Legends of the Condor Heroes translation (1)

Some translations of Louis Cha’s/Jin Yong’s martial arts novels are available:

The Book and the Sword  (Oxford University Press, 2005), translated by Graham Earnshaw, edited by John Minford and Rachel May.

The Deer and the Cauldron (in three volumes; Oxford University Press, 1997), translated by John Minford.

Fox Volant of the Snowy Mountain  (Chinese University Press, 1996), translated by Olivia Mok.

Seán Golden <sean.golden@uab.es>

Legends of the Condor Heroes translation

Source: Global Times (11/9/17)
UK publisher working on English edition of Jin Yong’s ‘Legends of the Condor Heroes’
By Huang Tingting

Promotional material for the 2017 TV series Legends of the Condor Heroes Photo: VCG

Six decades after the debut of Jin Yong’s popular Chinese martial arts novel Legends of the Condor Heroes, English speakers will finally have a chance to explore for themselves the exotic world of swords and sabers in ancient China that has fascinated Chinese readers for generations.

The English version of the novel is being divided into four books. Hero Born, the first volume translated by British-Swedish translator Anna Holmwood and priced at 14.99 pounds ($19.60), will be published by the UK’s Maclehose Press in February, 2018. Continue reading

Yangdon’s death

Dear all,

I’m deeply saddened to pass on the news of the death of the author Yangdon (Ch. Yangzhen 央珍). She passed away in Beijing in October. Yangdon was best known for her novel Wu xingbie de shen 无性别的神 (A God Without Gender), and for blazing a trail for Tibetan women’s writing in Chinese. She will be greatly missed.

Here are two links about the news:



And a profile of Yangdon in English:


Christopher Peacock <cp2657@columbia.edu>

Liu Waitong’s Wandering Hong Kong with Spirits

Source: Jacket 2 (11/15/17)
Liu Waitong’s ‘Wandering Hong Kong with Spirits’

Photo of Hong Kong (right) via Wikimedia Commons.

Wandering Hong Kong with Spirits 和幽靈一起的香港漫遊
Liu Waitong 廖偉棠, trans. Enoch Yee-lok Tam, Desmond Sham, Audrey Heijns, Chan Lai-kuen, and Cao Shuying
Zephyr Press and MCCM Creations 2016, 184 pages, $15.00. ISBN 978-9881311535

What is it to be a Hong Kong poet writing now? Specifically, a Hong Kong poet who grew up over the border in Guangdong, who has lived also in Beijing; whose poems register the pull of other cities from Lhasa to Paris, and the pull of China not only as a literary inheritance all the way back to Zhuangzi, but also as a geopolitical giant changing daily even as Hong Kong itself changes? For Liu Waitong, it means to be accompanied always by ghosts. But it means also to seek them out and keep them company in turn — to haunt with them. Working through questions of displacement, citizenship, and competing visions of Hong Kong’s and China’s future, Liu’s poems insist that a careful attention and receptivity can be revolutionary. For Liu, that attention is what we owe our pasts and each other. Continue reading

Socialist Cosmopolitanism

I thought the MCLC list might be interested in Matt Turner’s review of Nicolai Volland’s Socialist Cosmopolitanism. 

Lucas Klein <lklein@hku.hk>

Source: Hyperallergic (11/11/17)
The Past and Future of China’s Socialist Literature
The story Nicolai Volland tells will surprise those who believe communist China was closed to the world, and anyone who thinks communist literature is dull or irrelevant.
By Matt Turner

Socialist Cosmopolitanism: The Chinese Literary Universe, 1945-1965, by Penn State professor Nicolai Volland, will not find its way onto many bedside tables — which is too bad. Although peppered with academic tics and Heideggerian terms, it’s nevertheless an engaging study of Chinese communist literature. The story he tells will surprise those who believe communist China was closed to the world, and anyone who thinks communist literature is dull or irrelevant. Volland’s thesis — that voices in Chinese literature from 1945 to 1965 were aware of, participated in, and helped shape international literary conversations — bucks notions that communist China was an intellectual police state and literary backwater.

Volland’s narrative goes something like this: During the nominally democratic period immediately preceding the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, foreign literature was frequently translated. Two major writers of the period, Lu Xun and Mao Dun, helped found Yiwen (Translations), a magazine devoted to translation and poetics. During that time, Chinese literature drew widely from Western, as well as other models of modern literature for inspiration, as did Yiwen, promoting internationalism in letters and leftism in politics. The magazine was published for a year. Continue reading

Xu Zhimo event

I’m one of the organizers for the Xu Zhimo event in New York tomorrow. The reason that we are conducting the event in Chinese is that the event is not in the form of a symposium, but rather readings of Xu’s poems and music tributes. We do have some speeches and readings in English such as the remarks by Dr. Tony Hsu, Xu Zhimo’s grandson and a UN interpreter (on a poem he translated into English). See the event program at:

http://chineselectures.org/program_en.pdf (in English)
http://chineselectures.org/program_chinese.pdf (in Chinese)

For people who are interested, you are welcome to tune in live streaming from 2 to 4:30 pm tomorrow at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYloBzl4EWCXn0pXIOa9SOg/live.

The event description is at http://chineselectures.org/upcoming.html

Yong Ho <ho@un.org>

The Great Romantic Xu Zhimo

Source: Sup China (11/16/17)
The Great Romantic of 20th-Century Chinese Poetry, Xu Zhimo

This past spring, I traveled to rural Zhejiang Province to participate in a poetry event. At one of the typically boozy banquets, I was seated next to a local official who, after learning that I’m a translator of Chinese literature, began to tell me breathlessly of the best poet of the last century whom nobody outside of China knew. He lauded the poet’s erudition, his conversancy with Western and Chinese literature, his fascinating life replete with “poetic” exploits with women, and his leading role in dragging Chinese poetry into the 20th century. He spoke in such adulatory terms that I began to suspect that he and this mystery poet were somehow related, or at least lăoxiāng 老乡, hailing from the same hometown. Continue reading

A literary award for plagiarists

Source: Sup China (11/1/17)
A literary award for plagiarists
By Jiayun Feng

“I thought this was something from the Onion at first. But I’m glad to know it is real news.”

“A well-deserved prize for such a despicable plagiarist. We need more awards of this kind in various fields.”

From Weibo (in Chinese)

On November 1, the first Firestone Literary Awards (燧石文学奖 suìshíwénxuéjiǎng) took place in Beijing. A crowd of Chinese authors showed up at the ceremony, where a list of awards was announced, including Best Short Story, Best Novel, and the one that stole the whole show — the White Lotus Award, a special prize dedicated to “awarding” plagiarized works. The phrase white lotus (白莲花 báiliánhuā) is internet slang that refers to someone, usually a woman, who pretends to be sweet and innocent while engaged in manipulation and scheming. Continue reading

Online lit readers number 350 million

Source: China Daily (10/24/17)
Online literature readers number 350 million in China
By Li Hongrui

Online literature readers number 350 million in China

Film adaptation of online literature Once Upon a Time. [Photo/Mtime]

On the subways in Beijing, most people stare at their smartphones. Some play video games or watch TV dramas, while some choose to read.

Online novels are popular among these readers. In fact, more people are becoming registered users on online literature websites or smartphone applications.

The total number of online literature websites users increased to 352 million by the end of June 2017, according to the latest report from China Internet Network Information Center. This shows half of all netizens are online literature readers. Continue reading

Sexual life in modern China

Source: NY Review of Books (10/26/17)
By Ian Johnson

Wang Xiaobo, Beijing, 1996; photograph by Mark Leong

Throughout the late 1970s and 1980s, Chinese writers grappled with the traumas of the Mao period, seeking to make sense of their suffering. As in the imperial era, most had been servants of the state, loyalists who might criticize but never seek to overthrow the system. And yet they had been persecuted by Mao, forced to labor in the fields or shovel manure for offering even the most timid opinions.

Many wrote what came to be known as scar literature, recounting the tribulations of educated people like themselves. A few wrote sex-fueled accounts of coming of age in the vast reaches of Inner Mongolia or the imagined romanticism of Tibet. Almost all of them were self-pitying and insipid, produced by people who were aggrieved by but not reflective about having served a system that killed millions. Continue reading

US-China Poetry Dialogue

Source: Notes on the Mosquito (10/24/17)
US-China Poetry Dialogue at University of Oklahoma

Xi Chuan and other Chinese and American poets are at the University of Oklahoma for the US-China Poetry Dialog, organized by Jonathan Stalling.

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The first public events will be on the 24th at 10:30 a.m. in OU’s Bizzell Memorial Library and 7 p.m. at Fred Jones Museum of Art. There will also be a reading on the 25th in Eureka Springs, AR, at 7 p.m. at the Writers Colony at Dairy Hollow, and on the 26th in Bentonville, AR at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art at 6 p.m. Continue reading

“Lu Xun Travels around the World”

Should anyone be interested in the research background to my translation of Lu Xun’s “What Happens After Nora Lives Home” in the volume Jottings under Lamplight edited by Eileen J. Cheng and Kirk A Denton (a review of which was recently posted on the MCLC list), please see my article “Lu Xun Travels around the World: From Beijing, Oslo and Sydney to Cambridge, Massachusetts”, published in Lu Xun and Australia, edited by Mabel Lee, Chiu-yee Cheung and Sue Wiles (Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishers, 2016), pp. 226-30.

You can download the article here:


Best wishes,

Bonnie S McDougall Continue reading

Interview with Ma Jian

Source: Deutsche Welle (10/18/17)
Chinese author Ma Jian: ‘The Communist Party keeps their people well-fed, but in a cage’
Every five years, China’s Communist Party convenes at a special congress. Can the one taking place now bring about political change? DW spoke with Chinese author and activist Ma Jian, who lives in Berlin.

Chinese author Ma Jian (picture-alliance/U. Baumgarten)

Ma Jian

Ma Jian was born in Qingdao, Shandong Province, East China in 1953. He lived and worked as a writer, photographer and painter in Beijing, then later in Hong Kong, before moving to London in 1999. A political dissident then and an outspoken critic of Communist China ever since, his award-winning literary works of his travels through China and Tibet lent voice to his country’s “lost generation.”

His most famous book, “Beijing Coma,” was published in 2008 and likewise garnered numerous awards. For his book “The Dark Road,” published in 2013, which explores China’s one-child policy, he traveled extensively through the country’s remote interior. Continue reading