DesEsseintes wrote: ↑
Fri 01 Jun 2018, 05:30
Lao Kou wrote: ↑
Thu 31 May 2018, 10:17
Amazon delivered my copy of Red Crag (红岩 hóngyán
) this afternoon. It's a Communist classic which Chinese friends of my generation had
to read coming up in China. Back in the day, those who cared in the expat community passed around a copy in English translation to possibly gain some insight. Even then it seemed a little 50s-Communist dated. I don't what triggered for me the memory last week, but I asked my boyfriend (maybe a generation behind) if this was required reading in his school years. He said they only dealt with snippets (though he seems reasonably conversant in the plot). Anyway, my Chinese version has arrived today, so I'll be able to dive into it this afternoon and read it for myself. Yay!
I read Lao She’s Four Generations under One Roof 四世同堂 Sì Shì Tóng Táng
and promptly promised myself never to read anything from that era again. Apart from the fact that it was simply badly written, the Communist propaganda really ground my gears. Admittedly, Lao She was forced to incorporate the latter into the novel before being allowed to publish it after the founding of the PRC.
As for badly written stuff, I was a translator in Taipei (Chinese to English), and you'd often wonder, "Who wrote this, a second-grader?" But they were techies, not writers.
The translation style of stuff of that era has a certain, well, style. Even stuff on the very edges, like A Small Town Called Hibiscus
(also a movie), in the Englishese was just very cautious. I expect to need to put on my wading boots ta make my way through the propangandist muck, but without reading the original, how can you know?
Back in the day, I could have read it in Chinese, but it would have taken forever. These days, I can read one-page English to one-page Chinese, so we'll see what conclusions I draw.