Friday, March 18, 2011

Translation projects unlock world of Taiwanese literature (Taiwan Today)

Readers in the English-speaking world have long enjoyed translations of the cream of French, German and Russian literature. Only in the past few decades, however, have English-language editions of the best fiction written in Taiwan become available.

In the 1980s, Indiana University Press published translations of short-story collections by Huang Chun-ming and Kenneth Pai Hsien-yung as part of its Chinese Literature in Translation series. In 1998, Columbia University Press launched its Modern Chinese Literature in Taiwan series with Wang Chen-ho's “Rose, Rose I Love You,” a novel first published in Chinese in 1984.

Of the 18 titles in the series, with two more in the pipeline, the best-seller so far has been Chu Tien-wen's “Notes of a Desolate Man,” said Jennifer Crewe, CUP's editorial director.

Print runs are usually small, however, about 1,000 copies on average, said Crewe...

Go here to read this article in its entirety. Researching this story was very satisfying on a personal level, opening doors to one aspect of Taiwan I had until this year neglected. The National Museum of Taiwan Literature is worth visiting, even if you cannot read any Chinese.

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