The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast
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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(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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