Two Reviews

By Eric Abrahamsen, published

The first of Yu Hua's new book, Cries in the Drizzle. I haven't read the original, but this is one of Yu Hua's earlier books, and it sounds as if it might not be his strongest.

The other is of Wang in Love and Bondage, published on the MCLC website. The review is first of all an excellent background on Wang Xiaobo, which is nice, though it's very positive about a translation I just can't understand anyone liking. I hope this book marks the last of the Chinese/foreign translation team efforts – it's just not the right way to go. Still, the review is quite worth reading.


# 1.   

Cries in the Drizzle is the first novel by Yu Hua that I read. It may not be his best, but it's definitely above the average.

Paul King, December 13, 2007, 5:32a.m.

# 2.   

I don't think that Chinese/foreign translation team efforts are necessarily doomed -- there have been some notable successes. I picked up a copy of Five Seasons of a Golden Year by Ts'ui Chi and the non-Sinologue poet Gerard Bullett a while back after reading a recommendation from David Hawkes, and it's a more successful verse translation than some of the free-verse translations I've seen sinologues come up with. Even Gladys Yang and Yang Xianyi -- who are easy to knock -- had their moments.

There are probably more counterexamples, though -- Wang in Love and Bondage, particularly. Does anyone now if Jeanne Kelly (who worked with Nathan K. Mao on the execrable translation of 围城 that Penguin just unaccountably republished) spoke Chinese? Because the translation would tend to give one the impression that she didn't speak much English.

Brendan, December 13, 2007, 11:46a.m.


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