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Author: Sihe Chen
Translators: Xiaofei Rao and Stephen Sandelius
How has modern Chinese literature emerged from the collision of domestic social upheaval, foreign inspiration and sparks of creative genius during the past century? Sihe Chen explores this question from a global perspective, analysing how Chinese authors assimilated Western literary movements to create new forms of expression adapted to a society in rapid transformation. The author then examines these global influences in the works of selected contemporary Chinese novelists and poets. He shows that the problems these writers confront are common to all peoples and that Chinese literature expresses not only the story of China, but also that of humanity.
Premodern Chinese Texts in Western Translation
Volume Editors: Leo Tak-hung Chan and Zong-qi Cai
This collected volume focuses on the history of Western translation of premodern Chinese texts from the seventeenth to the twentieth century. Divided into three parts, nine chapters feature close readings of translated texts, micro-studies of how three translations came into being, and broad-based surveys that inquire into the causes of historical change. Among the specific questions addressed are: What stylistic, generic, and discursive permutations were undergone by Chinese texts as they crossed linguistic borders? Who were the main agents in this centuries-long effort to transmit Chinese culture to the West? How did readership considerations affect the form that particular translations take? More generally, the contributors are concerned with the relevance of current research paradigms, like those of World Literature, transcultural reception, and the rewriting of translation history.
Editor / Translator: Stuart Robson
Contributor: Hadi Sidomulyo
Javanese, a major language of Southeast Asia, possesses a little-known literature, occurring in various phases, Old, Middle and Modern. This publication presents a remarkable example, from the poetical literature of Middle Javanese, in an edited text with English translation and an extensive commentary. The aim is to acquaint a wider audience with this literature, in the hope of drawing attention to its fascinating qualities. Set principally in the Singhasari area of East Java, the narrative follows the journey of the lovers, Pañji Margasmara and Ken Candrasari, offering a glimpse of the beauty of the Javanese landscape in the 15th century. The cultural, historical and archaeological details preserved in the text help to shed light on the closing years of Majapahit, a largely unexplored period in Javanese history, before the age of Islam.

Abstract

Premodern manuscript production was fluid. Books and papers freely changed hands, often against their authors’ wishes. In the absence of copyright laws, certain countermeasures arose. This study considers one of them: self-commentary, meaning an author’s explanations on his own works. The article deals with two cases of medieval self-commentary across linguistic and cultural boundaries: the Arabic author and rationalist Abū al-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī (d. 1057 CE), and the professional Byzantine littérateur John Tzetzes (d. 1180 CE). After an overview of their lives and works, with a focus on the key role of self-explanation, the article considers their respective manuscript cultures, which involved face-to-face educational settings that nonetheless permitted widespread copying. There follows a discussion of textual materiality, which reveals a mutual concern to avoid tampering or misinterpretation. Then, the article shows how both men tried to direct readers by exploiting language’s capacity for multiple meanings. The conclusion ponders the relevance of this study for problems posed by digital book technology.

In: Philological Encounters
Reception, Translation, and Comparison
Volume Editors: Thomas J. Sienkewicz and Jinyu Liu
Ovid in China offers a fresh look at an ancient Roman author in a Chinese context and often from a Chinese perspective. The seventeen essays in this volume, by a group of international scholars, examine Ovid’s interaction with China in a broad historical context, including the arrival of Christian missionaries in 1294, the depiction of Ovidian scenes on 18th-century Chinese porcelain, the growing Chinese interest in Ovid in the early 20th century, a 21st-century collaborative project to translate Ovid’s poetry into Chinese with commentary, and comparative studies on such themes as conceptualization of time, consolation, laughter, filicide, and revenge.
In: Ovid in China
In: Ovid in China
In: Ovid in China
In: Ovid in China
In: Ovid in China