The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast
Ep 69 - Xue Mo and The Women, the Camels, and the Dholes with Sarah Lam and Nicola Clayton

Ep 69 - Xue Mo and The Women, the Camels, and the Dholes with Sarah Lam and Nicola Clayton

March 9, 2022

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You couldn’t get to grips with fate, but the enemy you could see and touch was your own body

In the sixty ninth episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast we are riding with The Women, the Camels, and the Dholes, one of the stories contained within the Selected Stories of Xue Mo (雪漠小说精选 / Xuěmò Xiǎoshuō Jīngxuǎn). Two women are joining me on this trek: audiobook producer Nicola Clayton and voice actor Sarah Lam. In this tale we get material, we get Buddhist, we get into self-help, we get really close to death, and we take up a rifle loaded with... weirdly sentient bullets. It will make sense when we explain it… maybe…

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(生存 - shēng cún - to exist, to survive)

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Ep 67 - Lo Yi-Chin and Faraway with Jenna Tang

Ep 67 - Lo Yi-Chin and Faraway with Jenna Tang

February 12, 2022

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Maybe I would only begin to understand these things when I became fatherless too, having no-one to lean on, the bitter solitude of not knowing what you ought to say before the world

In the sixty seventh of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast we are going Faraway (遠方 / Yuǎnfāng) with Lo Yi-Chin. Lighting lamps with me as time, memory, and family dissolve into an indistinct fog is the writer, translator, and mega-linguist Jenna Tang.

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// WORD OF THE DAY //

(遠方 - yuǎnfāng - far away (or should it be ‘faraway’?)

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Ep 65 - Ge Fei and The Invisibility Cloak with Giray Fidan and Rauno Sainio

Ep 65 - Ge Fei and The Invisibility Cloak with Giray Fidan and Rauno Sainio

January 5, 2022

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The best attributes of anyone or anything usually reside on the surface, which is where, in fact, all of us live out our lives

In the sixty fifth episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast we are swathing ourselves in The Invisibility Cloak (隐身衣 / Yǐnshēn Yī). Languishing with me in the peace and pain of relative obscurity are Giray Fidan and Rauno Sainio, two translators of the book’s author: Ge Fei, an imperceptible fabulist and three-time subject of this very show. I still haven’t figured him out, and I’m sure he’d be glad of it.

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// PHRASES OF THE DAY //

(太阳还好端端的在天上挂着呢! - Tàiyáng hái hǎoduānduān dì zài tiānshàng guà zhene - And the sun is still hanging right up there in the sky!)

(安居乐业 - Ānjūlèyè - To live in peace, and work happily)

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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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// WORD OF THE DAY //

(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 57 - Chih-Ying Lay and Home Sickness with Darryl Sterk

Ep 57 - Chih-Ying Lay and Home Sickness with Darryl Sterk

July 18, 2021

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‘Chopin always reminds me of being lovelorn in Penang’

[ this is episode 5 of our Taiwan Season ]

In the fifty seventh episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast we are suffering from Home Sickness (匿逃者 / Nì Táo Zhě), a short story collection by Chih-ying Lay. Here to ease this terrible affliction is the book’s translator: reformed Buddhist and agile herper Darryl Sterk.

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// WORD OF THE DAY //

(亲源关系 - qīnyuán guānxì - phylogenetic relationship)

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Ep 56 - Pai Hsien-yung and Taipei People with Nadia Ho

Ep 56 - Pai Hsien-yung and Taipei People with Nadia Ho

June 10, 2021

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‘According to the ancient precepts, grief supersedes all formalities’

[ this is episode 4 of our Taiwan Season ]

In the fifty sixth episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast we are introducing ourselves to the Taipei People (台北人 / Táiběi Rén), as written by Pai Hsien-yung. Joining me to question the merits of nostalgia and muse aimlessly on umbrellas and the like is a genuine Taibei ren; the effortlessly hip Nadia Ho.

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// WORD OF THE DAY //

(夢 - màng - dream)

pls note I’ve used the character’s traditional form and local Taiwanese pronunciation here!

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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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// WORDS OF THE DAY //

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

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Ep 53 - The Membranes with Chi Ta-wei and Ari Larissa Heinrich

Ep 53 - The Membranes with Chi Ta-wei and Ari Larissa Heinrich

April 28, 2021

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‘Two peach trees, two entirely different universes.’

[ this is episode 1 of our Taiwan Season ]

In the fifty third episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast we are peeling back The Membranes (膜 / Mó). Joining me at their respective computer terminals in the ocean floor biodome are its author Chi Ta-wei and translator Ari Larissa Heinrich. 

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// WORDS OF THE DAY //

(赞 - zàn - ‘like’, as in Facebook, Wechat etc)

(情 - qíng - emotion, affection, sentiment)

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// Episode Sponsor //

Buy Paul French’s Destination Peking here:

https://www.blacksmithbooks.com/books/destination-peking/

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