Chinese Literature Week, part the second

By Eric Abrahamsen, published

So that this shouldn't become a wall of rambling text, I'm going to arrange the rest of my observations and recollections from the Chinese Literature Week in Oslo into easily-digestible bullet points. No actual logical structure or cohesion is implied!


# 1.   

Eric, it's not that the publishers (or translators) want to edit the books exactly like in the US, it's the agents that demand it. It seems it's quite often in the contract when the publishers buy the rights. Ai Mi's book is a good example: I finished that translation in May and the publisher is now waiting for the English translation in order to re-edit the book . Makes you angry and frustrated.

Anna GC, November 20, 2011, 2:10p.m.

# 2.   

Not that it changes your point, but Jeffrey Yang, my editor at New Directions (and Bonnie McDougall's editor for her 2010 re-translation of Ah Cheng's King of Trees), speaks and reads Chinese, as does the Yale U. P. editor who worked with Karen Gernant & Chen Zeping on their translation of Can Xue's Five Spice Street (though I'm pretty sure she's left). Also, James Meader, publicist at Picador, where Ma Jian's works have come out in paperback, studied Chinese in college.

Lucas Klein, November 21, 2011, 3:05a.m.

# 3.   

Anna—thanks for that clarification, some of the Norwegian publishers did mention that it was often at the request of agents, but I didn't get a sense of how often that happened vs how often they just did it themselves…

Lucas: That's not a bad list… I guess I was thinking mostly mainstream publishers (ie those that don't focus specifically on translations); good to know about James Meader! I imagine the situation will only improve.

 Eric Abrahamsen, November 25, 2011, 4:10a.m.


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