* * * * *
January 7 Post
Feng Tang, a well known Chinese author — and occasional translator — will reportedly not be among a group of Chinese writers attending the World Book Fair in New Delhi next week (Jan 9-17). He had previously been scheduled to take part. It is not perfectly clear from the report below if he decided to withdraw on his own, or if he was pressured to do so. Reports the online hindustantimes (‘Racy’ Tagore Translation):
Feng Tang, one of China’s most provocative authors, has been pulled out of a delegation of writers slated to participate in a New Delhi book fair next week because of the backlash over his translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s poems that was deemed vulgar and racy.
The translation of “Stray Birds”, a collection of poems by the Nobel laureate, was published early last year but the controversy erupted last month. One author described it as a “cultural terrorist attack” and the translation was pulled off the shelves by the publisher on December 28.
“It would be unsafe for me in New Delhi, is what my publisher told me in as many words,” Feng told Hindustan Times in Beijing on Wednesday.
He was among nine Chinese authors set to take part in the book fair, and was to speak on Tagore’s contribution to Chinese literature at Jawaharlal Nehru University on January 9.
Oh, and I shouldn’t forget an excerpt from one of Feng Tang’s Beijing-based novels that I did several years ago. You can read my rendition here.