The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast
Ep 72 - Han Song and My Country Does Not Dream with the London Chinese Science Fiction Group

Ep 72 - Han Song and My Country Does Not Dream with the London Chinese Science Fiction Group

May 5, 2022

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‘Because of sleepwalking, over one billion Chinese people have awakened’

In the seventy second episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast I’m facing down a bleak reality: My Country Does Not Dream (我的祖国不要做梦 / wǒde zǔguó bù zuò mèng). But I’m not doing it alone! The London Chinese Science Fiction Group have deployed a team of Han Song aficionados (and one critic) to console my exhausted brain as the daytime hours fall away, revealing a sombre somnambulant city behind the city: Beijing.

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// WORDS OF THE DAY //

(梦游 - mèngyóu - sleepwalking)

(吊儿郎当 - diào'er lángdāng - sloppiness)

(躺平 - tǎngpíng - lie flat, as resistance to the 996 work system)

(闭眼 - bì yǎn - eyes closed)

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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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// WORDS OF THE DAY //

(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 59 - More Than One Child with Shen Yang and Nicky Harman

Ep 59 - More Than One Child with Shen Yang and Nicky Harman

August 29, 2021

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It is a long and painful process to see oneself clearly, as is the process of returning to one’s childhood.

In the fifty ninth episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast we are talking with someone who is More Than One Child (隐形小孩 / Yǐnxíng Xiǎohái), a woman as friendly as she is fearless: Shen Yang. She’s here on this episode, and so is her translator, friend-of-the-pod, and returnee guest Nicky Harman. The book is forthcoming from the excellent publisher Balestier Press.

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// WORD OF THE DAY //

(葳蕤 - wēi ruí - lush, burgeoning foliage)

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Ep 47 - Ma Jian and Beijing Coma with Ronald Torrance

Ep 47 - Ma Jian and Beijing Coma with Ronald Torrance

February 5, 2021

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When you've stared at the past for so long that time dissolves, you'll be able to wake from your slumber

In the forty seventh episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast we are falling into Beijing Coma (肉之土 / Ròu Zhī Tǔ). Avid Ma Jian reader Ronald Torrance is here to guide me from perimeter to epicentre of this colossal novel, and the weighty events it reckons with. Even without politics, stakes are high here: life/death, time/memory, flesh/history, and the intimate bonds that can exist between translators and writers.

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(地标 - Dìbiāo - Landmark)

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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

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"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 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

 

// MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE //

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

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