“Last Quarter of the Moon” among Time Out Beijing’s Top 20 Chinese Novels since 1900

It’s nice to find your work on the same list as Qian Zhongshu’s Fortress Besieged and Lu Xün’s Real Story of Ah Q. I happily report that Last Quarter of the Moon, my rendition of Chi Zijian’s tragic novel about the twilight of the reindeer-herding Evenki of northeast China, ranks a modest sixth on Time … Continue reading “Last Quarter of the Moon” among Time Out Beijing’s Top 20 Chinese Novels since 1900

Inner Mongolia: Tardy Legal Move to Protect Oroqen Culture it Once Suppressed

Inner Mongolia has just passed a law aimed at protecting the culture of the Elunchun (鄂伦春), also known as the Oroqen, according to an item republished at Chinawriter.com.cn (鄂伦春传统文化). Like the Evenki portrayed in Chi Zijian’s Last Quarter of the Moon, the Oroqen speak a Tungusic tongue, and their population has markedly declined since the … Continue reading Inner Mongolia: Tardy Legal Move to Protect Oroqen Culture it Once Suppressed

“Duobukuer River”: Daur Writer Paints Brighter Future of One Who Left the Greater Khingan Range Behind

Ever since I completed my translation of Han author Chi Zijian’s Last Quarter of the Moon, set in the Greater Khingan Range (大兴安岭) that divides the Manchurian plain of northeastern China from the Mongolian Plateau of Inner Mongolia, I’ve been wondering: How would one of the indigenous nomadic peoples, an Evenki, Oroqen or Daur for … Continue reading “Duobukuer River”: Daur Writer Paints Brighter Future of One Who Left the Greater Khingan Range Behind

Author’s Afterword: “Last Quarter of the Moon”

 Afterword: From the Mountains  to the Sea   The birth of a literary work resembles the growth of a tree. It requires favorable circumstances. Firstly, there must be a seed, the Mother of All Things. Secondly, it cannot lack for soil, nor can it make do without the sunlight’s warmth, the rain’s moisture or the … Continue reading Author’s Afterword: “Last Quarter of the Moon”

Chinese Fiction in Translation: Novels/Novellas with “Ethnic” Theme

Over the last few months a number of reporters have e-mailed to ask about the state of Chinese literature in translation, particularly in light of Mo Yan's winning the 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature. But most cite just a handful of authors and works in their questions--- and Shanghai Baby, translated by yours truly over a … Continue reading Chinese Fiction in Translation: Novels/Novellas with “Ethnic” Theme

《额尔古纳河右岸》的英文译者: “因为书里的故事感动了我”

伦敦出版商 Harvill Secker 一月 17 日推出了东北作家迟子建的第一本译成英文的小说,《Last Quarter of the Moon》。为了《中华读书报》,慷慨先生找到我,进行了有关我翻译这本小说的采访: 《读书报》:为什么使用现在这个英译书名,而不是原书名《额尔古纳河右岸》的直译? 徐穆实 [Bruce Humes]:首先要明白一个事实:书名一般由出版方来定,译者甚至原作家的想法只是建议罢了。要知道,外文版权是外国出版社拥有的,当然是他们说了算。 我的建议本来是直译:The Right Bank of the Argun。这书名不仅忠实原作,也方便引起西方读者的好奇心。因为用“右岸”表达河流的方位有点莫名其妙,西方读者习惯用东南西北来表达。就算西方读者 不知道这条河是几百年以来中俄边境的界线,单凭这种奇特的表达方式,也会引起他们的好奇心。 但英格兰的出版人被早些出版的《额尔古纳河右岸》意大利译文的书名 Ultimo quarto di luna 所吸引,就把它译成英文的 The Last Quarter of the Moon。 全文可以在此下载 PDF 版。