AAWW’s Four Poems for the Umbrella Movement

Photo by David HillThe Asian American Writers’ Workshop has published four poems on the Occupy Central Umbrella Movement by Hongkong poets Tang Siu Wa, Chung Kwok Keung, Dorothy Tse, and Liu Waitong, as translated by Nicolette Wong, Tammy Ho Lai-Ming, and Amy K. Bell. Edited by Louise Law and introduced by Henry Wei Leung, here’s an excerpt (from Chung Kwok Keung, translated by Ho):

Let’s put silence to a coma in the dark of night
Let’s allow our voice, clear and loud, to be heard at dawn
Occupy, so that it can be put back in place
Sit down, and then stand up, one by one
When our names are called,
Each and every one of us, say: Here.

Click on the image for the full feature.

The Translator and the Translated: A conversation on Hong Kong‘s literature

Asymptote journal makes its debut at the Hong Kong International Literary Festival with acclaimed local journal Fleurs des Lettres (字花), with an evening of bilingual readings and discussions. Local writers Hon Lai Chu 韓麗珠, Dorothy Tse 謝曉虹, and Liu Waitong 廖偉棠 will read excerpts of their work in Cantonese with accompanying English translations. Translators and Asymptote contributors Lucas Klein, Christopher Mattison, and Doug Robinson, will join them for a conversation on the possibilities and challenges of translation, especially of Hong Kong Literature. A reception and an opportunity to engage with the participants will follow the event. The event is generously supported by Yuan Yang, HKU’s journal of international and Hong Kong literature.
Date: 5 Nov 2014
Time: 6 – 8 pm
Venue: HKU Convocation Room, Main Building 429, The University of Hong Kong
Admission is free and open to the public
Please reserve FREE tickets here.

To Foreword or Not to Foreword?

SimitIn “To foreword or not to foreword?” Turkish – French translator Canan Marasligil and Chinese – English translator Nicky Harman discuss how the translator does, should, and shouldn’t frame the translation for the reader. Here’s an excerpt from Harman’s contribution:

Let me illustrate with a further question: Why do teachers consider it necessary to explain the role of the fool in Shakespeare’s King Lear? Because the modern meaning of the word doesn’t communicate the dramatic and social importance of the role. Granted, the reader will get some idea by the time they’ve finished the play. But why expect them to run barefoot through King Lear when we could give them a pair of running shoes, by way of an introductory note?  Fundamentally, I think that expecting the reader to appreciate a book without understanding the context in which the writer was writing and, even more importantly, what he or she was trying to do, is to do the writer an injustice. This is especially true when readers are unlikely to know much about a history and a culture far removed from their own experience. For example, in a collection of Hong Kong stories I translated recently, by the writer Dorothy Tse, I felt it was very important to explain her surrealism by quoting her own words: “Contrary to mainland literature that tried to borrow languages from the working class as well as the farmers in the 50s as a way to reach the public, Hong Kong’s literature has a tradition of resistance to the language of daily life. Its highly experimental language is a strategy to distinguish a literary work from an entertaining and commercial one. In Hong Kong, writing itself is an active rejection of utilitarian society and mundane everyday life.”

Click the image above for the dialogue in full.