Paper Republic: Chinese Literature Matters

Yan Geling on the Coronavirus Coverup

In faraway Wuhan, the springtime has clothed the banks of the Han River in green. But it is a springtime that many people will not see. It is a springtime when the dying could not receive a last kiss from their loved ones. A springtime that passed thirteen million Wuhanese by.

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2019 Publications in Chinese

By David Haysom, December 21, '19

As the year comes to a close, we’ve asked authors, translators, editors, and other friends of Paper Republic to recommend notable books published in Chinese in 2019 – translations into Chinese as well as original works. The resultant list gives an insight into the titles that have made an impression this year – and perhaps offers a preview of some of the books we can hope to see available in English soon!

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2019 Translations from Chinese

By Nicky Harman, December 13, '19

Here’s our roll-call of books translated from Chinese in 2019

There’s (almost) something for everyone this year – scifi and Singapore fiction have a strong showing, as do pre-modern classics, and even one self-help book. But still, fewer translated works were published in 2019 than in 2018 (31, as against 40-odd in 2018 ) Worst of all, only four of the list below are women writers. Every year, novels that are funny, sharp, moving and entertaining are published in the Chinese-speaking world – there is plenty for publishers and literary agents to seek out. We at Paper Republic continue to work hard to bring our favourite novels to their attention. (Watch out for our list of 2019 publications in Chinese, to be posted next week.) Read on

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The Pro-active Translator & Chinese Lit in Translation

By Bruce Humes, December 8, '19

First, it was Howard Goldblatt and his renditions of Mo Yan's novels that helped the Shandong storyteller win the (once coveted) Nobel Prize in Literature. Goldblatt has made it no secret that he edited the text in order to heighten readability.

Now, via an interview with Ken Liu in the New York Times, Why Is Chinese Sci-Fi Everywhere Now? Ken Liu Knows, we learn that translator Liu played a similar role in making Liu Cixin's The Three-body Problem popular in the West:

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Paper Republic London party

By Nicky Harman, December 4, '19

On 29th November 2019, Paper Republic launched as a UK-registered charity promoting Chinese literature in translation. We are, as you may know, a virtual organization, with a team of volunteers spread from America to the UK and China. But to celebrate our new non-profit status, we decided to have a fund-raising party in the literary heart of London. The raffle prizes (tea, maotai, books, books and more books, signed by any of their translators who happened to be present) went like hot cakes, and the pub room was jam-packed and raucous. Inevitably, because our supporters are spread all over the world, there were some familiar faces who couldn’t be there and were sadly missed, though Eric Abrahamsen, our founder and Chair of Trustees, made a special trip over from Seattle. But now we’ve got the party bug, we hope to host more literary parties in the US and China in the near future.

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Database for Chinese Lit in Spanish Translation

By Bruce Humes, November 16, '19

The Spanish-language database here is searchable in several ways:

Title in Spanish
Original title in Chinese
Author
Translator
Genre

Entries for each of the above are also listed alphabetically, so you can scroll for a look at what is in the database even if you don't have a particular book/author/translator in mind.

It is not anywhere as complete as MCLC's one in English, but still useful.

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Interview with Michelle Deeter

By Michelle Deeter, November 9, '19

Hybrid Pub Scout, the podcast that is mapping the frontier between traditional and indie publishing, interviewed Michelle Deeter about how a book gets translated. The episode is fun and informative, and includes a book giveaway!
[Episode 32 Hybrid Pub Scout] https://hybridpubscout.com/episode-32-book-translator-michelle-deeter/

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Paper Republic Charity Launch – Update!

By David Haysom, October 31, '19

On Friday November 29th we’re going to be celebrating our new status as a charity with a party at the Coach and Horses (29 Greek Street, London, W1D 5DH). In addition to drinks, book talk, and a raffle, we can now confirm that Eric Abrahamsen, founder and trustee of Paper Republic, will be making a rare UK appearance! Come along to find out more about what we’ve been up to and what we have planned, and learn about the most exciting developments happening in Chinese Literature today.

Sign up now on Eventbrite to join the party.

If you can’t make it, you can still make a contribution through Paypal here (even if you don’t have a Paypal account). Everything you donate will go directly towards supporting the work we do:

  • bringing the best works of Chinese literature into English
  • supporting emerging translators
  • maintaining the internet’s best resource for Chinese literature

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Paper Republic Charity Launch

By David Haysom, October 10, '19

As you may have heard, Paper Republic is now registered in the UK as a charity, and we think that’s something to celebrate!

If you’re if in the UK, we’d love for you to join us at 6.30pm on Friday November 29th at the Coach and Horses (29 Greek Street, London, W1D 5DH) to spend an evening with translators, authors, publishers, readers, and other friends of Paper Republic.

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Silk Road Tales: A Look at a Mongolian-Chinese Storybook

By Bruce Humes, October 8, '19

The new emperor’s Belt & Road Initiative has already resulted in scores of contracts for highways, railways and port construction in Central Asia, Southeast Asia and even East Africa. Perhaps less well known is the PRC's solidly financed soft power campaign that aims to create or translate, publish and disseminate texts in the languages of the “Silk Road” peoples — land- and sea-based — that relate to the history of the ancient trade routes.

This post features the tale of Zhang Qian, diplomat and explorer of the “Western Realm” during the reign of Emperor Wu of Han (141-87 BCE). The book is in Chinese and Mongolian (traditional script) and forms part of a "Socialist Core Value" (社会主义核心价值观幼儿绘本) picture-book series for children aged 5-6.

To facilitate comparison, the blogger has provided the text in three languages, five scripts: the original Chinese and Inner Mongolian script (vertical); Hanyu Pinyin; Cyrillic Mongolian (used in Mongolia); and a translation of the text into English.

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