Q & A with Bruce Humes, Translator of Eco-fiction Novel “Last Quarter of the Moon”

Thomas Bird: You translated Chi Zijian’s The Last Quarter of the Moon in 2012. It has now been rebranded and newly launched as part of the Vintage Earth series. How do you feel about it 10 years on? Bruce Humes: I feel the book is more relevant than ever. On the one hand, it highlights the challenges that face … Continue reading Q & A with Bruce Humes, Translator of Eco-fiction Novel “Last Quarter of the Moon”

Orientalism and Sci-fi in the People’s Paradise

In The Questionable ‘Chinese-ness’ of Chinese Sci-Fi, Emily Xueni Jin (金雪妮) writes:  Notably, China itself is complicit in perpetuating the myth of a uniquely “Chinese” sci-fi. Chinese experts and official-backed panels have referenced  “The Three Body Problem” as a classic example of a successful “cultural export.” Writers who achieve international success are paraded around like literary heroes, … Continue reading Orientalism and Sci-fi in the People’s Paradise

Archaeologist Fan Jinshi’s Memoir: Ancient Buddhist Cave-temples in the Desert, Red Guards & the Spirit of Peking U

Cultural Revolution:  The Mogao Grottoes Miraculously Emerge Unscathed (Excerpted from 我心归处是敦煌 (My Heart Belongs to Dunhuang) by Fan Jinshi as told to Gu Chunfang) Translated by Bruce Humes Many people have asked me if the Mogao Caves in Dunhuang were damaged during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76). At the time, the Destroy the Four Olds, Cultivate the Four News campaign … Continue reading Archaeologist Fan Jinshi’s Memoir: Ancient Buddhist Cave-temples in the Desert, Red Guards & the Spirit of Peking U

Last Quarter of the Moon: Re-launching as One of 8 Novels in “Eco-fiction” Genre

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As of July 7, 2022, Penguin is launching a collection of novels "to change the way we think about — and act upon — the most urgent story of our times: the climate crisis": " VINTAGE EARTH is a collection of novels to transform our relationship with the natural world. Each one is a work of creative activism, a … Continue reading Last Quarter of the Moon: Re-launching as One of 8 Novels in “Eco-fiction” Genre

“Manaschi”: Enigmatic Adages in Hamid Ismailov’s new Novel

Just finished Hamid Ismailov's new novel Manaschi, about a conflicted half-Kyrgyz, half-Tajik man who feels increasingly fated to become a reciter of the ancient Kyrgyz epic poem, Manas. It's an oddly compelling tale in which Kyrgyz, Tajiks and Chinese laborers --- newcomers to the village which straddles Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan --- eventually come to blows in ways … Continue reading “Manaschi”: Enigmatic Adages in Hamid Ismailov’s new Novel

On the Death of Taiwanese Freedom Fighter Peng Ming-min (彭明敏)

“The Chinese,” he wrote, “must learn to distinguish ethnic origin and culture from politics and law, and to discard their archaic obsession to claim anyone of Chinese ancestry as legally Chinese, however far removed from China.” He continued: “The real issue is not independence for Formosa but self-determination for the people there. And the Formosan … Continue reading On the Death of Taiwanese Freedom Fighter Peng Ming-min (彭明敏)

Carrie “Lapdog” Lam: Fit for House Arrest in a Mong Kok Coffin Apartment?

The death of free Hong Kong was planned in Beijing, but Carrie Lam will go down in history as its chief executioner. On Monday she said she won’t seek a second five-year term as the city’s chief executive, but her legacy is secure. A career civil-servant who prospered under British rule, she was obliged as … Continue reading Carrie “Lapdog” Lam: Fit for House Arrest in a Mong Kok Coffin Apartment?

What we are reading now:

Ce détail expliquerait peut-être en partie la raison pour laquelle nous avons ces deux versions manuscrites de Dede Korkut: l'une en prose, l'autre en chantefable, en prose alternée de chants versifiés. En effect, l'un des <copistes> semble avoir choisi cette attention aux assonances, rythmes et césures traditionnels qui font émerger la structure versifée du récit; l'autre, … Continue reading What we are reading now: