The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast
Ep 74 - Zou Tao and The Fox Spirit of Bluestone Mountain with Timothy Gouldthorp

Ep 74 - Zou Tao and The Fox Spirit of Bluestone Mountain with Timothy Gouldthorp

July 2, 2022

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There is a saying that accurately describes Young Master Zhou’s state of mind: “Willing to die beneath the flower and linger as an amorous ghost”

In the seventy fourth episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast we are dallying with The Fox Spirit of Bluestone Mountain (狐狸緣全傳 / húlí yuán quánchuán). Arriving just in time to save us from the spirit’s wiles is translator Timothy Gouldthorp. Straighten your tails, grab a Taoist 不可以色色 bonk stick, and line up for battle as the creatures of the forest (rabbits included) take on the gods!

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(缘分 - yuánfèn - karmic affinity)

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Ep 71 - Feng Jicai and A Looking-Glass World with Daniel Li

Ep 71 - Feng Jicai and A Looking-Glass World with Daniel Li

April 24, 2022

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All the magic lay within their own bodies

In the seventy first episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast we are stepping into A Looking Glass World (单筒望远镜 / Dāntǒng Wàngyuǎnjìng). This is our second encounter with Tianjin’s bard Feng Jicai, and our first (sort of!) with his publisher-in-translation, Daniel Li of Sinoist Books.

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(庚子年 - gēng zi nián - gengzi year AKA the year of the metal rat)

(from the 60 year cycle of the Chinese calendar)

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Ep 63 - Murong Xuecun and Dancing Through Red Dust with Harvey Tomlinson

Ep 63 - Murong Xuecun and Dancing Through Red Dust with Harvey Tomlinson

November 23, 2021

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In my innocent youth, I was a paragon of virtue, but after wandering for so long in the red dust of this world I had joined the forces of evil

In the sixty third episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction we are Dancing Through Red Dust (原谅我红尘颠倒 / Yuánliàng Wǒ Hóngchén Diāndǎo), a nightmarish lurch through the PRC (il)legal system dreamed up by the Shandong webnovelist-turned-dissident Murong Xuecun. Presiding over the court with me is Murong’s esteemed translator, editor, publisher, and friend: Harvey Tomlinson. What have judges to do with the Jinpingmei? What has loss to do with licentiousness? How does Buddhism end up parceled in with backhand business? You shut up and listen. We’ll deliver the verdict.

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(晚 & 碗 - wǎn & wǎn - ‘evening’ and ‘bowl’)

(色 - - here meaning ‘carnality’)

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Ep 61 - Chen Xiwo and The Book of Sins with Nicky Harman

Ep 61 - Chen Xiwo and The Book of Sins with Nicky Harman

October 10, 2021

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I loathe reason. Reason is the sort of rubbish you can indulge in when life is sweet, like love and honour. I totally reject it.

In the sixty first episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction we are opening The Book of Sins (冒犯书 / Màofàn Shū), by edgelord-with-a-conscience Chen Xiwo. Playing common-sense counterpoint to my doom-laden interpretations of the text is its translator, Nicky Harman. Here’s what we deal with: pain, incest, and the political uses of shock, horror, and offensiveness. Are you sure about this? You can delete this episode now. Do you choose to hit play?

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(痛 - tòng - pain)

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Ep 54 - Qiu Miaojin and Notes of a Crocodile with Conor Stuart

Ep 54 - Qiu Miaojin and Notes of a Crocodile with Conor Stuart

May 7, 2021

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‘Some desires, once formed, are impossible to fulfil, so they become frustrations instead. That’s the problem with going forth into new worlds’

[ this is episode 2 of our Taiwan Season ]

In the fifty fourth episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast we are thumbing through the Notes of a Crocodile (鳄鱼手记 / Èyú Shǒujì). Joining me on the lookout for the shy and elusive reptiloid is Conor Stuart.

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(三八 - Sānbā - usually derogatory adjective used to describe ‘frivolous’ women)

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Ep 9 - Eileen Chang and Lust, Caution with Claire Hao

Ep 9 - Eileen Chang and Lust, Caution with Claire Hao

May 26, 2019

Ep 9

"Alive, her body belonged to him; dead, she was his ghost"

In the eighth episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast, we are looking at Lust, Caution (色,戒 / Sè, Jiè) by a certain someone called Eileen Chang. Heard of her?

It’s a tale of forbidden love and political intrigue set at a precarious time and indeed a precarious place in Chinese history: the Japanese-occupied foreign concessions of WW2-era Shanghai.

The translation I read is from the Penguin Pocket Classics Edition. Julia Lovell was the translator. Co-hosting with me on this episode is the amazing Claire Hao.

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// Discussed this Episode //

Except of the story available on the Pocket Penguins website

Julia Lovell/Han Shaogong article

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Ep 7 - Ding Ling and The Diary of Miss Sophie

Ep 7 - Ding Ling and The Diary of Miss Sophie

April 27, 2019

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"I was so angry I wanted to weep, but I laughed aloud."

In the seventh episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast, we are looking at: The Diary of Miss Sophie (莎菲女士的日记/Shāfēi Nǚshì de Rìjì)

This is a very personal journey of 'Miss Sophie', an outspoken woman navigating all the questions modern life in early 20th century, May Fourth Movement era China is throwing at her. It's frigging fascinating.

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// Discussed in this Episode //

The translation I read is from the Beacon Press edition of I Myself am a Woman: Selected Writings of Ding Ling.

In Quest of the Writer Ding Ling by Yi-Tsi Mei Feuerwerker

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Ep 3 - Murong Xuecun and Leave Me Alone

Ep 3 - Murong Xuecun and Leave Me Alone

March 15, 2019

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"I lit up a cigarette and thought that you shouldn't torture yourself by trying to go against life's grain. The dissolute will take advantage of the young. If you could be happy for a while, then settle for that."

In this episode we are looking at: Leave Me Alone (成都,今夜请将我遗忘 // Chéngdū, Jīnyè Qǐng Jiāng Wǒ Yíwàng) It's the 2014 UK edition published by Fortysix

 

// MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE //

Murong Xuecun's 2010 People's Literature Prize acceptance speech // MIRROR LINK

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