the connection just stopped. I should add that I control international rights, and that at present I am not working with any agents. There is a brief mention of difficulties in the path of Chinese socialism on pages 201-2, which could have been responsible for the loss of contact, though it seemed to me that I wasn't saying anything inflammatory or far-reaching here.
By the way, I am going to mail your copy today.
With best wishes,
PS: please clarify: Your name is Liu Ren, correct, not Yanjun? And how do you want to be addressed?
( letters from his publisher and Chinese one omitted )
（From Doctor Liu:)
I have found out the reasons: the first is about the matter of copyright; the second is about the plan of the *** Publishing Group. I know little about the intellectual copyrights, but at last your publisher and the Chinese counterpart have something different about the matter, maybe about the price, maybe about the legal procedure. The Century Publishing Group did want to publish your book in China at first for its academic value (and they have negotiated the price with your publisher), but because of the above 2 MAYBEs, which the Chinese Publisher did not answer me directly, they changed their plan. The plan maybe was a series about a certain theme (the Chinese publisher didn't want to tell me about that, another MAYBE, it's a commercial secret ), and your book is not the most important in the series, so, they changed their plan.
But it doesn't matter, my respected professor, there is another series about the NEW Western Marxism on our university press's agenda, and in my own viewpoint, the NEW Western Marxism includes ecosocialism and other thoughts and theories which have relations to Marx or Marxism, of course, includes part of your thoughts and ideas, and the Enemy of Nature. Do you agree to my guess, my respected professor? I will be one translator of the series next June when I finish my Ph.D dissertation, I hope I can translate the Enemy of Nature into Chinese.
Another thing, Yan-jun is my beloved, email@example.com is our common email address, my own private address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
May you have a very nice everyday.
(From Professor Kovel:)
I am most grateful for this-though it should be said again that because of an error on the part of my publisher, ***, they represented themselves as owners of the copyright, whereas the question of international rights was not theirs to decide, but for myself according to the contract. We pointed this out to the various parties, but apparently the decision had already been taken to not go ahead with the publication. That the rights are mine is still the case, though now I will be negotiating without an agent, who, I felt, just makes the business more complilcated and expensive.
In any case, if you can see to this, that would be wonderful indeed. You should be getting the book very soon, and will be able to judge for yourself whether it deserves a Chinese edition. I am certainly of the opinion that the book makes a necessary contribution to Marxist theory by developing an ecological marxism which is also faithful to Marx's basic ideas. If you remember the 1844 Manuscripts, he says there that he is trying to develop a humanism that is also a naturalism. That's where I want to take the argument. THE ENEMY OF NATURE does not deal systematically with this question because it is a book that tries to take up the whole subject, from the nature of the ecological crisis, to the role played by capitalism, to the various politics of the issues, and finally, the development of ecosocialism. On the way, however, I devote enough space to theoretical questions to provide the foundation for an ecological marxism. After my next book, I plan to write the systematic theoretical work that this question demands.
Well, I certainly hope you find my book worthwhile and that it can be included in your series.
With very best wishes,
(From Doctor Liu:)
I 've got your insightful work yesterday afternoon, your subtitle "the end of capitalism or the end of the world" has shocked and moved me completely, "in hope of a better world", I believe that not only the Capitalism but also the socialism with Chinese Characteristics should learn a lot from your ideas.
my plan about <the enemy of nature> is following:
1)in 40 days, I will finish reading through the book, and write a review to a certain Chinese journal.
2)in 3 months, I will finish the report of feasibility of publishing the book to my adviser, who is one councilor of the Renmin University Press about the series.
3)before I graduate from Renmin University next July, I will finish the translation of the book into Chinese. And in my Ph.D dissertation, I will introduce your ideas to Chinese scholars and officials. My Ph.D dissertation is mainly about the western scholars and parties's contribution to resolving the increasingly serious ecological crisis and the construction or reconstruction of Marx's ecology.
4)before 2005, the Chinese version of <the enemy of nature> will be published. The NEW Western Marxism series can't lack your book which has contributed a great deal to both the Western Marxism(in Chinese perspective) and modern ecology.
By the way, my respected professor, your subtitle has reminded me of another professor Olman(I am not certain about his name now). Last winter he and his French wife came to China and gave a lecture in Renmin University, that time he repeated your subtitle and did recommend your book, though I have forgotten his topic. Yesterday as soon as I catched your book's subtile, I felt very familiar, so it reminded me of Professor Olman. I hope, one day, you will fly to China, here, I show my enthusiastic welcome to you, my respected professor.