Ethnic ChinaLit Briefs (Feb 11)

Shaanxi Fiction via French Comics One of China’s best-selling, classic works of “rural fiction,” the White Deer Plain by Chen Zhongshi (白鹿原,陈忠实), has still not been translated into English, but is available in French (Au pays du cerf blanc) in a rendition by Shao Baoqing and Solange Cruveillé. This month, the comics version (连环画, right) made its … Continue reading Ethnic ChinaLit Briefs (Feb 11)

Qing Dynasty Translations of Han Classics into Various Languages of China

The four classics of Chinese vernacular literature during the Ming and Qing Dynasties — Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Water Margin, Journey to the West and Dream of the Red Chamber — were all more or less fully translated into Manchu under the Qing, writes Yiming Abula (伊明·阿布拉) in Minority Translators Journal (民族翻译). Translations into … Continue reading Qing Dynasty Translations of Han Classics into Various Languages of China

By the Numbers: Non-Han “Literary Families” during the Qing

In much the same way as modern gender studies have exploded the myth that great writers throughout human history were necessarily male, contemporary research into literary production by non-Han authors is slowly lifting the veil on their role in China’s pre-20th-century literary life. In a recent piece on the current state of research into so-called … Continue reading By the Numbers: Non-Han “Literary Families” during the Qing

Definitions of “Chinese” Literary Works in Expansion Mode?

An intriguing picture of what constitutes Chinese literature (中国文学) emerges via an interview with Bai Gengsheng (访中国作协书记处书记白庚胜), a Naxi who has held several senior positions in the state-run ethnic minority literary research apparatus, including his current role as Secretary of the China Writers Association. In the interview with Chinese Reading Weekly (中华读书报), Bai says: In … Continue reading Definitions of “Chinese” Literary Works in Expansion Mode?

China’s Ethnic-themed Fiction: Mongolian Author Raises the Bar with Call for Bilingual Skills

Xi Jinping’s recent media blitz reminds China’s propaganda workers that — as Chairman Mao told us back at the 1942 Yan’an Forum — art should serve politics. No ifs, ands or buts, Comrades. To ensure the message gets across to the 55 ethnic minorities that weren’t born Han, “learn from Chairman Xi” study sessions targeting … Continue reading China’s Ethnic-themed Fiction: Mongolian Author Raises the Bar with Call for Bilingual Skills

A Suite of Poems from China’s Borderlands

Chinese Literature Today's new edition is out and features a special section featuring bilingual versions of poems by 13 of China's non-Han poets: Aku Wuwu, Altai (阿尔泰), Asu Yue’er (阿苏越尔), Baoyinhexige (宝音贺希格), Burao Yilu (布饶依露), Mushasijia Eni (俄尼·牧莎斯加), Lu Juan (鲁娟), Ma Deqing (马德清), Mo Du (莫独), Qiangrenliu (羌人六), Sha Ma (沙马), and Yangzi (羊子). This entire … Continue reading A Suite of Poems from China’s Borderlands

Backgrounder: Modern Ningxia Writers

Hui author Li Jinxiang (李进祥), born in the 1960s, recently introduced Ningxia writers of fiction and poetry in an article entitled 纯净朴诚的宁夏少数民族文学.  I haven’t read most of these authors and hope to write about them in detail in the future, but for now, I’ll just cite some authors and works for reference. Major Ningxia-based writers since … Continue reading Backgrounder: Modern Ningxia Writers

Xinjiang-based “West” Magazine Announces 2012-13 Awards

西部 magazine (lit, “West”) recently held an award ceremony in Tekes County (located in the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture). Ten authors received awards for texts published in the magazine during 2012-13 (西部文学奖). They are: Novels 《龋齿》by 弋舟 (Yi Zhou), and《小说二题》by 流瓶儿 (Liu Ping’er) Short Stories 《小叙事》by 汗漫 (Han Man);《母亲》by 辛生 (Xin Sheng); and《禾木纪事》by 康剑 (Kang … Continue reading Xinjiang-based “West” Magazine Announces 2012-13 Awards

Unveiled: List of “2014 China Classics” to Benefit from Translation/Publication Subsidy

In yet another move that emphasizes how much $$ China is spending to take its literature global, the 2014 list of finalists for the “China Classics International Publication Project”  (经典中国国际出版工程) has just been announced. It comprises 256 titles that will be translated into 27 languages, according to an article on China Book Int’l (入围). You … Continue reading Unveiled: List of “2014 China Classics” to Benefit from Translation/Publication Subsidy

Ethnic Literature in China: A Primer for the Uninitiated

A while back I came upon what seems to be a fairly comprehensive look at novels by non-Han writers published since 1949 that deal directly with issues of culture and identity. Entitled Ethnic Minority Novels  (少数民族小说), the Chinese-language article is unfortunately not signed, but it appears to have been written by a scholar and published … Continue reading Ethnic Literature in China: A Primer for the Uninitiated