Call for abstracts | The Moving Target: Translation and Chinese Poetry
On 1-2 June 2018, Maghiel van Crevel and Lucas Klein will convene a workshop entitled “The Moving Target: Translation and Chinese Poetry” at Leiden University, toward the publication of an edited volume in 2019.
Participants will arrive on 31 May and depart on 3 June. Hotel accommodation and all meals will be funded by the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (LIAS), the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) and other local funding bodies.
The workshop aims to conjoin critical engagement with the notion of translation with deep linguistic, literary and cultural knowledge on poetry in Chinese: written in Chinese, translated into Chinese, or translated from Chinese into other languages.
We take translation to encompass everything from the reproduction in a target language of a text in a source language to cultural translation in its various interpretations. Examples of the latter include Chinese-foreign interactions of poetry’s texts, contexts and metatexts, but also interactions “within Chinese,” for instance between classical and modern cultural forms or between various identifications and persuasions in poetry.
In addition to the generic significance of studying translation-and-poetry, contributors will be encouraged to draw on issues that are specific to cultural China. For example: the proverbial and debatable untranslatability of classical Chinese poetry, modern Chinese poetry’s “foreign origins” and the conspicuous presence of foreign poetries in Chinese-language poetic discourse, and the power of poetry as a meme in Chinese cultural tradition, including social and political dimensions of this tradition.
We welcome proposals for broad-strokes essays as well as case studies from a variety of perspectives: textual and contextual, critical and historical, theoretical and methodological, etc. Abstracts of about 300 words should be sent to m.van.crevel @ hum.leidenuniv.nl and lklein @ hku.hk.
Deadline for abstracts: 18 December 2017. The selection of abstracts will be completed and invitations will go out early in January 2018. Full draft papers of c. 8000 words must reach the conveners by 23 April. All papers will be made available to all participants by 1 May. The workshop’s design will maximize time for discussion and feedback. Revised papers will be expected by 15 October.
Please consider submitting an abstract, forward this information to those you think might be interested and let us know if you need any additional information.
Maghiel and Lucas
Announcing the Ancient Asia Issue of Cha (December 2013), featuring new translations of Chinese poetry by Xi Chuan, Tao Yuanming 陶淵明, Du Fu 杜甫, He Qifang 何其芳, Xiao Kaiyu 肖开愚, Liu Yong 柳永, the Shijing 詩經, Laozi 老子, Du Mu 杜牧, and Li Shangyin 李商隱, and new work by Eliot Weinberger, Matthew Turner, Eleanor Goodman, Sharmistha Mohanty, and Jonathan Stalling. The full list of contributors:
Translation: Lucas Klein, A.K. Ramanjuan, Reid Mitchell, George Life, Canaan Morse, Michael Gray, Christopher Lupke, Dulal Al Monsur, Nicholas Francis, Michael Farman, Michael O’Hara, Eleanor Goodman, Chloe Garcia Roberts
Poetry: Eliot Weinberger, Matthew Turner, W.F. Lantry, Aditi Rao, Stuart Christie, Luca L., Xiao Pinpin, Kate Rogers, Pey Pey Oh, DeWitt Clinton, Elizabeth Schultz, Stephanie V Sears, Joshua Burns, James Shea, Sean Prentiss, Steven Schroeder, Marjorie Evasco, Arjun Rajendran, Pui Ying Wong, Julia Gordon-Bramer, June Nandy, Janice Ko Luo, Stuart Greenhouse, Barbara Boches, Cathy Bryant, Justin Hill, Eleanor Goodman
Fiction: John Givens, Xie Shi Min, Sharmistha Mohanty, Zhou Tingfeng, Khanh Ha
Articles: Jonathan Stalling, Michael Tsang
Creative non-fiction: Pavle Radonic
Photography & art: Alvin Pang (cover artist), Adam Aitken
Click the image above to access the full issue.
David Tod Roy on his recently completed translation of The Plum in the Golden Vase or, Chin P’ing Mei 金瓶梅:
I came to believe that in order to study the Chin P’ing Mei accurately, I would need to have some means of control over the text, so I spent about two years making a card index of every line of poetry, parallel prose, and proverbial sayings in the entire novel. I ended up with tens of thousands of file cards. People said, “Why didn’t you hire a graduate student to do that?” But I knew that wouldn’t have worked. With this information at my fingertips, I could read through earlier Chinese drama and poetry, and whenever I saw something that seemed familiar, I could check the index cards within seconds to see whether or not that phrase occurred in the Chin P’ing Mei. That’s how I wrote the notes of my translation. Without having compiled this index, I never could have done it.I tried to read every extant work of Chinese fiction and drama in circulation before the Chin P’ing Mei was published. That’s a huge project, but I kept discovering more and more sources.
Click the image above for his complete comments.
Also see my feature “Xi Chuan: Poetry of the Anti-lyric” from an earlier issue, with translations of “Power Outage” 停电, “Re-reading Borges’s Poetry” 重读博尔赫斯诗歌, and “Three Chapters on Dusk” 黄昏三章. (And my earlier co-translations of poems by Bei Dao 北岛 with Clayton Eshleman).
Note that this will be the last issue of Cerise Press. The journal will remain archived at cerisepress.com as a resource for readers and educators.
The new, fifth anniversary edition of Cha is now available, with a Hong Kong Feature with work by Nicholas Wong, Kit Fan, Eddie Tay, Arthur Leung, Jason Hun Eng Lee, Belle Ling, and Jennifer Wong, and the “Misrepresentation” Flash Fiction winners, Tom Mangoine, Angelo B. Ancheta, and Hema S. Raman.
I’ll be guest-editing the “Ancient Asia Issue,” scheduled to launch September 2013–so get your submissions ready. See also their earlier publication of my translation of five sections from Xi Chuan’s “Thirty Historical Reflections” 鉴史三十章 from their China Issue.
Luka Bekavac, Fili Žganjar, Darko Šeparović, Darija Žilić, Marija Karaklajić, Olja Savičević Ivančević, Monika Bregović, Irena Čurik,Goran Pavlić, Alem Korkut, Boris Greiner, Miroslav Mićanović, Marinela, Mario Suško, Senko Karuza, Vesna Biga, Suzana Bosnić, Darija Domić, Ivan Molek, Igor Rončević, Krešimir Pintarić, Dorta Jagić, Marko Pogačar, Katarina Brajdić, Kemal Mujičić Artnam, Tonko Maroević, Ivan Šamija, Anera Ryznar, Vladimir Arsenić
For Alligator‘s earlier publication of my Xi Chuan translations, check out these: “A Personal Paradise” 个人的天堂, “Friends” 熟人, “Companion” 伴侣, “Drizzle” 连阴雨, and selections from “Answering Venus (45 Fragments)” 回答启明星(45断章).
If poets are, as P. B. Shelley wrote, “the unacknowledged legislators of the world,” then translation must be one of the unacknowledged legislators of poetry. Certainly translation of Chinese poetry has been essential to modern American writing: Ezra Pound’s Cathay didn’t just invent, as T. S. Eliot put it, “Chinese poetry for our time,” it invented the possibility within English for modes of writing recognizable as somehow Chinese. Poets as dissimilar as Charles Reznikoff and Stanley Kunitz, or Charles Wright and J. H. Prynne, have built careers inhabiting these modes; from Gary Snyder’s Mountains and Rivers Without End to John Ashbery’s Mountains and Rivers, we know Chinese whispers when we hear them in American poetry because we have read Chinese poetry in an English first invented by Pound.
Never mind the inaccuracies that have often come with translating poetry from Chinese to English; inaccuracies have been one of poetic translation’s more fruitful possibilities: Aramaic gamla may mean both “camel” and “rope,” but would we cite the Bible’s suspicion of the rich entering heaven if not for the striking surrealism of camels passing through needle-eyes? Or, in that case, mind the inaccuracies, because through them a kind of poetry is born. And this is the kind of poetry that Jonathan Stalling brings us with Yingelishi: Sinophonic English Poetry and Poetics.