Xinyi Jiang and Lindsay Macgregor at the Dundee Review of the Arts give their take on Brian Holton’s Staunin Ma Lane, a collection of classical Chinese poetry translated into Scots (with English “glosses”). They write:
The archaisms of the classical Chinese language, the multiple meanings of individual Chinese characters, as well as the very different cultural allusions must surely have made translation a daunting task. But if so, it never shows. There’s a natural ease to Holton’s Scots which belies the compromises which translation necessarily incurs when qualities of sight and sound, meaning and allusion jostle for survival in each line. Holton’s improvisations, translations and cover versions – faithful and playful, confident and experimental – make classical Chinese poetry both highly accessible and hugely enjoyable.
Click the image for the review in full.