非漂 [Fēi Piāo] Newsbriefs: August 2018

Banned in Nigeria: Quartz Africa reports on a music video by rapper Falz, This is Nigeria, his “take” on Childish Gambino’s This is America. Not too hard to understand why the authorities are less than pleased. Just check out the video (below) featuring chibokesque girls in hijab. A taste of the lyricsThis is Nigeria/Praise and worship we singing now/Pastor put his hands on the breast of his members/He’s pulling the demons out/This is Nigeria/No electricity daily o/Your people are still working multiple jobs/And they talk say we lazy o

Mozambique’s Lusophone novelist Mia Couto (米亚·科托) will appear onstage in three forums at Shanghai Book Fair’s “Int’l Literary Week” (上海国际文学周) on August 14, 16 and 17. See here for news on the recent publication of 《母狮的忏悔》, translated from his novel A confissão da leoa. Three of his novels should be out in Chinese within 2018. For details, click here and scroll down to “Couto” under “C”. 

Self-portraits of Senegalese photographer Omar Victor Diop (at left) “reframe African revolt through the lens of football fandom.”

Looking back at the design of the “African Writers Series”: In Judged by its Covers, James MacPhee highlights a dozen or so covers from Heinemann’s flagship project— famously dissed as “the Orange Ghetto” by Woyle Soyinka — and comments on the graphics.

The longlist — which focuses on drama this year — for The Nigeria Prize for Literature is out. A shortlist of three is expected in September and a possible winner will be announced by the Advisory Board in October. The award rotates among four genres: fiction, poetry, dram and children’s literature, repeating the cycle every four years. With the total prize value of US$100,000 to the individual winner, it is the biggest literary award in Africa. The 2018 longlist comprises 11 plays chosen from 89 entries, selected by a panel of three judges: Matthew Umukoro, professor of Theatre Arts at the University of Ibadan; Mohammed Inuwa Umar – Buratai, Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the Ahmadu Bello

China’s Confucius Institute penetration of Africa: From zero sites in 2004 to 48 today, second only to France’s Alliance Française

University (Zaria); and Ngozi Udengwu, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Film Studies at the University of Nigeria (Nsukka).

Call for submissions (thru Sep 28) in post-Mugabe era: The Village Square Journal in Lagos seeks “reflective essays, short non-fiction, poetry and visual art that explore the current mood of Zimbabweans.”

Michael Orthofer reviews francophone author Alain Mabanckou’s The Tears of a Black Man. Writes Mabanckou: Born in Africa, in the Congo-Brazzaville, I spent a good part of my youth in France before settling in the United States. Congo is where my umbilical cord is buried, France is the adopted homeland of my dreams, and America is a corner from which I can observe the footsteps of my wanderings.

非洲文学:中文译本 (African Writing in Chinese Translation)

非洲文学:128 中文译本

African Writing in Chinese Translation

(包含大陆、港台等版本)

更新:2018.8.15

  55 African Authors      128 Translated Works

本 “迷你数据库” 刚开始建设,绝对不算齐全,只供参阅。至今,原文多半是英文或法文的书籍。虽也有一些本来是用阿拉伯语写的 (例如纳吉布·马哈福兹的著作),因为我不会阿语,我

The latest novel from “African diaspora” writer Chimamanda Adichie to appear in Chinese

列的是英文的书名。当然,希望将来能包括其他本地语言,例如斯瓦希里、科薩語等。“年” 指的是译著出版年,而非原著作出版时间。欢迎留言!

African Literature 2018:

On China’s Cultural Radar Yet?

 

Introduction to African Drama  

Introduction to African Epics 

  • 松迪亚塔》(鲍秀文 译, 2003 年)。介绍了松迪亚塔、盖西瑞的诗琴、姆比盖的传说、李昂戈·富莫的传说和姆温都史诗等五个史诗

Introduction to African Literature

Poetry Collections

  • Contemporary African Poetry非洲现代诗选》(奥卡拉, 奥基格博, 索因卡, 克拉尔克, 奥弗穆尼)
  • No Serenity Here 《这里不平静》(冷霜, 席亚兵, 周伟驰, 杨铁军, 姜涛, 韩博, 余炀, 叶美, 张曙光, 丁丽英, 张伟栋)  (雷武铃、成婴 等译, 2010 年)

Short Story Collections

Taiwan Editions

 

Listings by Author’s Surname

Leila Aboulela (阿布列拉; 阿鮑蕾拉; 阿布雷雅; 莉拉·阿鲍蕾拉 萊雅‧阿布雷雅)

Peter Abrahams (彼得·亚伯拉罕姆斯)

Chinua Achebe (钦努阿•阿契贝)

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (奇玛曼达·恩戈齐·阿迪奇埃)

José Eduardo Agualusa (裘瑟·阿古瓦盧薩; 若泽·爱德华多·阿瓜卢萨)

Ama Ata Aidoo (阿玛·阿塔·艾杜)

Uwem Akpan (乌文·阿克潘)

T. M. Aluko

Mariama Bâ (瑪莉亞瑪·芭)

A. Igoni Barrett  (A. 伊各尼·巴雷特)

Ishmael Beah (伊斯梅尔·比亚)

Tahar Ben Jelloun (塔哈尔·本·杰伦)

C

Joyce Chigiya (乔伊斯·齐基娅)

  • Lake Haven 海文湖》(姜涛 译, 2014 年)

J. M. Coetzee (J.M.库切)

  • Age of Iron铁器时代》(文敏 译, 2013 年)
  • Boyhood: Scenes from Provincial Life男孩》(文敏 译, 2013 年)
  • Childhood of Jesus 耶稣的童年》(文敏 译, 2013 年)
  • Diary of a Bad Year  凶年纪事》(文敏 译, 2009 年)
  • Disgrace   《》(张冲  译, 2010 年)
  • In the Heart of the Country内陆深处》(文敏 译, 2007 年)
  • Life & Times of Michael K迈克尔·K 的生活和时代》(文敏 译, 2004 年)
  • Summertime夏日》(文敏 译, 2010 年)
  • Waiting for the Barbarians  《等待野蛮人》(文敏 译, 2003 年)

Mia Couto (米亚·科托)

  • confissão da leoa 《母狮的忏悔》( 马琳 译, 2018 )
  • Jerusalem 《耶路撒冷》(樊星 译, 2018 年 )
  • Terra Sonambula 《梦游之地》(中信出版集团预定出版: 2018 年)

[Read more…]

African Literature: On China’s Cultural Radar Yet?

Can Literary Imports Change Chinese Perceptions of Africa?, my piece on AfroLit in Chinese is up now at Sixth Tone:

Since the founding of the modern Chinese state in 1949, there have been three waves of African literary imports. The first, which emerged in the 1980s, was ideologically driven. Empowered by

Nigeria’s Chimamanda Adichie is hot in China: Her “Dear Ijeawele” (亲爱的安吉维拉), is due out in 3Q 2018 — her sixth book to appear in Chinese.

Beijing’s policy of promoting solidarity with the Third World and newly independent nations, state-run imprints like the Foreign Literature Publishing House translated and published a substantial number of African works such as those by the Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka, the Kenyan novelist Ngugi wa Thiong’o, the Senegalese poet (and former president) Léopold Sédar Senghor, and the Algerian writer Mouloud Mammeri. Anthologies of translated African folktales for children even appeared.

To learn about the 2ndand now the 3rd— most recent wave — click here.

For more about African writing in China, read Feminist: A Dirty Word in Xi Jinping’s China?, or check out my bilingual database of African prose in Chinese translation (非洲文学:中文译本).

Dystopia with Chinese Characteristics: An Excerpt from Sheng Keyi’s “The Metaphor Detox Centre”

Journalist Yao Minzhu became acquainted with a few fellow patients at the centre. Like them, she’d heard of shelters, treatment centres for drug addiction, mental health clinics
and so on, but only once she was dispatched to the Metaphor Detox Centre did she learn of its existence. She read the following introduction on the wall of the centre’s reception
hall:

As a society’s level of civilization progresses, new illnesses will always emerge to threaten the physical and mental health of the people. The Metaphor Malady is one such disease. It is a form of mental illness, but one that does not entirely belong to the psychological domain. During its initial stage it is not easily detectable; in its middle stage it affects social stability; and in the latter stage involves descent into a manic state of which the patient is unaware. Its potential for contagion and harm is not inferior to a ton of dynamite placed within a crowd.

At present, newly diagnosed cases are growing at a rate of over fifty per cent, sufferers in the mid- or late-stage account for eight per cent of the total affected population, and the mortality rate is four per cent. The government has allocated specialists and funds to establish the Metaphor Detox Centre, which is devoted to servicing the afflicted. The great majority do recover, and relapses are rare. Since the Centre was established it has repeatedly won praise from the authorities.

(The Metaphor Detox Center, excerpted from Sheng Keyi’s new novel, 锦灰.  This passage translated from the Chinese by Bruce Humes. Foreign language rights agent: Andrew Nurnberg)

Quote of the Week (End July 2018): Arundhati Roy on Slow-cooking Language

For me, or for most contemporary writers working in these parts,                                   language can never be a given.                                                                                     It has to be made. It has to be cooked. Slow-cooked.

(Exerpted from Arundhati Roy’s 2018 W. G. Sebald Lecture on Literary Translation, What is the Morally Appropriate Language in Which to Think and Write?)

Extract: Alat Asem’s Novel “Confessions of a Jade Lord” (时间悄悄的嘴脸)

Available now in e-book form at Kobo.com

An excerpt from the newly published Xinjiang-based novel by Alat Asem,

Confessions of a Jade Lord

《时间悄悄的嘴脸》

Chapter 19

Rechristening a High-rise

In the midst of his hectic days as minor-character-cum-stagehand, Exet the Mouse’s magnificent new sobriquet — “Suet Exet” — fails to resonate. Those two sheep were indeed sacrificed in vain. Afterwards, he didn’t bother to keep his promise to invite the jade lords out to drink either; he embraced his bad luck. “There’s a history to your nickname,” says Eysa ASAP to console him, “and history cannot be rewritten.”

Eysa sets to work quickly seeking a middle-man to lobby for talks to buy all twelve stories of the high-rise that belongs to Big Stick Obul, who dug his first bucket of gold in a coal mine. In the end, it’s Silver-tongue Salam, endowed with the gift of gab that can entice buyer and seller to the negotiating table, who turns the trick.

Salam’s deal-closing skills were first practiced at the Saturday second-hand bike market. As dust danced in the square, he honed his persona and honeyed trap. With help from splendiferous Time, the money in his pocket prospered year after year, and nourished his heart.

After dining on handheld mutton at a scenic riverside venue, Eysa, Mouse, Obul and Salam address the thorny issue of price.

“Ahem,” coughs Salam before he begins.

Deal or no deal, mutual trust shall prevail.

Roasted, stewed or handheld, mutton remains meat all the same.

Heroes of the world, you have all come today!

The magnificent Monkey King is present,

And so is our Uyghur Wise Man, Ependim.

It is cool cash that drives human life.

Today’s chop suey is better than tomorrow’s fresh meat;

promises are no good until they are cooked in the pot.

Today’s victory is today’s Paradise!

The big item on today’s agenda is a high-rise built to last. The seller is a person, not a lord, and the buyer is no one’s servant. My mouth is neither friend nor enemy. It speaks for your mutual interests. Had I ever harbored selfish intentions or betrayed bias toward either party, my tongue could not have secured me this bowl of arbitrator’s rice over the last two decades. The truth behind this, I’m sure you all understand.

The building is new, constructed just five years ago. Buyer and seller both have things itching at their hearts. Each of you knows this. My mouth is a hand that can scratch that itch for you. I do not know the depth of the water, but my sincere hope is that both duck and goose may cross safely. I care not wherefrom my camel guests hail, but obtaining some of the peppercorns, black pepper and ginger root is my goal. ‘Feed your master’s donkeys well and receive a good tip’ is my motto.

Blessed is Eysa Xojayin, and so is our Big Stick Obul, a hero who wrestled his way out of a dark coal pit. Coal Mine Mogul, please quote a price.

The mine owner states his asking price, and the figure is fairly close to the one that Eysa has guessed beforehand. This gives him confidence in the eventual outcome.

Obul is keen to offload his high-rise. It’s a matter of money-laundering, actually. The proceeds from the mines don’t have eyes but they have lips, and he worries that sooner or later that lucre will land him in hot water. Once the building is sold, his mind would be at peace, his tongue confident, and henceforth he could hang out at his leisure.

In the six hours that ensue, Salam’s silver tongue binds the two wicked hearts ever tighter. Eventually the high-rise’s surname changes, and a sizable lot of moolah finds its way into Big Stick Obul’s bank account — an eight-digit sum, in fact. On the ATM card, the dancing digits sigh long and hard; in the freezing underground vault, the bills reminisce over their tainted but exhilarating past. [终]

[Translated by Bruce Humes and Jun Liu. For more information about Alat Asem, click here.]

Obama’s Favorite African Novels Underwhelm

As President Obama left for visits to Kenya and South Africa, he featured a list of his favorite African novels on Facebook. They include safe picks — i.e., recognized classics — such as Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong’o.

Like several commentators, Quartz Africa appeared less than awed by his rather traditional choices. See here for an expanded list that includes several other contemporary titles neglected by the former president.

Want to learn what sort of African fiction is available to Chinese readers nowadays? Visit the bilingual 非洲文学:121 中文译本/African Writing in Chinese Translation.

新近非洲小说中文版:《母狮的忏悔》(米亚·科托 著)

A novel by Mozambique’s Lusophone author Mia Couto, confissão da leoa, has just been  translated into Chinese as《母狮的忏悔》and published by Citic Publishing (June 2018). For up-to-date list of 121 contemporary African literary works in Chinese translation, see 非洲文学: 中文译本 :

 

 

 

China as Self-designated “Curator” of Tibetan Culture: Q & A with Tibetan Historian Tsering Shakya

HIMĀL Southasian, the region’s news and analysis magazine, engages with leading Tibetan historian Tsering Shakya in Beyond Development and Diversity:

Himal Southasian: How do we then look at the impact of the Chinese state’s appropriating, almost curating the scope of, religion and culture in Tibet, with places like Jokhang Temple having been reduced from living cultural spaces to opaque, ornamental museums?

Tsering Shakya: Curating is a good way of putting it. It changes the way in which people think about themselves, the way they think about custom and religion. It’s a way in which you become increasingly estranged from yourself and your culture. Imagine an African American person looking at a museum of African art.

Reeducation Returns to China: Applying Xinjiang Experimental Techniques to Mainstream Chinese

In Will the Repression in Xinjiang Influence Beijing’s Social Credit System?, Adrian Zenz explains (bolding is mine):

Historically, authoritarian regimes have tended to fear their own populations. In China, state trust and distrust of individuals and populations is apparently measured along two axes. Firstly, in ethnocultural terms, it is measured by distance from the core of Han culture, language, and ethnicity. This means that minorities with strongly distinct linguistic and other traits are inherently suspect, explaining for example the obsession of Xinjiang’s reeducation camps with forcing even elderly Uighurs to memorize Chinese characters. In network studies it has been shown that homophily, the love of sameness, is an important predictor of trust.

Secondly, the state measures the trustworthiness of its citizens by their alignment with “core socialist values.” This set of 12 values, first presented at the 18th Party Congress in 2012, has become the new standard for measuring positive behavior and moral character, a standard in direct competition with religion. Notably, the first individual value of this set is patriotism. These values, some of which are similar to Confucian visions  of social harmony under autocratic yet benevolent leadership, are now taught to children starting from kindergarten.