Eliot Weinberger’s classic study of “how a Chinese poem is translated,” Nineteen Ways of Looking at Wang Wei, has just been published in Chinese translation.
Here’s a quick write-up about it, from The World of Chinese:
For American translator and writer Eliot Weinberger, this is all part of the charm of the job. Weinberger has collected different versions of “The Deer Park” from all over the world, and in his book 19 Ways of Looking at Wang Wei, chose a select number to introduce and review, from simple transliterations to Kenneth Rexroth’s highly loose interpretation. As Octavio Paz writes in an afterword to the book: “Eliot Weinberger’s commentary on the successive translations of Wang Wei’s little poem illustrates, with succinct clarity, not only the evolution of the art of translation in the modern period but, at the same time, the changes in poetic sensibility.”
Now, Weinberger’s book has been translated back into Chinese, and published by the Commercial Press. Whether you are interested in Chinese poetry, or simply curious about the vagaries of translation, it comes highly recommended.
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