“They Are There But I Am Not” 他們在那裡而我不在, by Ye Mimi 葉覓覓, translated by Steve Bradbury.
Tim Lantz reviews His Days Go By the Way Her Years by Ye Mimi 葉覓覓, as translated by Steve Bradbury (Anomalous Press, 2013) at the LA Review:
The chapbook was short-listed for the 2014 Best Translated Book Award, and for good reason. Steve Bradbury does a spectacular job Englishing Ye’s rousing syntax and rhythm—for example, from “The More Car the More Far”:
One day they drag a railroad track over for her, teach her how to belch black smoke from her fontanelles.
So then she cars up. Facing the track, facing the eaves.
I am precise. I am naughty. I am gravity.
For those who can read Chinese and English, part of the fun of the book is going back and forth between the languages to see how the poems work in both and how one has become the other (and thus an argument for including the original language in other translated works). In both languages, His Days Go By the Way Her Years is a beautifully weird book.
Click on the image for the full review.
The 2014 Best Translated Book Award poetry nominations have been announced, and Steve Bradbury’s translation of His Days Go By the Way Her Years by Ye Mimi 葉覓覓. Congrats to both, and to Anomalous Press!
Over at Montevidayo, Johannes Göransson has posted “Exploded Tranströmer: On Ye Mimi and Translation.” A hyperopticon of connections, it links Taiwanese poet Ye Mimi 葉覓覓 to Nobel lit. prizewinner Tomas Tranströmer via what Swedish poet Aase Berg’s reading:
A few months ago, after she came back from the Hong Kong poetry festival, Aase Berg wrote to me that she had come across an amazing poet: Ye Mimi. (Apparently YM appeared with a very impressive guitar player as well.)
That is funny because when I first read Ye Mimi what came to my mind was a somewhat controversial article Aase wrote in Expressen after Tomas Tranströmer won the Nobel Prize the other year … Ye Mimi’s poems are wonderful in that way: as “banality and surprising intelligence in unexpected union.” In fact they read a little like Tranströmer poems in which the metaphors flip out, go off in tangents. And a Tranströmer poem in which the tenor of the metaphor is not privileged – not over the vehicle, not over the “banal” everyday stuff (pink hoodies, telephone booths etc).
From there, he indicates a critique of Translation Studies as it’s come to be known under the direction of Lawrence Venuti, which he says “quarantines the work in translation: we never have the work in translation.”
Click the image above to read the post in full.
New from Anomalous Press:
His Days Go By the Way Her Years is a collection of Steve Bradbury’s best translations of poetry by Taiwanese poet and filmmaker Ye Mimi 葉覓覓. Mimi’s poetry blends a fascination with dreams with a playful approach to language and sensitivity to sound. In his translations, Bradbury has crafted English poems that sing in their new language and deftly play with its possibilities. This book was a finalist in the Anomalous Press Experimental Translation Chapbook Contest, judged by Christian Hawkey.
For ordering information, click the image above.
Opening Ceremony and Poetry Recitation, Sunday 24 November, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. HKICC
Tim Lilburn (Canada), Ye Mimi 葉覓覓 (Taiwan), Conchitina Cruz (The Philippines)
Performances: Filipino Band with Dodo Valiente
7:00 – 8:30 p.m. HKICC
Menna Elfyn (Wales), Natalia Chan 洛楓 (Hong Kong), Olvido García Valdés (Spain)
Performances: Flamenco by Ingrid Sera-Gillet
Moderator: Prof. Lucas Klein
Thurs, 21 November 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Venue: Hong Kong University of Science & Technology
Aase Berg (Sweden), Conchitina Cruz (The Philippines), Jeffrey Yang (USA), Tomasz Różycki (Poland), Un Sio San 袁紹珊 (Macau), Ye Mimi 葉覓覓 (Taiwan)
21 – 24 November, 2013
Featuring: Adonis (Syria), Aase Berg (Sweden), Conchitina Cruz (The Philippines), Menna Elfyn (Wales), Lee Seong-bok (South Korea), Tim Lilburn (Canada), Zeyar Lynn (Burma), Dunya Mikhail (Iraq), Peter Minter (Australia), Tomasz Różycki (Poland), Olvido García Valdés (Spain), Jeffrey Yang (USA), Raúl Zurita (Chile), Natalia Chan 洛楓 (Hong Kong), Han Dong 韓東 (mainland China), Lan Lan 藍藍 (mainland China), Un Sio San 袁紹珊 (Macau), and Ye Mimi 葉覓覓 (Taiwan)
click the image above for more information
“The Pocketwatch,” a new translation of a Huang Chunming story (by Howard Goldblatt)
Translations of Yang Mu’s poetry (by Arthur Sze and Michelle Yeh)
Translations of Ye Mimi’s poetry (by Steve Bradbury)
Dylan Suher essay on Qian Zhongshu, that also serves as a review of Humans, Beasts and Ghosts: The Collected Short Stories of Qian Zhongshu (translated by Christopher G. Rea)
Also see the January 2012 issue for my translations of Xi Chuan‘s “Beast” 巨兽, “The Distance” 远方, and “Poison” 毒药, and hear a recording of “The Distance” read in Chinese by Huang Yin-Nan.