The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast
Ep 24 - Feng Jicai and Faces in the Crowd

Ep 24 - Feng Jicai and Faces in the Crowd

January 19, 2020

"I have lived in Tianjin my whole life, and I know its people, with their toughness and competitive streak, their generosity, their determination to be respected, and their refusal to back down. When I illustrate them, it is these qualities I draw."

In the twenty fourth episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast, we are looking at Feng Jicai's Faces in the Crowd (俗世奇人 / Súshì Qírén)

This is the first time on the show that I’m looking at an illustrated book. Each chapter is a ‘sketch’ of one of old colonial Tianjin’s more quirky characters. They’re all drawn from local legends, and add up to create a really immersive wander through a bygone era.

Publishers: EN - Sinoist Books // CN - People's Literature Publishing House

 

Feng Jicai on Paper Republic

Olivia Milburn on Paper Republic

 

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Ep 23 - Baoshu and What Has Passed Shall In Kinder Light Appear

Ep 23 - Baoshu and What Has Passed Shall In Kinder Light Appear

January 12, 2020

Ep 23 art

"Later, I kept on hoping China would host the Olympics again, but it never happened. After I became a father, I told my son about that night, and he refused to believe China had once been so prosperous."

this is episode 7 of 7 in our Chinese Science Fiction Season

In the twenty third episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast, we are looking at Baoshu's What Has Passed Shall In Kinder Light Appear (大时代 / dà shídài), available to read in the Broken Stars anthology, edited and translated by Ken Liu.

Baoshu reverses time, sending his protagonist through a life that begins with the Beijing Olympics and ends before the communist revolution. I go it alone on this episode, and maybe it’s for the best because this story made me cry. It’s beautiful.

 

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Ep 13 - Water Margin and the Mossflow

Ep 13 - Water Margin and the Mossflow

September 1, 2019

Ep 13 art

"A weill-kent scholar at the court o King Shenzong o the umqhile Hous o Song, he wis vext at the Five Dynasties, yon hinner-en o the Tang times whan there wis naethin but weir an brulyie: in thae days whit wis Jin’s i the mornin wad be Liang’s bi nicht, an richtlie wis it said: Zhu, Li, Shi, Liu, Guo; Liang, Tang, Jin, Han, Zhou: Fifteen kings thegither Skailt fiftie year o stushie!"

In the thirteenth episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast, we are looking at The Mossflow, Brian Holton's Scots translation of Water Margin (水滸傳 / shuǐhǔ zhuàn)

Also, please have a giggle at this angry, weirdly homophobic Global Times Article

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Ep 12 - Chen Si’an and Ocean Hotpot

Ep 12 - Chen Si’an and Ocean Hotpot

August 23, 2019

Ep 12

"An idyllic island in the midst of boiling oceans. Hot enough to cook a hotpot. One maverick entrepreneur sees a development opportunity and begins to devise the most absurd schemes for environmental protection."

In the twelfth episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast, we are looking at Chen Si'an's Ocean Hotpot (海洋火锅 / hǎiyáng huǒguō)

This one was translated by Jeremy Tiang and performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, with Chen Si’an in attendance. I was lucky enough to ask Si'an a question, the answer to which you’ll hear in this episode!

Smog brick article: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/01/chinese-vacuum-cleaner-artist-turning-beijings-smog-into-bricks

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Ep 10 - A Yi and A Perfect Crime

Ep 10 - A Yi and A Perfect Crime

July 27, 2019

"I tried. I put everything into being an exceptional student. But those things are like water cast out in the desert, they evaporate quickly. Whenever I started something, I would picture its inevitable ending. An apple becomes pips in the trash."

In the tenth episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast, we are looking at A Yi's A Perfect Crime (猫和老鼠/māo hé lǎoshǔ)

This is dark and existential novel translated by Anna Holmwood wastes neither word nor sentiment on the reader. Prepare for discomfort as we take on the perspective of an alienated highschooler who murders his classmate for no real reason, then goes on the run.

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INEQUALITY AND CRIME RATES IN CHINA by Tsun Se Cheong and Yanrui Wu

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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

Ep 7 art

"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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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 4 - The London Book Fair

Ep 4 - The London Book Fair

March 22, 2019

"The London Book Fair is the global marketplace for rights negotiation alongside the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV film and digital channels."

A book fair! Candyfloss and author signings and gazebos? Not quite.

In this episode we're doing something a little different. I'll be recounting my trip to the 2019 London Book Fair and recounting all translated-Chinese-fic discoveries I made and encounters I had. Without disclosing any career ending secrets of course. Jk I have none.

https://olympia.london/whatson/london-book-fair

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Ep 3 - Murong Xuecun and Leave Me Alone

Ep 3 - Murong Xuecun and Leave Me Alone

March 15, 2019

Ep 3 art

"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

Murong Xuecun's 2010 People's Literature Prize acceptance speech https://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/06/world/asia/murong-xuecuns-acceptance-speech-for-the-2010-peoples-literature-prize.html

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Ep 2 - Wang Shuo and Please Don’t Call Me Human

Ep 2 - Wang Shuo and Please Don’t Call Me Human

March 3, 2019

Ep 2 art"The publicity should focus on how we took a pile of shit and a puddle of piss and turned it into somebody. We must make this clear to the masses."

In this episode we are looking at: Please Don't Call Me Human (千万别把我当人/Qiānwàn Bié Bǎ Wǒ Dāngrén) It's the 2005 No Exit Press edition, no. 14 of its 18th Anniversary Crime & Noir series

Liumang Culture Essay: https://www.jstor.org/stable/2950054 (You need a JSTOR account or free trial, but contact me and I can zap you the .pdf)

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Ep 1 - Lu Xun and the Diary of a Madman

Ep 1 - Lu Xun and the Diary of a Madman

February 27, 2019

Ep 1 art

Wanting to eat men, at the same time afraid of being eaten themselves, they all look at each other with the deepest suspicion...

In the very first episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast, we are looking at The Diary of a Madman (狂人日记/Kuángrén Rìjì) It's the PRC Beijing Foreign Languages Press translation.

This is a foundational text for modern Chinese literature, and sure enough this podcast keeps on referring back here, to Episode 1. In this grim and surreal tale, a man describes his growing suspicion that his friends, his family, and his entire village has turned cannibal.

READ THE FULL TEXT HERE

Third-World Literature in the Era of Multinational Capitalism by Frederic Jameson

 

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