Internet, novel, historical studies, how to revive Shanghai’s French Concession?

Xiao Bai . Paris, mars 2014The French Concession of Shanghai is a fascinating episode in French colonial history and development of Shanghai. A “thriller”by Xiao Bai, has just been published and re-creates with talent and a remarkable historical accuracy the turbulences of the year 1931 in the “French Concession”.Once the book is finished, many questions remain which can be met by historical studies but also with the contribution, slightly disappointing,of the Internet.

 

 

– A “thriller” and a “historical” novel:Lire la suite

Cinema by Gao Xingjian: “Requiem for beauty”.

Gao Xingjian 5A film screened at the festival “Book District”, a week scheduled by the Academy and the Hall of the fifth district of Paris. One evening where Gao Xingjian also presented his poetry, translated by Noël Dutrait (1), his friend, an academic well known in particular for translating the works of two Nobel Prize Gao Xingjian in 2000 and Mo Yan in 2013.

 

– Gao Xingjian, a complete artist:

 

Two books made him famous: … Lire la suite

Guo Songfen, a Taiwanese novelist and a victim of the Diaoyu islands…

Guo SongfenThe Diaoyu Islands (Sendaku) are located 200 km NE of Taiwan and 400 km SE of Okinawa. They are uninhabited and were part, with Taiwan, of the territorial conquests of Japan after the defeat of China and the treaty of Simonoseki (1895).

 

At the end of World War II, Chiang Kai-shek refused to occupy these islands; the United States returned them to Japan with the Okinawa Treaty signed in 1970. Protests from Taiwan and … Lire la suite

Han Suyin: Malaysia, the difficult birth of a nation.

Han Suyin 5Han Suyin passed away three years ago in Lausanne. She is one of the few authors that I do not want to read because her hagiography of the most questionable episodes in the recent history of China is quite unbearable. But a friend advised me to read “And the rain my drink” written in Malaysia and considered one of the best books on the anti-British guerrilla which casted a tragic shadow over this country from … Lire la suite

Feng Tang, “sexuality is almost my trademark”.

 

Feng Tang 5Feng Tang is a writer famous in China but controversial as a result of certain publications considered by censorship as pornographic. It is not a camouflage; nothing political in his books, no direct social criticism. The behavior of his heroes, however, shows a failure to adapt and sometimes a reject of excessive consumption..

 

– Literature, “a very serious hobby”:

 

Feng Tang is a surprising cocktail: gynecologist, consultant, entrepreneur and investor; author of stories … Lire la suite

Keris Mas, in Malaysia compromise between tradition and modernity.

Keris Mas 9Keris Mas (1922-1992) is a major writer of Malay literature. Militant in the 1950s against British colonialism and in favor of “art for the people”, he will try to decrease obstacles against   progress in society while justifying in his four novels and sixty short stories the necessary compromise between tradition and modernity.

 

Two of his novels have been translated into French by Brigitte Bresson: colonial Malaysia with “The Jungle of Hope” (1-4), … Lire la suite

For Xinran, generations of single children are not an asset for China.

XinranThis 1st of January marks the end of the one-child policy in China. Many comments highlighted the demographic and economic consequences of this decision. Xinran’s book, “The single child” just translated into French from the English version “Buy me the sky”, focuses on the impact of this generation of children, on cultural values ​​of the family and the way they lead their lives.

–         Thirty five years of repressive policy:

 

The one-child … Lire la suite

Qiu Miaojin: love letters and a suicide in Paris…

Qiu MiaojinQiu Miaojin is a cult author in Taiwan and not only in the gay communities. Translation, last

year of “Last words from Montmartre” in a prestigious collection (1) will make a name for this talented young woman who committed suicide in Paris in 1995 a few weeks after her 26 birthday.

– A cult status in Taiwan:

The impact of this book can partly be explained by the political developments in the island. … Lire la suite

Chinese literature, to promote it on the web…

WenchangWe will shy away from the seasonal reporting exercises, which, for Chinese literature, do not have much sense. We will just try to ask ourself a few questions after following the excellent MOOC “Writing for the web”, organized by Rue89. However, to promote Chinese literature, the web is necessary but not always sufficient.

Read and write on the web:

A MOOC during four weeks, led by a team including Estelle Dumont, Valerie Vergez and Mathieu … Lire la suite

Yan Ge: families, humour, Sichuan, a spicy dish.

Yan Ge 2In the generation of Chinese writers who just turned thirty, the name of Yan Ge is often mentioned first. She talks about her childhood, the families that surround her home, her Sichuan province; history, politics are far less important than humor!

Yan Ge was born in Chengdu in Sichuan, a province that plays an important role in her work. She began publishing at the age of ten, won her first literary prize at 17 and … Lire la suite

Read “Paper Republic” (2)

Cao Wenxuan

Cao Wenxuan

Two months ago, we have already mentioned the “Read Paper Republic”program. On Thursdays, the site of these English translators living in China, Great Britain or the United States, publishes a translation of a short story or poem by a contemporary Chinese writer.

This initiative has been able to support writers with a limited audience outside China and created interest on social networks for Chinese literature. In recent weeks, texts of good … Lire la suite

Yang Mu and Taiwan, a love story…

Yang MuYang Mu is undoubtedly one of the major writers among those who write in Chinese; he is best known as a poet particularly in Taiwan where he was born and the United States where he has spent most of his academic career.

He has won in 2013 the Newman Prize, awarded by the University of Oklahoma and an international jury to an author writing in Chinese (of any nationality). He is in good company with… Lire la suite

Qiu Xiaolong: Inspector Chen investigates in Provence…

City of Books- Aix en Provence.

City of Books- Aix en Provence.

Henning Mankell, the “star” of the Swedish crime novel, was to be the guest of honor at the Book Festival of Aix en Provence from the 9th to the 11th October and to dialogue with several writers and especially Qiu Xiaolong. The death of Henning Mankel on October 5th was a blow to this Aix Book Fair, organized by the association “Crossed Writings” under the guidance of Annie … Lire la suite