The Australian Academy of the Humanities has inaugurated its Medal for Excellence in Translation, and the first winner is John Minford for his translation of I Ching (Yijing): The Book of Change.
Books and Publishing reports:
A judging panel comprising Brian Nelson, Mabel Lee and Peter Doyle said Minford’s work ‘bids fair to become the definitive translation of this primary Chinese classic’.
‘An imposing example of the translator-scholar as cultural intermediary, it is both a tour de force of scholarship and a distinguished literary achievement,’ said the judges. ‘Minford adopts a thoughtful, original, flexible approach to the challenges of his task as translator, offering a significantly new interpretation of a piece of major world literature.’
Click the image above for the full report.
Michael Farrell at Cordite Poetry Review reviews I Too Am Salammbo 我也叫萨朗波, by Hong Ying 虹影, translated by Mabel Lee.
The collection’s translator, Mabel Lee, uses spacing as caesurae to evoke the possibility of Chinese characters for phrases like ‘moss attracts moss’ (‘Ascending the Mountain’) and ‘painting otters’ (‘Otters’). These are just one kind of moment that happens: many of the poems are far from being as sweetly picturesque, pointing instead to family and sexual trouble, and sometimes both together:
Always wrap around men’s lies and sex organs
And Mother walks away all alone
Before death we sisters will open our beautiful mouths
To spit out one man after another (‘Dreaming of Beijing’)
The use of spacing is effective in aiding line readability. While sometimes it provides merely a slowing down of the line, at others, where the shift in sense between the two phrases is more disjunctive, the effect is one of montage, referring to text, feeling, memory, metaphor.
Click on the image above for the full review.