On 1–2 June 2018, an international group of scholars will meet at Leiden University to discuss fifteen papers that bring together expert knowledge on poetry in Chinese and critical engagement with the notion of translation. Texts, authors, and issues discussed range from the ancient Book of Songs to 21st-century migrant worker poetry and from Yu Xiuhua in English to Paul Celan in Chinese. The papers highlight the richness of the study of interlingual and cultural translation, with Chinese poetry as a shining example.
The workshop is open to all and you are welcome to attend any or all of the presentations.
Attending the workshop will be Joseph Allen, Lucas Klein, Nicholas Morrow Williams, Zhou Min, Tara Coleman, Chris Song, Christopher Lupke, Jenn Marie Nunes, Liansu Meng, Joanna Krenz, Jacob Edmond, Eleanor Goodman, Nick Admussen, Rui Kunze, Maghiel van Crevel, and Wilt Idema.
Click the image for further information, including a full schedule with paper titles.
Asymptote has published new translations of Xiao Kaiyu 蕭開愚 poetry by Christopher Lupke.
He sleeps in a swimming pool filled with ancient texts,
a renovated workshop, looking into the air,
speaking short incomprehensible sentences.
Unfathomable ideas are concealed in stiff reeds of utterance,
The soldier’s language comes from an imperceptible battlefield, but who can understand it?
Click the image above for the full suite.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015 – 4:30pm
Dr. Christopher Lupke, Washington State University
Welsh Humanities Classroom Building, Room 304, University of South Carolina
Christopher Lupke will provide a reading of his translations of contemporary Chinese poet Xiao Kaiyu’s work. Xiao Kaiyu is widely revered in China for the challenging structure and innovative use of language found in his verse. Spending several years in Germany, Xiao frequently comments obliquely on social issues facing ordinary people in China, on the pressures under which they labor, and on the ways they negotiate their practical and spiritual lives on a daily basis. The linguistic difficulty and profoundly serious subject matter are what first attracted Lupke to his work. Translating Xiao into English has been like solving a puzzle, but a puzzle that could be solved in many different ways, and in no way at all. It has been an extremely demanding process. In this reading and desultory discussion, Lupke argues that translation is one of the most difficult modes of creative writing that deserves to be considered alongside its more privileged siblings that are typically, but erroneously, deemed to be “original” work in contrast to the derivative nature of translation. Given the utter complexity of Xiao Kaiyu’s work in its language-busting modes, and the fundamental differences in expression between Chinese and English, the work of the translator can be viewed as nothing less than a creative effort. Lupke’s translations of Xiao Kaiyu’s poetry have appeared in New England Review, Five Points, Free Verse, Eleven Eleven, Epiphany, Michigan Quarterly Review, Cha: An Asian Literary Review, E-Ratio, and Asymptote, as well as some anthologies. He is currently seeking a publisher for a collection of Xiao’s work in English.
Click the image above for further details.
The new issue of E·ratio includes four poems by Xiao Kaiyu 肖开愚, as translated by Chris Lupke. Here’s a sample:
In answering a well-intentioned query, Milton
declared: “Oh Leader, vengeance!”
I asked him to emulate the scorched youths who
suffered so he could get the power they craved.
Click here to download the .pdf publication.
The journal Epiphany, with Nick Admussen as poetry editor, has published a suite of contemporary Chinese pieces, including the following:
- Chun Sue 春树 (translated by Martin Winter)
- Mu Cao 墓草 (translated by Scott E. Myers)
- Liu Waitong 廖偉棠 (translated by Audrey Heijins)
- Xiao Kaiyu 肖开愚 (translated by Christopher Lupke)
- Haizi 海子 (translated by Nick Kaldis)
- Sai Sai (Xi Xi) 西西 (translated by Jennifer Feeley)
- Hsia Yü 夏宇 (translated by Steve Bradbury)
- Yao Feng 姚风 (translated by Tam Hio Man and Kit Kelen)
- Han Dong 韩东 (translated by Nicky Harman)
- Huang Lihai 黄礼孩 (translated by Song Zijiang)
Click the image above for an online sample, including pieces by Mu Cao and Hsia Yü:
He says the world is very big
We should go outside and look around
That’s how one wards off sadness
We should go to a gay bathhouse in Beijing
And experience group sex with a hundred people
Or go to Dongdan Park, or Sanlihe, or Madian
And know a different kind of lust
If I could visit Yellow Crane Tower
I’d have new inspiration for writing poems
He says all the great artists
Were fine comrades like us
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.
The most up-to-date anthology of contemporary Chinese poetry, translated by American poets and edited by the executive editor of the bilingual literary journal Poetry East West. Showcasing the achievement of Chinese poetry in the last twenty years, a time of tremendous literary ferment, this collection focuses on a diversity of exciting poets from the mainland, highlighting Duo Duo (laureate of the 2010 Neustadt International Prize for Literature) and Liao Yiwu (recipient of 2012 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade organization) along with not yet well-known but brilliant poets such as Zang Di and Xiao Kaiyu and younger poets Jiang Tao and Lü Yue. The anthology includes interviews with the poets and a fascinating survey of their opinions on “Ten Favorite Chinese poets” and “Ten Best-Known Western poets in China.”
Featured poets: Duo Duo, Wang Xiaoni, Bai Hua, Zhang Shuguang, Sun Wenbo, Wang Jiaxin, Liao Yiwu, Song Lin, Xiao Kaiyu, Lü De’an, Feng Yan, Yang Xiaobin, Zang Di, Ya Shi, Mai Mang, Lan Lan, Jiang Tao, Jiang Hao, Lü Yue, Hu Xudong, Yi Lai, Jiang Li, Zheng Xiaoqiong, Qiu Qixuan, and Li Shumin.
With translations by Neil Aitken, Katie Farris, Ming Di, Christopher Lupke, Tony Barnstone, Afaa Weaver, Jonathan Stalling, Nick Admussen, Eleanor Goodman, Ao Wang, Dian Li, Kerry Shawn Keys, Jennifer Kronovet, Elizabeth Reitzell, and Cody Reese.
A week from today at City University of Hong Kong.
In April Poetry International published their interview with Mindy Zhang 明迪 about translating poetry between English and Chinese. Here’s how the interview begins:
PI: What is the most challenging aspect of translating poetry?
MZ: The hardest part of translation is to go inside the mind of the poet and find out what he did NOT want to say. I like ambiguities and multiple readings but I think we should avoid misleading. If the poet hated rhythm and musicality in poetry, making the translation musical would mean cheating. These are, of course, extreme cases. Usually I try to figure out what’s in a poem rather than what’s not in a poem. There are always several choices to translate a line, I would focus on which one represents the closest meaning and brings out the implied, the suggested, the hidden meaning and which one best presents the tone and the mood. Very often I look at the translation, hmmmm, this doesn’t sound right— I make changes; I stare at the original poem, stare at it literally, until I hear the voice of it. In other words, a translated poem should be as good as it was originally with its linguistic and emotional subtleties. Whatever drives the poem forward, the motif and echoes, the rhythm and variations, the passion or reasoning, the word play, the visual shifting, whatever, should be reflected in the translation.
Her responses include mentions of lots of poets & writers from around the world, as well as translators Jonathan Stalling, Christopher Lupke, Denis Mair, and Nick Admussen.