Mini-review: Gao Ping’s “Tsangyang Gyatso, The Sixth Dalai Lama “

Leave me to myself. Go away. I have had enough of your demands on me. I didn't ask for it. What right do you have to make me your Dalai Lama? What right do you have to make me a eunuch, while still leaving my body and passions intact? (From Paul Williams' The Erotic Verse of the … Continue reading Mini-review: Gao Ping’s “Tsangyang Gyatso, The Sixth Dalai Lama “

《蒙古往事》及其汉化的蒙古语

我正在读冉平写的《蒙古往事》,也发现了经常出现蒙古人的一些有意思的说法。至少,作者在故事里告诉读者这些说法是来自蒙古语。 我在琢磨:作者会蒙古语吗?“拼法” 标准吗?科学吗?哪些是音译?如果蒙古语为母语的人看到了,认得出来吗? 无论如何,这些说法增加了《蒙古往事》的色彩和可读性,也值得去欣赏和研究。在这里先做点笔记,然后慢慢地加上一些想法和链接。下面的页数以新星出版社的 2010 版为参考。 长生天 (5) 蒙古人将腾格里称为 “Mongke Tengri”,意为 “长生天”,作为最高信仰 。(维基百科) 巴特(6) 《蒙古往事》编辑注释:“巴特,也称把阿秃,即蒙古语中勇士、英雄之意”。其实,好像 “巴特尔” 更正确,因为网上许多地方指 bataar 为蒙古语 “英雄” 之意。“乌兰巴托” (Ulan Bator)的意思是 “红色的英雄”。 苏鲁锭(7) 苏鲁锭的蒙语意思是“长矛”,也就是战旗。安答(20)《蒙古往事》编辑注释:“安答,即结拜的盟兄弟,生死之交”。帖卜腾格里(24) 《蒙古往事》编辑注释:“蒙古语:通天的人”。维基百科:腾格里(Tengri),是古代阿尔泰语系一些游牧民族对于天的称呼,是萨满教腾格里信仰的中心神灵。在中国古代典籍中,“腾格里” 一此最早出于匈奴,协作 “撑犁”,其君主单于的全称即 “撑犁孤涂单于”,意为 “天子般伟大”。其后,鲜卑、柔然、突厥以至蒙古等草原民族均继承了腾格里信仰。与突厥同族的敕勒发展出了 “苍天” (Koke Tengri)的概念,而蒙古人将腾格里成为 “Mongke Tengri”,以为 长生天,作为最高信仰。在之后,由于受到佛教、印度教等影响,腾格里被加上了各种称呼,分裂成为众多神灵, 17 世纪后甚至出现了 “九十腾格里” 的说法。今日土耳其语中,“神” 一词为腾格里转化而来的 “Tann”,其穆斯林信众不但以此词称呼基督教的上帝,甚至还在非正式的场合代替来自阿拉伯语的安拉之名。在欧洲可萨人与保加尔人,阿瓦尔人也曾信仰腾格里。 薛禅(48) 《蒙古往事》内文:“薛禅的意思在古代蒙古语里代表贤哲,就是有见识、有学问的人”。 虎不斯(59) 《蒙古往事》编辑注释:“虎不斯,蒙古古代的琴”。 纳可(59) 《蒙古往事》编辑注释:“纳可,伙伴、随从的意思”。 固姑冠(60) 《老年世界》:“也叫固姑帽,起源于蒙古草原,随着蒙古人入主中原而流传到内地。它是蒙古妇女的著名头饰。。。13 世纪访问蒙古草原的柏朗嘉宾和鲁布鲁克等人所写游记,也都谈到固姑冠的美丽及其造型与风格特色。《鲁布鲁克东行记》说:波克头饰,用树皮制成,它大如两手合掐,高有一腕尺多,阔如柱头。并把它用贵重的丝绢包起来,里面是空的。在柱头顶,即在顶面,插上也有一腕尺多长的一簇羽茎或细枝”。 《蒙古往事》编辑注释:“固姑冠,象征身份、地位的头饰”。 海青(77) 内文:“他们[铁木真等]把鹰叫做海青”。 … Continue reading 《蒙古往事》及其汉化的蒙古语

Translator interview: Stéphane Lévêque, Chinese-to-French translator of Fan Wen’s “Harmonious Land”

As those knowledgeable about Chinese literature in translation may have noted, one occasionally finds European publishers---particularly in France---are willing to translate and publish Chinese fiction long before these "unknown" authors are "discovered" by the English-speaking world. Ethnic ChinaLit spoke recently with Stéphane Lévêque, who is busy translating Harmonious Land (水乳大地) into French, the first novel [May … Continue reading Translator interview: Stéphane Lévêque, Chinese-to-French translator of Fan Wen’s “Harmonious Land”

China Census Time: As 2010 Count Begins, a Look back at how Ethnicity was Recorded in 1953-54

We all know that there are exactly 56 ethnic groups in China, yet in the 1953-54 census Yunnan alone reported more than 200. Over at China Beat, an excerpt from Tom Mullaney's Coming to Terms with the Nation: Ethnic Classification in Modern China offers a bit of insight into these mathematics: In the first census … Continue reading China Census Time: As 2010 Count Begins, a Look back at how Ethnicity was Recorded in 1953-54

Fan Wen: New Novel to Explore Culture Clash behind Kunming-Haiphong

Fan Wen (范稳), the Chinese Catholic author who recently completed his fictional trilogy spotlighting cultural and religious collisions in the "multicultural wonderland" of the Yunnan-Tibet border, now has another historical novel in mind. The first book in the published series, Harmonious Land (水乳大地), recounts the tale of a multi-ethnic settlement in Lancangjiang Canyon (gateway to … Continue reading Fan Wen: New Novel to Explore Culture Clash behind Kunming-Haiphong

Zhang Ling’s “Aftershock”: The Movie, the Screenwriter and the Part-time Censor

Director Feng Xiaogang’s gaze graces the cover of several publications this week, and indeed, the “disaster movie” genre in China may never be the same again thanks to him.  His adaptation of Zhang Ling’s Aftershock (张翎的 "余震") is mesmerizing the nation’s moviegoers, and this tale of the 1976 Tangshan earthquake that killed over 200,000 leaves … Continue reading Zhang Ling’s “Aftershock”: The Movie, the Screenwriter and the Part-time Censor

Fan Wen’s Yunnan-Tibetan Trilogy: A Catholic Chinese Author’s Imagination Takes Flight

The China Daily features a piece on the third and final novel in a trilogy exploring the border on either side of Yunnan and Tibet: At last author Fan Wen (范稳) has his reward for a decade of immersion in the multicultural wonderland along the Yunnan-Tibet border: Canticle to the Land (大地雅歌), the closing novel … Continue reading Fan Wen’s Yunnan-Tibetan Trilogy: A Catholic Chinese Author’s Imagination Takes Flight

Turkish Novels, Honor Killing and China’s English-language Complex

Zülfü Livaneli, the Turkish writer, musician, singer, journalist and member of parliament, recently toured China to promote the launch of the mainland Chinese translation of his popular novel, Bliss (Mutluluk), or 伊斯坦布尔的幸福. Now a movie as well, Bliss is a melodramatic tale of a young village woman who is raped by an elder relative. When … Continue reading Turkish Novels, Honor Killing and China’s English-language Complex

Interview: Author Murong Xuecun (慕容雪村) on his Undercover Role Investigating a Chinese Pyramid Scheme

Murong Xuecun has gained a name for himself through his unflattering vignettes of gambling, drinking, whoring and corruption in contemporary China. His best-seller, Leave me Alone: A Novel of Chengdu (成都,今夜请将我遗忘), prompted the authorities to convene a conference solely to critique the novel for sullying the Sichuan city’s image. But in a change of tack … Continue reading Interview: Author Murong Xuecun (慕容雪村) on his Undercover Role Investigating a Chinese Pyramid Scheme

Israeli Writers in Chinese: Via Hebrew or English?

A literary agent on selling Israeli fiction overseas: I can tell you there is no market more challenging than America’s. I sell more books in China and Japan than in America . . . Could be, and perhaps it's the quality of the translations into the Chinese. My girlfriend read Roman Russi (蓝山) by Meir … Continue reading Israeli Writers in Chinese: Via Hebrew or English?