The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast
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 44 - Ge Fei and Peach Blossom Paradise with Canaan Morse

Ep 44 - Ge Fei and Peach Blossom Paradise with Canaan Morse

December 22, 2020

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 Every person's heart is an island, trapped by water, sequestered from the world

In the forty fourth episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast we are going in search of Peach Blossom Paradise (人面桃花 - Rénmiàn Táohuā) by Ge Fei. Rowing me through the lingering mists and dark waters is craftmaster Canaan Morse, its translator.

Ge Fei has been covered once before on this show. We did his Flock of Brown Birds in Episode 30. This time we are dealing with something less surreal. On the surface, it's a typical 'important Chinese novelist writes historical saga' affair. But beneath...

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(徒 - Tú - in vain)

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Ep 42 - Chi Zijian and The Last Quarter of the Moon with Bruce Humes

Ep 42 - Chi Zijian and The Last Quarter of the Moon with Bruce Humes

November 8, 2020

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I am an Evenki woman.
I am the wife of our people’s last Clan Chieftain.
I was born in the winter.

In the forty second episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast we are heading into the mountains of Manchuria to seek out The Last Quarter of the Moon (额尔古纳河右岸 / É'ěrgǔnà Hé Yòu'àn) by Chi Zijian. Tramping with me through the snows is its translator, Bruce Humes.

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(urireng / 乌力楞 / the basic social unit of Evenki society; the campsite and the clan)

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Ep 33 - Jin Yong and Legend of the Condor Heroes with Gigi Chang

Ep 33 - Jin Yong and Legend of the Condor Heroes with Gigi Chang

May 30, 2020

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'We Han Chinese outnumber the Jurchen by more than a hundred to one. If the Imperial Court decided to employ honest and loyal men, our great Empire would prevail. With one hundred of our men against one of their worthless soldiers, how could the Jin army win?'

In the thirty third episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast, we are looking at Legend of the Condor Heroes (射雕英雄传 / Shèdiāo Yīngxióng Chuán), the magnum opus of Wuxia grandmaster Jin Yong. Our guest is one of the translators working to bring it into English, Gigi Chang.

Condor Heroes is a huge entry in Chinese literature (both highbrow and lowbrow), and pop culture in general. In this first episode of the podcast's Wuxia season, I begin to get to grips with this absolute behemoth of genre fiction.

 

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(忠肝义胆 / Zhōng Gān Yì Dǎn / Loyal liver, righteous guts)

 

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Ep 31 - Su Tong and Petulia’s Rouge Tin with Anya Goncharova

Ep 31 - Su Tong and Petulia’s Rouge Tin with Anya Goncharova

May 2, 2020

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"Autumn Grace jumped up from the ground, kicked off her high heels and dashed away, one hand holding up the hem of her gown"

In the thirty first episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast, we are looking at Su Tong's Petulia's Rouge Tin (红粉 / Hóngfěn) Our guest is Anya Goncharova of the Peony Literary Agency

 

Su Tong on Paper Republic

Penguin China on Twitter

 

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(亲 / Qīn / Dear)

 

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Ching Shih, invincible pirate

A Billion Voices: China's Search for a Common Language

The Eighth Life

 

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Ep 14 - Jiang Zilong and Empires of Dust with Christopher Payne

Ep 14 - Jiang Zilong and Empires of Dust with Christopher Payne

September 30, 2019

"There’s an old saying: the earth is like a vomiting carcass."

In the fourteenth episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast, we are looking at Jiang Zilong's Empires of Dust (农民帝国/nóngmín dìguó)

This is an epic of ‘reform literature’ published by Sinoist Books, charting the rise and fall of Guo Cunxian, a ‘rugged individual’ of sorts who lives through the revolution, the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, and Reform and Opening. What is ‘reform literature’ you ask? Listen and find out, comrade! Our guest is one of the book's two translators, Christopher Payne. His co-translator was Olivia Milburn.

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South China Morning Post review

China Channel Dylan Levi King article

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