This morning, I talked to a journalist for quite a while about an article she’s writing on publishing Chinese literature in translation. On of the prompts for her article is Pathlight: New Chinese Writing, a magazine that I haven’t mention on here before, but definitely should have.
In addition to a general interest in this magazine—how much do you know about what’s going on in Chinese literature?—it’s also worth mentioning because it’s now available through both Amazon and Apple for $6.99. (Which is a decent price for the 277-page Winter issue.)
The complete table of contents for the Winter issue can be found here and contains Mo Yan’s Nobel Lecture, along with other pieces about him and his work, along with nine works of fiction and works from ten poets—none of which I’m currently familiar with.
It is kind of stunning that given the size of China, the insane number of writers who live there, and the general interest in what’s going on in the country on the whole, there were only 16 works by Chinese writers translated into English and published here in 2012. One can trot out all the normal reasons to explain why this might be the case, but the biggest in my mind is the utter lack of awareness among U.S. editors as to what’s going on in Chinese literature these days.
Which is why I’m going to be reading more issues of Pathlight . . .
Not sure how I missed the initial announcement of this, but Paper Republic and People’s Literature Magazine (wow, that website is something) have gotten together to put out Pathlight a downloadable magazine featuring “New Chinese Writing.”
Here’s the TOC from Issue 2:
Wang Anyi: ‘Dark Alley’
Jia Pingwa: ‘The Hunter’
Medrol: ‘Contract with the Gods’
Mai Jia: ‘A Voice from the Beyond’
Ge Fei: ‘Mona Lisa’s Smile’
Zhou Daxin: ‘Golden Fields of Wheat’
Fang Fang: ‘Yan Wu’
Anni Baobei: ‘Qizhao: Lonely Island’
Lu Min: ‘Hidden Diseases’
Wei Wei: ‘George’s Book’
Guo Wenbin: ‘Blessings of Good Fortune’
A Yi: ‘Common People’
Yu Jian: ‘Elephant’, ‘Hometown’, ‘Executing Saddam’, ‘Incident: Wind’, ‘The road I chose . . . still led to sunset and the trees’, ‘Terrorists’, ‘Unspeakable Fear and Longing’
Pan Wei: ‘Dingjiaqiao Village’, ‘Moonlight’
Tian He: ‘Going Home’, ‘Wet Nurse’, ‘Brothers Divide the Household’, ‘Tonight’s Moon’, ‘The Setting Sun’, ‘Earthenware’
Wang Xiaoni: ‘Moonlight is Extremely White’, ‘Thinking This, Then Thinking That’, ‘Those I Don’t Know I Don’t Want to Know’, ‘Early Morning’,‘Starting Anew as a Poet’
For the past 140 years, Anna Karenina has been loved by millions of readers all over the world. It’s easy to see why: the novel’s two main plots revolve around characters who are just trying to find happiness through love.. . .
Linn Ullmann’s The Cold Song, her fifth novel, is built much like the house about which its story orbits: Mailund, a stately white mansion set in the Norwegian countryside a few hours drive from Oslo. The house, nestled into the. . .
Karel Schoeman’s Afrikaans novel, This Life, translated by Else Silke, falls into a genre maybe only noticed by the type of reader who tends toward Wittgenstein-type family resemblances. The essential resemblance is an elderly narrator, usually alone—or with one other. . .
In Joris-Karl Hyusmans’s most popular novel, À rebours (Against Nature or Against the Grain, depending on the which translated edition you’re reading), there is a famous scene where the protagonist, the decadent Jean des Esseintes, starts setting gemstones on the. . .
There are books that can only wisely be recommended to specific types of readers, where it is easy to know who the respective book won’t appeal to, and Kristiina Ehin’s Walker on Water is one these. What makes this neither. . .
Imagine the most baroque excesses of Goethe, Shakespeare, and Poe, blended together and poured into a single book: That is The Nightwatches of Bonaventura. Ophelia and Hamlet fall in love in a madhouse, suicidal young men deliver mournful and heartfelt. . .
In 1899, Maurice Ravel wrote “Pavane pour une infante défunte” (“Pavane for a Dead Princess”) for solo piano (a decade later, he published an orchestral version). The piece wasn’t written for a particular person; Ravel simply wanted to compose a. . .