Articles tagged "Chinese"


Is Translation Edible?

The plate can be a tricky place for translators. Who’s in charge, the brain or the stomach? Do words reveal or hide what’s on the plate? Food is culture much more than it is words, and learning…...

Very Cheesy and Also Rather Blah

carefully giving it some thought the lines on my palm[1] have deflected for you some now I suppose my dirty beard, my fiendish leg hair will graduate in time that someone of my years should care about…...

A Beethoven Chronology

On a certain day in a certain month of the Enlightenment clear skies      light winds out of the southwest high in the low 70s Beethoven is born in a bed on a certain day in a…...

Your Dog

a dog lives it’s your shadow it learns about life learns to go to toilets learns to run forward with a lighter in its mouth once you take out a cigarette not only does it run forward with a lighter…...

Soul

We had a visitation from a woman who’d been dead for many years we felt her presence but see her we could not heard her voice instructing us to turn the hand-crank of the projector in the room (there’s…...

A Couple’s Old Sutra

She is old breasts sagging like bags of flour River runs from their hometown people on two banks change batch after batch like summer fireflies that glow and dim But the river won’t change in its…...

Narratives of 1960

Grandmother’s last clothing is a reed mat her coffin a small fishing boat The year was 1960 She stole a kilo of yellow beans Those who ordered her to kneel on snail shells are mostly dead Those still…...

Exploding Cow

In Shandong, someone sticks a plastic tube through the cow’s nostril and into its stomach, then pours water. The animal collapses, limbs dangling skyward, belly swollen. Docile black eyes stare out…...

A History of Condo Sales

Part I. You wouldn’t notice it in the daylight. Instead, you’d be distracted by the bustling streets (perhaps by a tow truck, a crippled street vendor, a cab you’d hail, your eyes flitting…...

Twenty Years after Tiananmen, Part II

In his second post for Words without Borders, former dissident leader Wang Dan continues his discussion about the significance of the events of June 4 in today's world and to the politics and policies…...

Crow

I learned the lines of this noun one bright day in the classroom. That evening I saw its black wings detach from the sky and descend in circles like a parachute toward us, my sister and me, to cover our…...

December 2nd, 1997, at Night

A blizzard lures us toward Poland, bringing us almost to the border. We should have turned north at Dresden, instead headed due East, to halt in open farmland whose sound is the lightest of rumbles. Later,…...

The Sinologist

To leave the airport is to feel you've got off at the wrong stop. Where are the pavilions to drink rice wine in, the suburbs of love, the policemen using their rifles to lift skirts up with, the student…...

The Five O’Clock Graveyard

If we sit side by side now, and say nothing for a whole half hour, and you say only that we get on fine without words, and you move away a little, for a good look at the grave almost opposite us, and you…...

Footnotes Like Skyscrapers

"I want translations with copious footnotes, footnotes reaching up like skyscrapers to the top of this or that page so as to leave only the gleam of one textual line between commentary and eternity." So…...

from “Serve the People!”

The novel is the only place for a great many of life's truths. Because it is only in fiction that certain facts can be held up to the light. The novel it is, then, for this particular truth. The story…...

Landing

Flying over God's mountains, canyons, wastelands glimmering with foxfire, graveyards where owls vanish and appear, you drop from the stars like a soul being born, and still bearing the toxins of your…...

Discovery

even ants tremble at nightfall even stones suffer insomnia even moonlight's so polluted men's shadows thin to mist even the mountaintop swells as if ready to blow even the Tang Dynasty fell into…...

At 30

The first ten years of my life, as the moon exposed its silent craters to my small city far below, the streets filled with shouts, gongs and drums drove out devils, my lame uncle cursed in the yard, and…...

Stick Out Your Tongue by Ma Jian

When Stick Out Your Tongue was first published in China in 1987, one commentator denounced it as a "vulgar, obscene book that defames the image of our Tibetan compatriots," and Ma Jian's works were…...

Big Breasts & Wide Hips by Mo Yan

At a time when Western eyes fixate on China's influence as a budding economic superpower, Mo Yan has turned his gaze inward on the vicissitudes of the last Chinese century. Big Breasts & Wide Hips…...

The Noodle Maker by Ma Jian

The pace of change in China over the last fifteen years has been extraordinarily fast; the pace at which its literature reaches us in translation shamefully slow. Chinese dissident writer Ma Jian is already…...

Coming Home

My little boy pulls my coat as if he's asking "Why did you take so long to get back home? who were you fighting with all those months and years just to win that prize of snow-white hair?" ...

Poems for Parting

1 So slender and so graceful not much more than thirteen the tip of a cardamom branch in spring just about to bud ten miles down the Yangzhou road and the spring winds were blowing lots of women since,…...

In Other Words: A Foreword

I rather suspect that when Sofia Coppola made her movie Lost in Translation, she prayed that it might turn out to be, if nothing else, a succès d'estime. Had that turned out to be true, her…...

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