非漂 [Fēi Piāo] April 2017 Newsbriefs

Chimamanda Ngozi, the Afropolitan: . . . because she has walked so confidently into the realm of non-fiction, and has agreed on multiple occasions, to take up the mantle of “spokesperson,” there is an increasing expectation that she is up to the task; that she can in fact authentically speak on behalf of the fans who adore her. Over time those fans have included young women enthralled by her popularization of existing mainstream feminist ideas and LGBTI communities across the diaspora and in urban European, American and African contexts. 

April 8 Marseilles event: Paroles et danses sacrées ! Poésies Poesis et chants vaudouet Chants vaudou with Hyacinthe Kougniazondé (griot né au Bénin); PéPé Oleka (musicienne Nigérienne); Sùnnù Wedo (“urban griot”); Mona Georgelin (professeure de danse gwoka); Médard Sossa (chorégraphe, danseur, percussionniste et chanteur).

Congo’s Francophone author Alain Mabanckou’s Black Moses (translated from his novel, Petit Piment) has been longlisted for the prestigious translated literature award, Man Booker Int’l Prize 2017. Amazingly, none of his works have been published yet in Chinese. 刚果法语作家阿兰‧马邦库: 为何没有中文译本?

Fox 2000 has reportedly acquired the movie rights for 23-year-old Nigerian-American author Tomi Adeyemi’s debut young adult West African fantasy novel, Children of Blood and Bone, which is the first in what will be a trilogy. This despite the fact that the book has yet to arrive in a bookstore. Henry Holt Books for Young Readers will publish under Macmillan Publishers. Adeyemi joins the likes of Chimamanda Adichie and Chinua Achebe who have had their novels Half of a Yellow Sun (半轮黄日) and Things Fall Apart (这个世界土崩瓦解了) adapted for the silver screen. And watch the trailor for Adichie’s more recent Americannah here.

Among Three Percent’s candidates for its 2017 Best Translated Book Prize are several works whose originals were penned by African writers. On the 25-Doomi Golo by Boobacar Boris Diopstrong fiction list are Senegalese author Boubacar Baris Diop’s novel Doomi Golo: The Hidden Notebooks and Egyptian author Basma Abdel Aziz’s novel The Queue, and on the 10-strong poetry list is Moroccan author Abdellatif Laabi’s collection In Praise of Defeat. You can read background info about these three here. Doomi Golo is reportedly the first novel ever to be translated from the Wolof into English. But perhaps more interesting is Diop’s story about how he rendered it himself in French, although this act of auto-traduction took him five years. When it came out in Wolof, a friend commented: « Tout à fait entre nous, tu t’es bien fait plaisir en écrivant dans ta langue maternelle, c’est très bien, bravo, mais mets-toi à présent au travail et donne-nous le même roman dans une vraie langue. Ne penses-tu pas que ce sera plus simple pour tout le monde ?» For a fascinating explanation of the process, see Écrire entre deux langues. De Doomi Golo aux Petits de la Guenon.

Factoids re: Africa-based Confucius Institutes (孔子院), according to the official Hanban web site: There are 46 institutes now up and running (mainly within a university), with at least one located in 36 of Africa’s 54 countries, including 8 in South Africa, 5 each in Ethiopia and Kenya, and 3 in Tanzania.

刚果法语作家 Alain Mabanckou (阿兰‧马邦库): 为何没有中文译本?

 

阿兰‧马邦库的 Black Moses (法文原书名: Petit Piment) 2017 年入围 Man Booker International Prize 的 Longlist

阿兰‧马邦库的 Black Moses (法文原书名: Petit Piment) 2017 年入围 Man Booker International Prize 的 long list

刚从台南来到婆罗洲的古晋。路过台北,去了趟信鸽法国书店,也拜访了出版 “非洲系列” 的南方家园出版社。

信鸽供应 Alain Mabanckou (阿兰‧马邦库)几本法文小说,我已经开始阅读 Lumières de Pointe-Noire。这本属于自传性的,是描写他离开家乡 Pointe-Noire 23 年之后头次回去的感受。他的母亲已去世了,为了某些神秘的原因  ——  我还没读到那部分 —— 当时没能回家参与其葬礼。这点明显给他留下不少痛苦的痕迹。

Mabanckou 在刚果共和国土生土长的,在法国读完法律系,发表几本小说之后,搬到美国,目前在加州大学洛杉矶分校教法文文学。他得了一系列的高级文学奖,几本小说与涉及政治话题的文章都被译成英文,并按照 Wikipedia 被认为:

He is among the best known and most successful writers in the French and one of the best known African writers in France.

刚得知,两周前,他的 Black Moses (法文原书名: Petit Piment) 入围曼布克国际奖 (Man Booker International Prize 2017 ) 年的 “长单” (long list),即有可能是 13 本译本当中得第一名。4 月 20 日将宣布 “短单”(short list),即 6 本,然后 6 月 14 日将宣布第一名。13 本中也有中国作家阎连科的 The Explosion Chronicles (原书名: 炸裂志)。

英、法文学界颇受欢迎的当代刚果作家 Mabanckou (阿兰‧马邦库): 为何没有中文译本?

英、法文学界颇受欢迎的当代刚果作家 Mabanckou (阿兰‧马邦库): 为何被中文出版界忽略?

但莫名其妙,至少据我了解, 至今 Mabanckou 没有一本小说被翻译成中文。这很遗憾,因为他确实写的很好,而且他是一个很风趣的人。 YouTube 上面有他的采访,也有他得奖的演讲,值得一听。许多定居非洲与移民海外的非洲人对他颇有看法,因为他发表的文章里说的很清楚:不该把今天非洲落后的全部责任强加于殖民时代和殖民者的头上,而应该承认自己的份儿。同时,他的作品也经常围绕着非洲人在法国当 “侨民” 的状态。

他用法文写作,但他主要的著作被译成英文,除 Black Moses 也有:African Psycho, Broken Glass (打碎的玻璃杯), Memoirs of a Porcupine (豪豬回憶錄) 以及 Black Bazaar。(这些中文书名是直译,不是真书名)

非漂 [Fēi Piāo] March 2017 Newsbriefs

Call for Papers

Workshop on Strategies for the Promotion of African Language Literature. To be held at the University of Vienna May 2-4. Deadline for abstracts: March 15, 2017.

 

Topics

J.O.J. Nwachukwu-Agbada’s Nigerian Written Literature Since 1914: . . . to write a piece of African literature without the injection of African traditional materials is like preparing a soup without thinking of salt. African oral materials found even in snippets confer authenticity on the modern African literary heritage. Thus Achebe, Soyinka, Okigbo, Okara, Aluko, Clark, Ike, Amadi, etc. are today remembered among other reasons for what they have made of orature which they inherited from their different cultures . . . recent writers are even more aggressively adept at appropriating folk materials: Osofisan, Okri, Osundare, Fatoba, Sowande, Ofeimun, Enekwe, Nwabueze, Ezenwa-Ohaeto . . .

Full text of speech by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o in Pretoria in early March, Decolonize the Mind, Secure the Base: The entire African language speaking majorities are taxed directly or indirectly so that 90 percent of the resources available for language education can go to English accents. In some countries African language have been unceremoniously axed out of the curriculum or made into electives. Some advocates of English dominance not only want it so but would actually like to see the literary disappearance of native languages altogether. 

Extract from Chi Zijian’s New Novel, “Peak among the Mountains” (群山之巅)

The Saber

When livestock catch sight of Xin Qiza, the Butcher of Longzhan Town, they realize that this is their doomsday sun. They take fright, even though that isn’t a butcher knife strapped at his waist — it’s just his beloved pipe.

Winter or summer, as long as it’s sunny, Xin Qiza needn’t light his pipe with a match. In one of his pants pockets is a fist-sized convex lens, and in the other Chi Zijian's On the Summita clump of birch bark. Whenever he feels like a smoke, he pulls out the lens and turns it towards the sun, concentrating its rays downwards as if they were rushing to town on market day. He generates a flash point, then extracts a paper-thin slice of bark, holds it under the lens for it to catch and lights his pipe.

Of course, starting a fire from the sky isn’t always so easy. On a bright summer’s day, the lens can filch fire in an instant, but in the dead of winter, the North Wind howls and the sun is weak, and fire comes slowly. Still, Xin Qiza is patient. Tobacco lit by the sun has a unique fragrance, he says, and is worth the wait. The lens that he keeps on his person is like a hired hand: he can call him whenever he likes and order him to his heart’s content.

His pipe and lens aside, Xin Qiza’s treasures comprise butcher knives of every description — they are the utensils upon which his livelihood depends. He can’t help but adore them. Amongst farm animals, though, his affection engenders hatred!

After several decades as the Butcher of Longzhan, a bloody bouquet hovers tenaciously about him, and for these animals with their acute sense of smell, it’s like a hidden River of Death, something with which they could not be more familiar. So when he appears by the waterway, and the cows, horses and sheep catch sight of him, no matter how luscious the grass where they are grazing, they raise their hooves and gallop off. When he strolls on the streets and in the alleys, if sunbathing pigs spy him, they tremble and crawl on their bellies, and the odd one loses control of its bladder. When a neighbor’s dog encounters the butcher, if it doesn’t retract its head like a turtle and scamper back to its master for refuge, then it approaches ingratiatingly and licks his shoes, as if appealing for a permanent stay of execution. Xin Qiza doesn’t wear leather shoes. If he did, he wouldn’t need to shine them. [end]

(Partial excerpt from Chi Zijian’s new novel, Peak among the Mountains (群山之巅, 迟子建 著). Translated by Bruce Humes. For full excerpt and information on English language rights, contact Ms. Li at likangqin@99read.com . Read more about Chi Zijian here.)

非漂 [Fēi Piāo] February 2017 Newsbriefs

Potpourri

Welcome to LagosFive greatest Old African novels to read before you die . . . cheveux naturels in Sénégal, Men may say they don’t like it and of course they hate the cost but they are attracted to the look . . . resident Chinese in Africa by the numbers . . . interview with Abubakar Adam Ibrahim: Northern Nigeria’s ‘literary provocateur’ . . . Chibundu Onuzo’s novel Welcome to Lagos reviewed at The Guardian . . .

Upcoming Literary Events

Time of the Writer’s Festival

Date: March 13-18th, 2017

Theme: The Past Paving the Future

Host: Centre for Creative Arts, U of Kwa-Zulu Natal

Participants include: Fred Khumalo, author of Bitches’ Brew; Nomsa Mdlalose, folklorist and author of children’s books published in isiZulu, Setswana, Afrikaans and English; Lidudumalingani Mqombothi, awarded 2016 Caine Prize for African writing for his short story Memories We Lost;  Nakanjani G. Sibiya is a short story writer, novelist, poet and playwright who has authored/edited 50+ isiZulu literary works across genres, including his debut novel, Kuxolelwa abanjani?

Paper, Airwaves, Screen: From Text to Audience in African Popular Culture

Date: 12-13th July 2017

Venue: University of Bristol, UK

Keynote speakers: Lydie Moudileno (U of Pennsylvania), Tsitsi Jaji (Duke U)

Recent artworks, including Bili Bidjocka’s Infinite Writing and François-Xavier Gbré’s National Printworks, evoke the fragile material status of writing and reading. They also remind us of the power that each can yield. In light of development agendas pertaining to literacy (e.g. UN Sustainable Development Goal 4), this conference will attend to the cultures of reading and reception that emerge in popular culture on the African continent.

Backgrounder: Contemporary Ethnic-themed Fiction out of China

For several years after I arrived in China, I was treated like the “Other,” constantly quizzed on my nationality, what my compatriots ate for breakfast and my impressions of China. When visiting small towns or the countryside, at times I was ogled, which made me feel I was somehow, well, odd. That was a new experience for me!

One day it occurred to me that foreigners weren’t the only “Other” on the scene. What about those persons who didn’t claim to belong to the Han, China’s mainstream ethnic group? Estimates are that one out of ten citizens are of a different ethnicity, such as Zhuang, Miao or Uyghur, and that information appears on their ID card.

I began to wonder: How do they view their “Other,” i.e., the Han? How do their writers portray the effects on their people as they inevitably come into more frequent contact with the outside world, attend school taught in Chinese, or migrate to the city? And how do Han authors use ethnic motifs and depict minority characters in their contemporary fiction? I decided to explore these questions via new literature appearing in Chinese . . . (click here for full text)

Quote of the Week: What’s on the Curriculum for Students in South Africa?

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One tweet in reaction to the Abantu Book Festival’s opening tweet designed to restart the decoloniality conversation:

非漂 [Fēi Piāo] January 2017 Newsbriefs

Alibaba: The House that Jack Ma Built is the business book that most inspired Nigeria’sthe-house-that-jack-ma-built
Iyinoluwa ‘E’ Aboyeji — co-founder of Flutterwave and Andela — last year: There are so many parallels between the intrigues of startups in China and our nascent African Startup ecosystem, he says.

Evan Mwangi reviews John Mugane’s The Story of Swahili and Alamin Mazrui’s The Cultural Politics of Translation: East Africa in Global Contexts, and wonders: Is it time for a slave rebellion in Swahili literary studies?

Etisalat Nigeria has announced the shortlist for the 2016 edition of its pan-African literary prize, the Etisalat Prize for Literature: The Seed Thief (Jacqui L’Ange, South Africa); And After Many Days (Jowhor Ile, Nigeria); Mr & Mrs Doctor (Julie Iromuanya, Nigeria).

Pwaangulongii Dauod tells us How to Write about Northern Nigeria: Your main character should be an imam, or a beggar, or farmer, or a herdsman. Or, all of it. But must be an illiterate and a Muslim who is not interested in science and technology.

 
jamal-by-alkibar-jrThe attempt by terrorists to impose Sharia law upon northern Mali resulted in the mass exodus of many musicians who had made the region famous. But music has returned to the north, and this is a review of Jamal, the first album by the new Malian group Alkibar Jr. that hails from Niafunké. Elements of Songhai, Peuhl and Tamasheq rock/blues figure on the disc.

 

African Theatre 15: China, India & the Eastern World: Newly available volume focuses on China, and features topics such as: How the PRC is  using “soft power” in its extensive engagement with South Africa, and, through its support for theatre festivals, with Lusophone countries in Africa; Construction of theatres, opera houses and cultural facilities as part of its foreign aid programs in Algeria, Cameroon, Mauritius, Ghana and Senegal; and what China is “importing” culturally from Africa.

奇玛曼达·恩戈兹·阿迪契小说 《紫木槿》 出版了:Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the high-profile female Nigerian novelist who is spending much of紫木槿 her time in the US, now has at least three of her works out in Chinese. The
latest, published in January 2017, is her novel, Purple Hibiscus. The other two are The Thing Around Your Neck (绕颈之物) and Half a Yellow Sun (半轮黄日).

Quote of the Week: On Swahili Literature Denigrating Slaves

Much of Swahili literature, including proverbs and canonical works like Utendi wa Mwana Kupona, denigrate watumwa (slaves) as if blacks were not forcibly captured, raped, castrated, and uprooted from their cultures. The casualness with which slavery is treated, even by progressive poets like Muyaka, is the biggest scandal in Swahili letters.

(Evan Mwangi, in his essay We Need a Slave Rebellion in Literary Studies of Swahili, that reviews two books, The Story of Swahili and The Cultural Politics of Translation: East Africa in Global Contexts)

Ece Temelkuran: Novels by Provocative Turkish Writer Coming Soon to China

专访|土耳其作家伊切:伊斯坦布尔是帝国,安卡拉是共和国

Nov 5 2017 Update: Women Who Blow on Knots

Wins 2017 Edinburgh International Book Festival Prize 

11.15 更新:《吹开绳结的女人》获爱丁堡国际图书节处女作奖

In a welcome move to break the near-monopoly of fiction sourced from a familiar pool of American, European and Japanese writers, a batch of new Turkish works will be appearing in bookstores throughout China in 2017. And they won’t be limited to further releases by Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk, whose name is virtually synonymous with Istanbul among Chinese readers, or Turkey’s most popular female novelist Elif Şafak (The Bastard of Istanbul).

One of the fresh faces coming to China is Ece Temelkuran’s. Notably, she will have not one but three books — including two novels — out in Chinese within

Ece Temelkuran: Turkish novelist, political commentator and investigative journalist

Ece Temelkuran: Turkish novelist, political commentator and investigative journalist

2017. The first of these, 香蕉的低语 (Banana Sounds), set in war-torn Beirut, launched in October 2016. Now under translation are a novel about four women motoring across North Africa, 《《吹开绳结的女人》》(Women Who Blow on Knots), and a book-length exploration of “Turkishness,” intriguingly entitled 我的祖国:土耳其的疯狂与忧愁 (Turkey: The Insane and the Melancholy).

At long last, Turkey’s most classic novel of the 20th century, The Time Regulation Institute, was published in Chinese earlier this year (时间调校研究所). Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar’s satirical look at the effects of a social engineering project gone awry — in which the Turkish authorities urge the public to jettison its Ottoman culture and ape the West no matter how bizarre the result — has been rendered by a German-based Chinese translator, Tan Lin (谭琳). Regrettably, the Chinese is based upon the German translation of Tanpınar’s original; indeed, there is a dearth of well-trained Turkish-Chinese literary translators, though several of Pamuk’s novels have been translated from the Turkish for Horizon Books.

%e9%a6%99%e8%95%89%e7%9a%84%e4%bd%8e%e8%af%adThe Time Regulation Institute joins a series of five Chinese renditions of contemporary Turkish novels already published by Shanghai Literature and Art Publishing (土耳其当代文学丛书). They include novels by some of Turkey’s best known living writers, such as Oya Baydar and Mario Levi. An additional four Turkish novels will join the series in 2017. They are: The Dervish Gate by Ahmet Ümit (托钵僧之门); Hakan Günday’s The Few (黑暗边缘); Hakan Bıçakçı’s Dark Room (黑屋), and Secrets Dreamed in Istanbul (伊斯坦布尔寻梦记,暂译) by Nermin Yıldırım. [Read more…]