James Joyce – big in China

Finnegans Wake is a bestseller in China and Ulysses is the inspiration behind two successful plays. As Bloomsday approaches, Scarlett Baron considers his growing reputation in Beijing and beyondJoyce’s image in China holds a strange fascination in the west. When the first third of Finnegans Wake, his last and most notoriously difficult book, was published in Shanghai in 2013, newspapers in Britain and America greeted the announcement as a momentous event. Certainly, the salient details of the story are arresting: 72 years had passed since the publication of the novel in London in 1941; seven years had elapsed since Dai Congrong had agreed to undertake the formidable task of translation; and when the book appeared between luxuriously silky dark-green boards, heavy with pages of explanatory notes, it became an immediate commercial success.By what miracles of linguistic mastery and literary imagination could Chinese characters be made to capture Joyce’s mind-bending manipulations of the alphabet? By what subtleties of cross-cultural understanding could the specificities of Ireland and its mythologies be translated for a Chinese audience? Could the translation be trusted if it made Finnegans Wake a bestseller? Continue reading... Continue reading at 'The Guardian'

[ The Guardian | 2015-06-13 00:00:00 UTC ]
News tagged with: #cross-cultural understanding #commercial success

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