“Manas” Onstage: Ongoing Moves to Sinicize China’s Three Great Oral Epics

A large-scale, colourful rendition of the Kyrgyz epic Manas (玛纳斯史诗) was staged March 22-23 in Beijing’s ultra-modern Poly Theater. This performance came just two days after the newly anointed President Xi Jinping, speaking at the People’s Congress, cited two of the three great oral epics of non-Han peoples, Manas and the Tibetan-language King Gesar. While … Continue reading “Manas” Onstage: Ongoing Moves to Sinicize China’s Three Great Oral Epics

Backgrounder: Mongolian author Guo Xuebo

February 17, 2019 Author's Bio Although he writes in Chinese, Guo Xuebo (郭雪波) is fiercely proud of his Mongolian heritage and was raised in Inner Mongolia’s Khorchin Grasslands (Hure Banner). Now 71 and bilingual, he spoke Mongolian at home and school until he was 13. He graduated from Beijing’s prestigious Central Academy of Drama (Department … Continue reading Backgrounder: Mongolian author Guo Xuebo

Nuosuo Poet Aku Wuwu: Striving for a New Language Born of Cultural Fusion

Aku Wuwu (阿库乌雾), a bilingual poet who writes and performs in both Mandarin and Nuoso (a language of the Yi people), advocates a new-fangled form of Chinese that more fully expresses his people's non-Han culture. This reminds me of the attitude of Uyghur author Alat Asem (阿拉提·阿斯木) and the Turkic-flavor of his Confessions of a … Continue reading Nuosuo Poet Aku Wuwu: Striving for a New Language Born of Cultural Fusion

African Literature: On China’s Cultural Radar Yet?

Can Literary Imports Change Chinese Perceptions of Africa? : My piece on AfroLit in Chinese is up now at Sixth Tone: Since the founding of the modern Chinese state in 1949, there have been three waves of African literary imports. The first, which emerged in the 1980s, was ideologically driven. Empowered by Beijing’s policy of promoting … Continue reading African Literature: On China’s Cultural Radar Yet?

The New Xinjiang: Traveling when Uyghur

In Navigating Xinjiang's Security Checkpoints, Darren Byler, anthropology PhD candidate at the University of Washington, relates his recent experiences in northwest China: Over the course of a week in cities across Xinjiang, I went through dozens and dozens of checkpoints. I saw young Uighur officers berate elderly Uighurs for not showing their IDs. I saw … Continue reading The New Xinjiang: Traveling when Uyghur

Altaic Storytelling Quote of the Week: Culture as “backroom bric-à-brac”

. . . of course, the Chinese government enforcing Chinese as the language of the whole empire is based on the premise that if these unruly people can be acculturated, they can become part of the larger whole. When they check in at the door, their culture (like the Kyrgyz Epic of Manas) is denatured … Continue reading Altaic Storytelling Quote of the Week: Culture as “backroom bric-à-brac”

English Excerpt from “Prayers in the Wind” (祭语风中) by Tibetan Author Tsering Norbu

Excerpt from Prayers in the Wind A novel by Tibetan Author Tsering Norbu 节选:《祭语风中》(次仁罗布 著) Translated from the Chinese by Joshua Dyer Edited by Bruce Humes Zhyiö Rinpoche’s body sat upright on a wooden bed wrapped in his frayed and faded robe. Peering through the thick veil of incense smoke, I could almost will myself … Continue reading English Excerpt from “Prayers in the Wind” (祭语风中) by Tibetan Author Tsering Norbu

“Manas” Onstage: Ongoing Moves to Sinicize China’s Three Great Oral Epics

A large-scale, colourful rendition of the Kyrgyz epic Manas (玛纳斯史诗) was staged March 22-23 in Beijing’s ultra-modern Poly Theater. This performance came just two days after the newly anointed President Xi Jinping, speaking at the People’s Congress, cited two of the three great oral epics of non-Han peoples, Manas and the Tibetan-language King Gesar. While … Continue reading “Manas” Onstage: Ongoing Moves to Sinicize China’s Three Great Oral Epics

Quick Guide to China’s Contemporary Ethnic-themed Literature in Translation

Updated: May 3, 2018 (No plans to further update) Quick Guide to China’s Contemporary  Ethnic-themed Literature in Translation I’m often too busy to immediately write a well-researched post about contemporary “ethnic-themed” fiction that has been translated and published in a foreign tongue. This is a loose category (民族题材文学) that includes stories — regardless of the … Continue reading Quick Guide to China’s Contemporary Ethnic-themed Literature in Translation

徐穆实受访:人民日报海外版转载 “建立驻地翻译基金” 的建议

莫言获诺贝尔文学奖、麦家小说在海外畅销,外国翻译家功不可没。他们以优美的本国语言、适合西方人阅读的视角进行翻译,将中文图书接引到彼岸并焕发出神秘光彩。 最近,美国中文翻译家徐穆实(Bruce Humes)在个人网站上刊出公开信,就中国有关机构近年来推动的文学外译提出若干具体建议,将中国文学“走出去”的战略落到实处: 建立“驻地翻译”基金,积极征募外国翻译家到中国短期居住,体验中国文化,结识中国作家、翻译家和出版人(受惠对象应注重国别和语言的多样化,避免过度集中于英、法、德等欧洲语言); 放宽签证条件,以使翻译家工作期间合法居留中国; 办好网站,多搞活动,帮助中外翻译家们沟通和交流。 他的建议,不仅在海外的中国文学翻译圈内引起了共鸣,还让国内业界又一次正视“外国翻译家”这一文学出口生产线上的关键环节。 阅读全文,请点击