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After his trip to London, Lao She wrote essays and fiction about the Pacific Islands. In one of these essays, he commented on the nature of duration in Henry James’ fiction, which Lao She felt that, by avoiding temporal shortcuts such as “many years later,” commensurated reading time to narrative time. This essay rereads Lao She’s transpacific novel, Little Po’s Birthday, under this borrowed experimentation with diegetic duration. I note the impact of what Lao She perceived as Jamesian duration on his anticolonialist metafiction of the 1930s as well as its unanticipated implications for his Chinese nationalism.