Hong Kong Book Fair Events

The Hong Kong Book Fair begins tomorrow. You can find the complete list of events here in English and Chinese, but Bruce Humes has narrowed down the topics of interest, which I re-post here:

July 18


Speaker: 紀蔚然 (Taiwanese writer on suspense novels)


Speaker: 資中筠  (Zi Zhongyun, Chinese scholar and translator)


Speaker: 温瑞安 (Malaysian-born wuxia author Wen Jui on martial arts novels and cinema)


July 19


Speaker: 格非 (Novelist Ge Fei: What is literary experience? )


Speaker: 白先勇 (Pai Hsien-yung: My Father and the Republic of China)


July 20


Speaker: 張翠容 (Cheung Chui-yung, HK travel writer)


Speaker: 馬立誠 (Ma Licheng: HK and the MainlandCultural Conflict and Synthesis)


July 21  

Talks on and Multilingual Reading of Leung Ping-kwan’s Poetry

Recitations by西野由希子, Sonia Au(待定), and 也斯, and talk by the always-controversial Professor Wolfgang Kubin


Speaker: 黎紫書  (Lin Baolin, female writer born in Malaysia, on the distance between authors and their homelands)


Speaker: 張曼娟 (Taiwanese novelist Chang Man Chuan)


Speaker: 彭浩翔  (HK author and director: Why question the source of an artist’s inspiration?)


July 22


Speaker: 馮唐 (Feng Tang, Beijing novelist published in French and in Hong Kong (不二), on contemporary literature and writing)


Speaker: 黃春明 (Huang Chunming, Taiwanese short story writer, and author of The Taste of Apples that lampooned the fascination of the island’s modern youth with their former occupiers, the Japanese)


Speaker: 素黑 (Hong Kong female author and columnist)


July 23


Speaker: 馬家輝 (Hong Kong journalist Ma Ka-fai on scum, rubbish and urban writing)


Speaker: 慕容雪村  (Murong Xuecun, controversial Chinese novelist, and author of Absurdities of China’s Censorship System


Speaker: 陳曉蕾 (Chen Xiaolei on “green” reportage)


Speaker: 毛尖 (Mao Jian: Chinese TV Dramas—Fear and Love in our Era)

Caging a Monster

Xi Chuan discussed the state of publishing in China and read his co-translations of Norwegian poet Olav H. Hauge with Harald Bøckman during Chinese Literature Week at Norway’s Litteraturehuset–with “around 4,000 attendees at 30-some events,” according to Paper Republic‘s Eric Abrahamsen–but what seems to have been the most newsworthy event was the talk by Murong Xuecun 慕容雪村 titled “Caging a Monster” 把野兽关进笼子 (translated by Jane Weizhen Pan & Martin Merz). In light of Xi Chuan’s notion of his poetics as based on contemporary China’s oxymoronism, I cite the following quotation from Murong’s speech:

My country is capable of launching a satellite into space but not of building a safe bridge across a river. My country is capable of building palatial government offices yet condemns children to substandard schoolhouses. My country provides millions of luxury cars to government official yet few safe school buses for children.


Chinese Week at Norway’s Litteraturhuset

As I mentioned yesterday, Xi Chuan flew from Hongkong to Norway, where he’s participating in Chinese Literature week at the House of Literature along with Wang Hui 汪晖, Murong Xuecun 慕容雪村, Ma Jian 马建, Leslie T. Chang, Rebecca Karl, Michael Dutton, Yiyun Li 李翊雲, Hong Ying 虹影, Mian Mian 棉棉, Xu Zechen 徐则臣, Han Song 韩松, Lan Lan 蓝蓝, Annie Baobei 安妮宝贝, Cheng Yong Xin 程永新, Zou Zou 走走, and Paper Republic‘s Eric Abrahamsen. Click here for the full schedule; the following is the list of events involving Xi Chuan (though I’m afraid one looks like it’s already in the past):

7.30pm: Putting a Modern Face on the Classics
Discussion with Xi Chuan and Cheng Yongxin

Traces of this classic literature are also still to be found in today’s contemporary Chinese literature. What is the relationship between the classics and today’s writers, and do the latter use them in their own literature? Xi Chuan and Cheng Yongxin discuss their relationship to classic literature.
Language: Norwegian (with translation from Chinese)

8pm: Chinese Contemporary Poetry
Glimpse of the World’s Oldest Poetry Tradition

Stage conversations with Lan Lan and Xi Chuan
From early times, poetry played a far greater role in China than it did in the West. Even under the Zhou dynasty, more than a thousand years before the Western Christian Era, important political statements were often phrased as verses of famous poems. What does contemporary poetry look like in a country with such a long poetic tradition? Harald Bøckman talk with two poets about their works and the current trends in modern Chinese poetry.
Language: Norwegian (with translation from Chinese)

10am-2pm: From China to the World and Back: Seminar on translation
Introduction by Anna Gustafsson Chen, Eric AbrahamsenXi Chuan, Harald Bøckman, Lars Devold and others
Translating between Chinese and European languages can prove to be a difficult task when the written languages present such different linguistic structures. In Europe, Chinese literature is often translated from earlier English translations, a practice which can lead to mistakes and inaccuracies. What are the challenges one faces while translating and interpreting between Indo-European languages and Chinese? We meet up with translators who tell us about their work.
Language: English

8pm: An Evening of Celebration!
Readings by Yiyun Li, Lan Lan, Murong Xuecun, Cheng Yongxin, Li Er, Xu Zechen, Mian Mian, Han Song and Xi Chuan
Welcome to our evening of celebration with eleven Chinese writers, book readings and a concert. We close this Chinese literature week at the House of Literature with literary and cultural experiences. Concert with Chinese folk musician Xiaogang Zeng and Rolf-Erik Nystrøm. Host: Anna Bache-Wiig
Language: Norwegian (with translation from Chinese)