Gustafsson Chen’s Dai Wangshu on Read Paper Republic

ChuoThis week’s Read Paper Republic–a weekly sample of modern and contemporary Chinese literature in English translation for free–is Anna Gustafsson Chen’s translation of “Sorrow” 烦忧, by Dai Wangshu 戴望舒 (1905 – 1950). If I’m not mistaken, this is the first time Read Paper Republic has featured a poem. Here it is:

Say it’s the grief of lonely autumn
Say it’s the longing of distant seas
If someone asks about my sorrow
I do not dare to mention your name.

I do not dare to mention your name.
If someone asks about my sorrow
Say it’s the longing of distant seas
Say it’s the grief of lonely autumn.




Mo Yan wins 2012 Nobel Prize

Mo Yan 莫言 has won the 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature–a victory for those who support global pluralism in literature prizes, for those who believe in the legacy of Faulkner and García Márquez in contemporary international fiction, and for those who believe in giving a Nobel to a Chinese writer the Chinese government doesn’t oppose (belonging to one of these categories does not necessarily indicate belonging to either of the others). Congratulations also to Mo Yan’s translators in all languages, particularly Anna Gustafsson Chen in Swedish and Howard Goldblatt in English.

For readers looking for more, here is the press release for the Nobel Prize, the BBC’s beginner’s guide to Mo Yan, a good summary from 3% of Mo Yan’s writings available in English, and a section of an interview Howard Goldblatt did with himself for Chinese Literature Today. Still more? Here’s an article on the reaction in China, advanced ordering information for his forthcoming Pow!, an excerpt from another forthcoming work Change, and yet another excerpt from another forthcoming work, Sandalwood Death (pre-order Sandalwood Death here).

Hai Zi in Swedish & English

Segueing off the days of links to posts on Xi Chuan in German, as well as the recent reports on Chinese week at Norway’s Litteraturhuset, here are translations of Hai Zi 海子 into Swedish by Anna Gustafsson Chen.

Hai Zi, a friend of Xi Chuan’s whose suicide in 1989 left an indelible mark on the latter’s life and shifting writing styles, has also been translated into English by Dan Murphy as Over Autumn Rooftops (Host Publications), by Zeng Hong for Edwin Mellen Press, and with another book forthcoming with translations by Ye Chun (poetry) and Fiona Sze-Lorrain (prose) as Wheat Has Ripened (Tupelo Press, 2012)–and another volume is in the works by Gerald Maa.