The National (“Scotland’s only daily newspaper supporting independence”) has a write-up on Staunin Ma Lane, Brian Holton’s translation into Scots of a selection of classical Chinese poetry.
The originals date back as far as the eighth century and Holton, who says his Scots versions retains the emotional resonance, holds a strong respect for the material, saying: “If you step outside your own culture and start opening doors you never regret it.
“Pre-modern China is so different. There are more books in Chinese than any other culture in the world. It is the oldest continuous culture in the world.
“The book is an introduction to Chinese poetry in my attempt to show it can be funny and daft. It isn’t all sages sitting under trees.”
Born in Galashiels, Holton lived in Nigeria with his socialist parents, a former commando father who could speak French and Swahili and a Border Scots mum.
Holton added: “I’ve been pushing for Scots all my life. It’s an old tongue with a long history and a big range.
“I want to say to the reader, ‘deek whit the mither tongue can dae – gin it can dae this, whit’ll it no can dae?’”
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