Reading Chinese novels in the West.

The Macau Ricci Institute asked me a few months ago to prepare an article on contemporary Chinese literature and the West. This text has been published in English and Chinese in the April issue of the journal “Chinese Cross Currents.” This magazine has posted the article which was written after a dozen interviews with editors and translators in England, France and the United States.

We will give a quick summary and hope for exchange of … Lire la suite

Who translates and publishes Chinese literature in French?

The site http://paper-republic.org/ plays an important role: it publicizes Chinese literature abroad and encourages publishers to develop their catalog. The site was founded by a group of well known English speaking translators, some of them living in China.

1 / “Paper-Republic” and Chinese literature in French:

 

The site, managed in recent months by Helen Wang, has been very active with the book fair in London where China was the guest of honor. Helen Wang … Lire la suite

Yang Xianhui and Wang Bing: let survivors of labour camps talk and testify.

Two films by Wang Bing are just released: “Fengming, chronicle of a Chinese woman,” an amazing documentary film, three hours long, where a long time Communist recounts her life and the death of her husband in a camp, in a casual and controlled way, but where one can feel love and humanity. “The Ditch” is a film that deals with a camp for “reeducation through labor” and the famine of 1960. Both films are directly … Lire la suite

Anne Cheng: Confucius reassessed, a Chinese export product.

 

 

Since 2008, Anne Cheng, a former student of the Ecole Normale Supérieure, leads in the Collège de France her research and teaching activities on the intellectual history of China, after having carried them under the CNRS and the National Institute of Oriental Languages ​​and Civilizations (INALCO).

Her translation of ” The Analects” of Confucius and her “Histoire de la pensée chinoise” have become classics. She was kind enough to analyse current events … Lire la suite

Shi Zhecun, modernism and continuity in Shanghai.

The publisher Bleu de Chine Gallimard has published several books of good quality on literature of the 1930s including an excellent collection of texts and drawings by Feng Zikai (1).

With the short stories by Shi Zhecun (2), published a few months ago, in a translation by Marie Laureillard and Gilles Cabrero, you can discover an author somewhat forgotten and whom we knew only with two short stories translated into the excellent book “The Shanghai … Lire la suite

Wuhe presents “The Survivors” of a drama during the colonial period.

c

When a book is recommended by readers of Rue 89, the French translator, Emmanuelle Péchenart, Actes Sud publishers, Isabelle Rabut and Angel Pino, the American translator, Michael Berry and in addition related to a successful film “Seediq Bale “, you start to be anxious fearing to be disappointed. Wrong,” The Survivors “is a great book …

1 – Some milestones:

Aborigines of Taiwan, the first occupants of the island, represent less than 500,000, … Lire la suite

Su Tong settles scores with people living on the banks of the river.

The Chinese writer Su Tong is one of the favorites of the public, both in China and the West since the success of the film “Raise the Red Lantern” (1991), adapted from one of his novels.

Nine books translated into French and success also with the Man Asia prize in 2009 for ” The Bank of the River” (1) (previously translated into English as “The Boat to Redemption”).The many talents of the author are also … Lire la suite

Is internet the future of literature?

China is now the No. 1 worldwide for both the number of internet users and for mobile phones. Such an environment supported an extremely rapid development of literature on the internet. Creative writing, the role of publishers, the relationship between literature and other media, all that is doomed to change …

1 – China on the fast track:

 

China, with its 460 million Internet users has passed the United States; these users  are young, … Lire la suite

Anne Sastourné: from a text to a book…

Anne Sastourné is a publisher with the “Éditions du Seuil”, responsible for the Far East; she was kind enough to answer our questions.

Can one speak of an editorial policy?

 

At the Seuil, what matters is a literary quality and a certain intellectual level, it’s an opening line.

This sector Far East was built by my predecessor, Vincent Bardet, and I took over there about ten years ago. I have three different responsabilities: I … Lire la suite

“The fat years” of China in 2013, a novel by Chan Koonchung.

An excellent novel of political and social fiction has been translated into English this summer with an interesting preface by Julia Lovell under the title “The Fat Years” (1). The French translation (” Les Années Fastes”) will be published by Grasset early next year.

The author, Chan Koonchung, was the guest of a meeting organized in Paris by the CERI (Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales) at Sciences Po and Rue89. The presentation organized by … Lire la suite

Bi Feiyu, a Chinese writer in the world of the blind.

The Chinese novelist Bi Feiyu has been awarded in recent months the two most prestigious literary awards in Asia and particularly the Mao Dun prize, the Chinese “Goncourt”. In Paris for a few days, on the occasion of the release of his latest novel “The Blind” (1), we were able to meet him: a bon vivant, a good craftsman, happy in today’s China.

A reputation that is growing rapidly:

 

Well supported by his French … Lire la suite

In Nanjing, Bi Feiyu, a relaxed writer…

The first part of the interview with Bi Feiyu in Paris was published, with the review of his book “The Blind”, on Rue89; you will find here what is related to his writing …

The ‘long list’ of the novels for the Mao Dun award has led to controversy:

 

It is true that on this list and among the winners, there are Presidents and Vice Presidents of the regional groups of the Writers Union. … Lire la suite

Ha Jin, how a major Chinese writer became an American.

As an immigrant or an exile, how do you fit in a new country, how can you survive, how does one live with a new language, new environment, values and references that are foreign. “A free life” (1), now translated into French, the novel, largely autobiographical, by the great Chinese writer Ha Jin, who became an American citizen, handles these issues with intelligence and emotion.

Immigrant or exile:

 

Born into a family in … Lire la suite