September 9

Texts and Tête-à-Tête: Howard Goldblatt’s Exchanges with Chinese Writers

September 9, 2023
8:00 - 9:30 PM EDT

Howard Goldblatt embarked on his journey of translating Chinese literary masterpieces during the 1970s and swiftly rose to acclaim as the “Chief Translator of Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature.” Renowned for his translations of works by notable Chinese authors like Mo Yan, Bi Feiyu, Liu Zhenyun, Su Tong, and Jia Pingwa, Goldblatt’s contributions have become a cornerstone in the realm of Chinese literature translation studies. Scholars have diligently explored various facets of Goldblatt’s translation approach, uncovering a wealth of insights.

With Mo Yan’s Nobel Prize in Literature as a turning point, Goldblatt’s role gained even greater prominence, triggering discussions on the globalization of Chinese literature. His extensive translation of nearly all of Mo Yan’s novels thrust him into the heart of this discourse. Yet, Goldblatt’s impact extends beyond translation itself. Within his translations of Chinese literary works, a profound academic exchange occurs between him and the original Chinese authors.

Intriguingly, the Chinese Literature Translation Archive, housed at the University of Oklahoma, houses a treasure trove of correspondence spanning over four decades between Goldblatt and Chinese writers. These letters, faxes, and emails bear witness to the deep and multifaceted dialogues between the translator and the writers, transcending geographical and cultural boundaries.

Professor Xu Shiyan will illuminate this captivating narrative in her upcoming lecture, drawing from Howard Goldblatt’s translation archives preserved at the Chinese Literature Translation Archive in the University of Oklahoma. By presenting these first-hand materials, she will unveil the invisible threads that connect the translator and the writer—usually obscured behind the translated and original texts.

Join us to embark on an enlightening exploration into the realms of translation, communication, and the intricate world of Chinese literary exchange.

葛浩文(Howard Goldblatt)从上世纪70年代开始翻译中国文学作品,翻译了莫言、毕飞宇、刘震云、苏童、贾平凹等著名作家的小说,被誉为“中国现当代文学首席翻译家”,葛浩文的翻译因此成为中国文学外译研究中一个“绕不开的参照系”。各界学者对葛浩文的翻译进行了多方面的研究,在莫言获得诺贝尔文学奖之后,作为莫言译者的葛浩文,更是成为“中国文学应该以何种方式走出去“之争议的焦点。但葛浩文的工作并不局限于翻译,他在翻译过程中不断与中国学者进行学术交往。位于俄克拉荷马大学的中国文学翻译档案馆,收藏了葛浩文从事中国文学翻译四十多年以来与大陆、台湾、香港作家之间的大量信件,见证了译者与作者之间广泛而深入的交流。



Xu Shiyan 许诗焱

Xu Shiyan is a professor at the School of Foreign Languages, Nanjing Normal University, Secretary for Asia of the International Eugene O’Neill Society, and Director of the Literary Translation and Study Center of Jiangsu Province. She has published a monograph on American theatre The “Weather Vane” of the Mainstream Theatre—On the Pulitzer Prize Plays of the 21 st Century, and translated Eugene O’Neill: A Life in Four Acts into Chinese. She has also edited and translated Mo Yan Speaks: Lectures and Speeches by the Nobel Laureate from China.

许诗焱,南京师范大学外国语学院教授,博士生导师,国际尤金·奥尼尔学会亚洲秘书长,江苏文学翻译与研究中心主任,出版专著《主流戏剧的“风向标”——21世纪普利策戏剧奖研究》,译著《尤金·奥尼尔:四幕人生》、Mo Yan Speaks: Lectures and Speeches by the Nobel Laureate from China 等。

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