Jang pretended to uphold the party and leader but was engrossed in such factional acts as dreaming different dreams and involving himself in double-dealing behind the scene
(The North Korean news agency KCNA, on the ousting of the once powerful Jang Song-thaek, uncle of current leader Kim Jong-un. See Purges Uncle for full story at The Guardian)
“There’s a strange conflict,” he adds, “because while we’re campaigning for recognition, we also know that if you read a book and don’t notice the translator, we’re succeeding.”
(The words of translation slam “adjudicator” Daniel Hahn on the profession where invisibility is often considered a virtue, quoted in A War of Words)
The contemporary Chinese literature scene suffers globally because there
is a real problem with getting works translated. There are some very
prominent, notable translators but they are totally over-worked. So all
these interesting books that have been written in China are just totally
(Tash Aw (歐大旭), author of Five Star Billionaire, on the dearth of literary translators from the Chinese)
“炸裂”两个字是我三、四年前去韩国时看到的。当时韩国外国语大学有一个讲座，贴了一个广告，当然是韩语的，但韩语中间突然跳出两个汉字来，就是炸裂。我就问大学的人放到这一堆韩语中间炸裂是什么意思，韩国人说是指来听讲座的人很多，没有座位，人满为患了。这是韩语的字面意思，但是在那一瞬间我忽然捕捉到，之前谁都不知道用什么话去形容的中国现状——这个国家到底是变成什么样，人变成什么样，我们会说“改革开放”，会说“人心不古”，会说种种其他，但却找不到最简单、最精髓的话把中国目前这30年所经历的或者今天的现状说出来，就在当时在那一瞬间，我感到“炸裂”二字确实能表达中国这 30 年发生了什么和正在发生什么。
(Author Yan Lianke (阎连科) speaking about his new novel, 炸裂志, in an interview with the New York Times, 恶忘推动中国飞奔向前 )
Dictionaries were very hard to come by. I didn’t have an Italian-English dictionary. I had an Italian-German dictionary, the problem being that I didn’t know German. But then I had a German-English dictionary. So I would translate by way of German. Also, my friends knew some English and some French and, being Neapolitans, they were very good mimes. It was a form of charade really. They would act out Ungaretti poems; I have vivid memories of somebody trying to illustrate for me “M’illumino d’immenso,” by opening his arms, mouth, and eyes wide to be illuminated by immensity! When I finally learned Italian, I stopped translating poetry immediately because I realized what I was doing to it.
(Excerpted from a Paris Review interview with translator William Weaver, who died recently)
I can almost hear the ring of the camel bells
and the wisps of smoke in the desert.
(President Xi Jinping speaking in Astana, during his current oil- and gas-inspired whirlwind tour of the four ‘Stans: Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. A pipeline from the Caspian Sea will connect to a pipeline in Turkmenistan, and eventually distribute gas to all the way to China’s coastal cities.)
” The Ottomans maintained a soldier from the Janissary Presidential Guards, whose sole task during state occasions was to whisper in the Sultan’s ear, ‘Remember you are human and fallible’. A leader [Prime Minister Erdoğan] who has done much for Turkey and is much admired in the Muslim world must rise to the occasion as a statesman. “
(From A Protest Movement that Has its Own Dynamics, by Ambassador Tariq Osman Hyder, a retired Pakistani diplomat)
As the most influential genre in contemporary literature, the state of the novel in ethnic minority literature and Han literature is proof that separate ethnic identities have not resulted in disparities of literary imagination. In terms of their reflection of mundane life, nostalgia for their homelands, and pursuit of transcendence, all the novels [in "2011 Selected Ethnic Minority Writing"] convey that the living conditions of ethnic minorities are those of an ordinary Chinese; the former’s thoughts, hopes and longings are those of an ordinary Chinese.
(Comments on the content of 2011 Selected Ethnic Minority Writing (《中国少数民族文学 2011 年度选》) by Liu Daxian, member of the editing team of Studies of Ethnic Literature Magazine (《民族文学研究》编辑部的副研究员, 刘大先) )
. . . the three great epics—the Tibetan “King Gesar,” the Mongol’s “Life of Jangger,” and “Manas” of the Kyrgyz—have all become the object of global studies in the genre. But there is not even a basic introduction to these three epics in our histories of Chinese literature.
Li Xiaofeng in his new piece on The Plight of Native Language Literature among Ethnic Minorities in China (“不在场的在场”：中国少数母语文学的处境，李晓峰著)