Remembrance for Meng Lang

For info: There will be a remembrance for Meng Lang, in Queens, NYC, this coming Saturday 2pm:

Quoting the announcement:

孟浪先生追思会公告
著名诗人、出版家、人权活动者孟浪先生因病于2018年12月12日在香港逝世,享年57岁。

孟浪先生在纽约有许多文学艺术界的朋友,他也是天问联合学会、中国战略分析智库的创始董事。为缅怀他的一生、他的诗、他作为民主战士的足迹,中国战略分析智库、纽约当代中国艺术家协会、天问联合学会决定共同举办孟浪先生追思会,敬请关注。

时间:2018年12月22日下午2:00~4:00
地点:131-23 31st Ave. Flushing NY 11354,中国战略分析智库会议室
联系人:荣伟(646-595-5888) 张杰(312-752-0875)

中国战略分析智库、纽约当代中国艺术家协会、天问联合学会谨启
2018年12月13日

–posted by Magnus Fiskesjö <nf42@cornell.edu>

Ma Jian finds echoes of Mao and Orwell

Source: NYT (12/14/18)
A Dissident Chinese Novelist Finds Echoes of Mao, and Orwell
By Mike Ives

“Only in literature can we fully express the injustices of society, the extremes of human nature and our hopes for a beautiful future,” said Ma Jian while he was in Hong Kong for the annual literary festival. CreditCreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

HONG KONG — Ma Jian, an exiled Chinese novelist who lives in London, took the stage at a packed Hong Kong theater last month and asked the audience a question: Who among them had read “1984”?

Mr. Ma, 65, was at the annual Hong Kong International Literary Festival to promote “China Dream,” his satirical novel about President Xi Jinping’s eponymous domestic propaganda campaign. He told the crowd that the book, published last month in English (Counterpoint will offer it in the United States in May 2019), showed how the dystopian future that George Orwell’s fiction once warned about had become a reality in the Chinese mainland under Mr. Xi’s leadership. Continue reading

Meng Lang passes away (1)

Thank you for this posting.

I myself first knew Meng Lang in the 1980s when I was also very much into literature and poetry (and translations), and worked in Beijing; Meng Lang and I rejoined contact again in recent years, over the Chinese state kidnapping in late 2015 of our fellow friend, Gui Minhai, the Swedish citizen and HK publisher who was also part of the same poetry and literary circles in China in the 1980s onwards. In exile, Meng Lang devoted much time and energy to the Independent Chinese PEN club he co-directed, and especially to defending and helping imprisoned fellow writers, including Gui Minhai, and I much admire him for it.

I wrote on Twitter, that I will always remember him as the kind, warm, fundamentally decent human being that he was. Brave, which you used, is another most suitable word for Meng Lang. I think there will be many more tributes to Meng Lang and his life’s work. Continue reading

Meng Lang passes away

I’m sad to share the news that Meng Lang passed away on Dec. 12 from lung cancer. I’m grateful that I had the chance to meet him in 2016 and to work with him on translating some of his poetry that he wrote in tribute to Liu Xiaobo. Just this February he published an anthology of poetry in Liu Xiaobo’s memory, The Contemporary (同时代人:刘晓波纪念诗集). He did brilliant, brave work as long as he was able.

http://cn.rfi.fr/中国/20181212-中国异议诗人孟浪病逝香港

Anne Henochowicz 何安妮
@annemhdc

The April 3rd Incident review

Source: SCMP (11/29/18)
Yu Hua’s short stories portray disturbing personal and political realities of modern China
The April 3rd incident cements the Chinese author’s position as a literary enfant terrible, mixing techniques and times to weave narratives that are more fantasy than fiction
By James Kidd

The April 3rd Incident
by Yu Hua
[Translated by Allan H. Barr]
Pantheon

The April 3rd Incident collects recent short stories by China’s literary enfant terrible.

Yu Hua’s reputation owes much to his experiments with avant-garde techniques (sudden leaps in time or perspective, unholy clashes of comedy and tragedy), his relish of violence and the scatological (toilets both sumptuous and rudimentary proliferate in his inter­national breakthrough, Brothers, 2005), and how such devices drive the political intent of his writing: the jagged edges of Yu’s fiction reflect “realities of modern Chinese society [that] are even more fantastical than fiction”. Continue reading

Changpian 21

Source: Changpian 21 (12/9/18)
长篇 // Changpian // Longform
By Tabitha Speelman

Welcome to the 21st edition of Changpian, a selection of feature and opinion writing in Chinese. With other resources devoted to the many interesting sound bites on Chinese social media, this newsletter focuses on some of the wealth of longer writing that is produced in Chinese, both in traditional news media and on platforms like WeChat. 

Changpian includes any nonfiction writing, from stories and investigations to interviews and blog posts, that I found worth my time — and that you might like as well. It is put together by me, Tabitha Speelman, a Dutch researcher currently based in Shanghai. Feedback is very welcome (tabitha.speelman@gmail.com or @tabithaspeelman). Back issues can be found here.

I’m glad to return to the newsletter from a new location and after a break that was longer than planned. Welcome also to new readers, who found Changpian despite the lack of updates! From now on it should be back to about once a month. Continue reading

Book translations 2018

The Paper Republic folk have come up with their end-of-year list again and it’s a bumper one: thirty novels or other book-length works ranging from classics to contemporary literature, scifi to short stories, and a beautiful graphic memoir (Rao Pingru), as well as six poetry collections and assorted children’s and YA books.And some of last year’s books have won or been listed for prestigious prizes: Remains of Life by Wu He, tr. Michael Berry (Columbia University Press), 2017, was shortlisted for the Best Translated Book Award 2018. Notes of a Crocodile, Qiu Miaojin, tr. Bonnie Huie (New York Review Books), was longlisted for the 2018 PEN Translation Prize and won the 2018 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize.The Stolen Bicycle, by Wu Ming-yi, tr. Darryl Sterk (Text Publishing Company), was longlisted for The Man Booker International Prize.

Click Roll-call of Book Translations from Chinese in 2018 for the full list.

many thanks,

Nicky Harman <n.harmanic@gmail.com>

Gate of Memories wins Chinese sci-fi award

Source: China Daily (11/4/18)
Cyborg story wins Chinese sci-fi award
By Xinhua

Chen Qiufan (R). [File photo/IC]

CHONGQING – A novel about human-robot relations won the best saga novel prize of the 9th Xingyun (Nebula) Award for Global Chinese Science Fiction, which was announced Saturday.

Gate of Memories by Chinese writer Jiang Bo [江波] tells of a time when humans turn their bodies into machines to extend lifespan but face a looming attack from super AI. Continue reading

Ma Jian at the HK literary festival

Source: NYT (11/10/)
Ma Jian, Exiled Chinese Novelist, Hails Appearance as Victory for Rights
阅读简体中文版 | 閱讀繁體中文版
By Mike Ives

Ma Jian, center, said the totalitarian society George Orwell predicted in “1984” had been “completely and totally” realized in China.CreditCreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

HONG KONG — An exiled Chinese novelist spoke at a literary festival in Hong Kong on Saturday, two days after his appearance had been briefly canceled in a move that was widely seen as the latest erosion of freedoms in the semiautonomous city.

The writer, Ma Jian, whose appearances at the Hong Kong International Literary Festival were reinstated at the last minute, said the reversal “proves the failure” of self-censorship.

Mr. Ma, a British citizen who lives in exile in London, said on Saturday that a robust literary culture helps to “safeguard the bottom line of our civilization.” Continue reading

Composing Modernist Connections in China and Europe

I would like to call the list members’ attention to the publication of Composing Modernist Connections in China and Europe, edited by me and published by Routledge in the series “Routledge Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature.” Here is the link to the publisher’s website, followed by a blurb:

https://www.routledge.com/Connecting-Moments-in-Chinese-and-European-Modernisms/Zhang/p/book/9781138599048

Global modernisms are marked by tremendous transformations in lifestyle, historical consciousness, cultural values, ethics, wars, and crises. This book emphasizes modernist connections within literature, culture, history, and media beyond the nation state and the bifurcation between East and West. Instead of deconstructing and separating, Composing Modernist Connections in China and Europe composes and forges new combinations, linkages, and translations that place Chinese and European modernisms on an equal footing. This book features contributions on James Joyce, Stefan George, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Anna Seghers, Qian Zhongshu, Weimar labor modernism, Chinese wartime literature, Chinese movies in divided Germany, and Sinophone modernity among other subjects.

Chunjie Zhang <chjzhang@ucdavis.edu>

On the Margins of Modernism review

MCLC and MCLC Resource Center are pleased to announce publication of Angie Chau’s review of On the Margins of Modernism: Xu Xu, Wumingshi and Popular Chinese Literature in the 1940s (Edinburgh UP, 2017), by Christopher Rosenmeier. The review appears below and online at: http://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/angie-chau/. My thanks to Nicholas Kaldis, MCLC literary studies book review editor, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk A. Denton, editor

On the Margins of Modernism: Xu Xu,
Wumingshi and Popular Chinese Literature in the 1940s
By Christopher Rosenmeier


Reviewed by Angie Chau
MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright November, 2018)


Christopher Rosenmeier, On the Margins of Modernism: Xu Xu, Wumingshi and Popular Chinese Literature in the 1940s Edinburg: Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh East Asian Studies Series, 2017. vi, 139 pp. ISBN: 9780748696369 (Hardback) // ISBN: 9781474444477 (Paperback: March 2019).

Up to now, Xu Xu 徐訏 (1908–1980) and Wumingshi 無名氏 (1917–2002), two of the most widely-read writers in the 1940s, have been neglected in English-language literary studies of modernism during the Republican period. Christopher Rosenmeier’s On the Margins of Modernism: Xu Xu, Wumingshi and Popular Chinese Literature in the 1940s aims to correct that oversight by providing readers with ample translations and clear textual analyses of the writers’ (lesser known) works.

Focusing on popular literature published during the Sino-Japanese war (1937–1945), Rosenmeier’s study shows how Xu Xu and Wumingshi’s stories and novels appealed to a broad readership and drew upon the earlier literary experimentation of New Sensationists Shi Zhecun and Mu Shiying. Rosenmeier argues that because both authors “stayed outside politics” (2) and because their fiction, which navigates the border between romanticism and modernism defies easy categorization, Xu Xu and Wumingshi have been marginalized in the Chinese literary canon. Continue reading

Shanghai Literary Imaginings

MCLC and MCLC Resource Center are pleased to announce publication of Andrew Field’s review of Shanghai Literary Imaginings: A City in Transformation (Amsterdam UP, 2015), by Lena Scheen. The review appears below and online at: http://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/field/. My thanks to Nicholas Kaldis, MCLC literary studies book review editor, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk A. Denton, editor

Shanghai Literary Imaginings: 
A City in Transformation

By Lena Scheen


Reviewed by Andrew David Field
MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright November, 2018)


Lena Scheen, Shanghai Literary Imaginings: A City in Transformation Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, Asian Cities Series, 2015. 284 pp. ISBN: 9789089645876 (Hardcover), E-ISBN: 978904852223 1 (PDF).

There are innumerable Shanghais, an infinity of them perhaps, as Lena Scheen ponders at the end of her interdisciplinary book Shanghai Literary Imaginings: A City in Transformation, which probes the city’s transformation in the era of postsocialism and marketization through an original and insightful juxtaposition of literary texts, maps, and observations. And yet, what defines Shanghai as a city? We can ask historians this question and get many different answers: Shanghai is a city of sojourners; a hotbed of criminality; a honeycomb of opium dens; a cauldron of revolution; a sad city full of “fallen women.” The list goes on. Of course, these are definitions that fit better with the “old Shanghai” of our collective imagination, which existed or may have existed in the early twentieth century, rather than the realities of the city today. Continue reading