Archive for the ‘February 2012’ Category

9/11, 20 years on

9月 12, 2021


9/11 is like 1989.
People will remember.
20, 30, a hundred years after.
One such year is more than enough
in a lifetime, if you were there
among the carnage
or when the wall came down,
or was opened​, at first.
I was on a beach in 1989,
in the winter.
Weeks on a beach,
and Romania burned,
after Czechoslovakia didn’t,
and so on and so on.
A beach in Thailand, sunset beach.
Sunrise is on the other side
of the peninsula.
There is a mountain in between,
and there was one water buffalo left,
as far as I remember.
Krabi, Krabi! crie the boatsmen,
we didn’t go back to Krabi, the nearest town,
for quite a while.
Newspapers were from days ago, a week ago.
It was a marvelous year.
In 1989, I was in Taiwan, and in between, in the US and in Thailand.
In 2001, I was in Beijing.
Jackie worked in the Austrian embassy.
I was teaching and translating.
We saw it on TV, not right away,
as far as I remember.
We talked to friends and relatives
on the phone.
It was two years after 1999,
when Belgrade was bombarded.
They bombed the Chinese embassy,
it’s still not clear why.
I was in China then too,
in Chongqing.
I cried when I saw the towns over there on TV,
it looked too much like home.
They did to Belgrade what the Serbian side
had done to Sarajewo, and other cities,
and there was the massacre of Srebrenica
and so on and so on.
Yugoslavia is the place in Europa
that had no walls coming down in 1989,
rather some going up, more and more.
In 2012 we did a magazine issue here in Vienna,
Headfirst through the Great Wall of China,
or something like that.
It was crazy.
We had Yan Jun for reciting poetry and drama,
and we had Hui Ye, a very versatile local artist, mostly based in Austria.
Yan Jun is a famous poet and experimental musician from Lanzhou,
lives mostly in Beijing, very much on the fringe.
So we were doing a small local magazine,
but we were so excited, we told all the world!
I did, mostly. It was really great.
We had Yugoslavia, mainland China, Taiwan
and a Turkish German author wrote
the Great Wall was a sleeping dragon
that woke up once in a few centuries
and people came to grief.
And the magazine editor wanted to kill that,
thought it was disrespectful.
I don’t think he knew anyone from China.
How is this about 9/11?
9/11 was like 1989, in a way.
Everyone knows what happened in 1989,
or everyone doesn’t,
depends where you are.
There are still thousands of people
who died in New York on that day,
but there are no remnants.
They are still searching for traces.

MW September 2021




10 YEARS – NPC十岁了!NPC德语第一本目录

4月 3, 2021

10 YEARS – NPC十岁了!

10 years ago, Yi Sha 伊沙 began to present one poem each day on Chinese social media. This has become a representative collection of new poetry in the new century, aptly named NPC, New Poetry Canon 新世纪诗典.
Eight years ago I began to look for NPC poems each day, translating more and more into German and English. In 2014 my own poetry appeared on NPC for the first time. After two books of Yi Sha’s poetry, I have now published, along with Juliane Adler, the first book of a 4-volume-series of NPC poetry in Chinese and German. Here are the contents:

NPC-Anthologie 新世纪诗典
Band 1: A–J. Gedichte
Übersetzt von Martin Winter
Herausgegeben von Juliane Adler und Martin Winter
ISBN 978-3-903267-00-8
€ 24.00










WINTER – 伊沙 Yi Sha

4月 3, 2021

Yi Sha

On my way to the vegetable supermarket
in our compound
I see a small girl
on a big rock at the artificial lake
right above the ice going to
I am shouting:
„Don’t jump! Danger!“
But in this time
she has jumped already,
landing on the thick surface.
She turns around to me,
makes a ballet move
and becomes a small white swan.

Translated by MW, 4/3/2021

Yi Sha

Ich geh zum Gemüsesupermarkt
in der Wohnhausanlage,
seh auf dem Weg ein kleines Mädchen
auf einem Felsen am künstlichen See,
sie will auf das Eis hinunter
Ich schrei:
„Achtung! Nicht springen!“
aber in der Zeit
ist sie schon gesprungen,
ganz leicht
und sicher
auf dem festen Eis gelandet.
Sie dreht sich zu mir um
in einer Bewegung aus dem Ballett
und wird ein kleiner weißer Schwan.

Übersetzt von MW am 3. April 2021


Yi Sha, orig. name Wu Wenjian. Well-known poet, writer, critic, translator, editor. Born in 1966 in Chengdu, lives in Xi’an. Graduated from Beijing Normal University in 1989. Has written over 20,000 poems, published, translated and edited 122 books. Received the Henry Luce prize for contemporary Chinese poetry and many other awards. Invited to poetry festivals in China, Sweden, England, Netherlands, South Korea etc., incl. the 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th Qinghai Lake international poetry festival, the 50th Struga poetry festival in Macedonia and many more. Vermont Studio Center fellow 2014. He has recited at the University of Vienna, at Arizona University etc. 《新诗典》小档案:伊沙,原名吴文健,男,当代著名诗人、作家、批评家、翻译家、编选家。 1966年生于四川成都。1989年毕业于北京师范大学中文系。写诗逾两万首,出版著、译、编122部作品。获美国亨利•鲁斯基金会中文诗歌奖金、韩国“亚洲诗人奖”以及中国国内数十项诗歌奖项。应邀出席瑞典第16届奈舍国际诗歌节、荷兰第38届鹿特丹国际诗歌节、英国第20届奥尔德堡国际诗歌节、马其顿第50届斯特鲁加国际诗歌节、中国第二、三、四、五届青海湖国际诗歌节、第二届澳门文学节、美国佛蒙特创作中心驻站作家、奥地利梅朵艺术中心驻站作家、美国亚利桑那大学为其举办的朗诵会、奥地利两校一刊为其举办的朗诵会与研讨会、2021年世界诗歌日线上国际诗歌节等国际交流活动。


3月 25, 2021
BRETT VOLLER NÄGEL 布满钉子的木板 NPC-Anthologie 新世纪诗典 Band 1: A–J.

NPC-Anthologie 新世纪诗典
Band 1: A–J

NPC stands for New Poetry Canon, or New Century Poetry Canon 新世纪诗典, presented by Yi Sha 伊沙 in Chinese social media each day since spring 2011. NPC outside of poetry is National People’s Congress, China’s parliament that convenes in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing for two weeks each March. Yi Sha’s NPC poem of the day on Sina Weibo 新浪微博, Tencent WeChat 微信 and other platforms gets clicked, forwarded, commented 10,000 times or more, each day. Each year a book comes out, about every week there are events in Xi’an, Beijing and many, many places all over China and beyond. All produced independently from among the people 民间, not by any state organizations. This book contains poems by 81 poets listed below. This is the first volume (A-J) in a series of four books. Compiled and edited by Juliane Adler and Martin Winter, translated by Martin Winter.


NPC steht für New Poetry Canon, eigentlich New Century Poetry Canon, 新世纪诗典. Abgekürzt als NPC. NPC steht sonst für National People’s Congress, also der Nationale Volkskongress, Chinas Parlament, das allerdings nur einmal im Jahr im März zwei Wochen lang zusammentritt. Seit 2011 wird von Yi Sha 伊沙 im NPC-新世纪诗典 jeden Tag ein Gedicht vorgestellt, in mehreren chinesischen sozialen Medien zugleich. Oft wird ein einziges Gedicht schon in den ersten zwei Tagen zehntausende Male angeklickt, kommentiert und weitergeleitet. Ein nationaler Poesiekongress und eine umfangreiche Studie der heutigen Gesellschaft. Band 1 präsentiert 81 Autorinnen und Autoren. Wird fortgesetzt.

Cover/Umschlag etc: Neue Arche von Kuang Biao 邝飚 und 3 Grafiken von: An Qi 安琪

Autorinnen und Autoren:

A Ti 阿嚏, A Wen 阿文, A Wu 阿吾, A Yu 阿煜, AAA (3A) 三个A, Ai Hao 艾蒿, Ai Mi 艾米, An Qi 安琪, Ao Yuntao 敖运涛, Bai Diu 摆丢, Bai Li 白立, Bei Dao 北岛, Bei Lang 北浪, Benben S. K. 笨笨. S. K, Cai Xiyin 蔡喜印, Caiwong Namjack 才旺南杰, Caomu Xin 草木心, Cha Wenjin 查文瑾, Chang Yuchun 常遇春, Chao Hui 朝晖, Che Qianzi 车前子, Chen Moshi 陈默实, Chen Yanqiang 陈衍强, Chen Yulun 陈玉伦, Chen Yunfeng 陈云峰, Cheng Bei 成倍, Cheng Tao 程涛, Chun Sue 春树, Cong Rong 从容, Da Duo 大朵, Da You 大友, Dai Guanglei 代光磊, Dechen Pakme 德乾恒美, Denis Mair 梅丹理, Di Guanglong 第广龙, Dong Yue 东岳, Du Qin 独禽, Du Sishang 杜思尚, Du Zhongmin 杜中民, Duo Er 朵儿, Eryue Lan 二月蓝, Ezher 艾孜哈尔, Fa Xing 发星, Fei Qin 秦菲, Feng Xuan 冯谖, Gang Jumu 冈居木, Gao Ge 高歌, Geng Zhankun 耿占坤, Gong Zhijian 龚志坚, Gongzi Qin 公子琹, Gu Juxiu 谷驹休, Guangtou 光头, Gui Shi 鬼石, Hai An 海岸, Hai Jing 海菁, Hai Qing 海青, Han Dong 韩东, Han Jingyuan 韩敬源, Han Yongheng 韩永恒, Hong Junzhi 洪君植, Hou Ma 侯马,Houhou Jing 后后井, Hu Bo 胡泊, Hu Zanhui 胡赞辉, Huang Hai 黄海, Huang Kaibing 黄开兵, Huang Lihai 黃禮孩, Huang Xiang 黄翔, Hung Hung 鴻鴻, Huzi 虎子, Ji Yanfeng 纪彦峰, Jian Tianping 簡天平, Jiang Caiyun 蒋彩云, Jiang Erman 姜二嫚, Jiang Rui 江睿, Jiang Tao 蔣濤, Jiang Xinhe 姜馨贺, Jiang Xuefeng 蔣雪峰, Jianghu Hai 江湖海, Jin Shan 金山, Jun Er 君儿

BRETT VOLLER NÄGEL 布满钉子的木板 NPC-Anthologie 新世纪诗典 Band 1: A–J

BRETT VOLLER NÄGEL 布满钉子的木板 NPC-Anthologie 新世纪诗典 Band 1: A–J

Die chinesischen Gedichte sind hauptsächlich erschienen in:

NPC 新世纪诗典 1-6,伊沙 编选 著,磨铁图书 (Xiron), Zhejiang People‘s Publishing 浙江人民出版社, Bände 1-6, herausgegeben von Yi Sha. Hangzhou 2012-2018

NPC 新世纪诗典 7,伊沙 编选 著,磨铁图书 (Xiron), China Youth Publishing 中国青年出版社, Band 7, herausgegeben von Yi Sha. Beijing 2018

NPC 新世纪诗典 8,伊沙 编选 著,磨铁图书 (Xiron), China Friendship Publishing 中国友谊出版公司, Band 8, herausgegeben von Yi Sha. Beijing 2020

Die restlichen Texte stammen aus Internetquellen (Soziale Medien: Sina Weibo, Tencent Weixin etc.) mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Autorinnen und Autoren. Die Texte aus 2019 und 2020-2021 werden in den Büchern NPC 9 und 10 erscheinen.

BRETT VOLLER NÄGEL 布满钉子的木板 NPC-Anthologie 新世纪诗典 Band 1: A–J

BRETT VOLLER NÄGEL 布满钉子的木板 NPC-Anthologie 新世纪诗典 Band 1: A–J







YI SHA 伊沙:梦 (45、47) DREAMS #45, 47

8月 26, 2016

Yi Sha doest

Yi Sha

I pick up my son
we walk home from school
all the way talking about
a little bear
maybe it’s that boy upstairs
Little Bear is his name
now we are already
at our home
I take out my key
to unlock the metal door
it’s pitch black inside
but there is a sound!
my son shouts:
“Who are you? Man or bear?”
he shouts so loud,
that little noise
gets louder too!
I push my son
away from the door
I rush in like an arrow
leap into the kitchen
stretch out both arms
grab two vegetable knives
from the rack by the sink
they gleam in the dark
I am very glad
I had them sharpened
two days ago

Tr. MW, 2016


Yi Sha

ich hol meinen sohn ab
wir gehn heim von der schule
reden die ganze zeit
von einem bären
vielleicht ist es der bub
der über uns wohnt
sein name ist kleiner bär
auf einmal sind wir
an unserer tür
ich nehm den schlüssel
sperr die metalltür auf
drinnen ist es pechschwarz
und es kommt ein geräusch!
mein sohn ruft laut:
“wer ist da? mensch oder bär?”
das leise geräusch
wird jetzt viel lauter
ich schieb mein kind
raus aus der tür
stürm selbst pfeilgeschwind
in die küche
streck beide hände aus
find im regal neben der spüle
zwei gemüsemesser
die glänzen im finstern
ich bin noch sehr froh
sie sind frisch geschliffen

Übersetzt von MW im Juli 2016








Yi Sha

From the end of a long corridor
in a Chinese courtyard
two gentlemen walking up slowly.
The older one with the grimy beard,
he is my idol from when I was young.
The younger one with the smooth chin
is my favorite active soccer player.
Maradonna and Messi
have arrived in fornt of me,
so I tell them:
“You have to win!
You must come out on top!
You must hold the World Cup!
If you guys are eliminated
our whole goddamn TV
will never stop playing
‘Don’t cry for me, Argentina’,
like it was your Memorial Day!”
Two soccer kings
look speechless at me.
Who is this impertinent Chinese fan?

Tr. MW, 2016


Yi Sha

in einem alten chinesischen hof:
aus einem ganz langen korridor
kommen mir langsam zwei herren entgegen
der alte herr mit dem speckigen bart
ist mein idol aus meiner jugend.
der junge herr mit glattem kinn
ist für mich der beste aktive fussballer.
maradonna und messi
sind vor mir angekommen.
ich sag den beiden herren
“ihr müsst unbedingt gewinnen!
ihr müsst weltmeister werden
und den pokal hochhalten!
denn wenn ihr ausscheidet
spielen sie bei uns im ganzen fernsehen
den ganzen tag ‘don’t cry for me, argentina’,
als wär es der trauertag eurer nation!”
die beiden fußballkönige
schauen mich ratlos an
was will dieser aufdringliche
chinesische fan?

Übersetzt von MW im Juli 2016








Yi Sha 伊沙 (Xi’an) and Xu Jiang 徐江 (Tianjin): Independent avantgarde poetry since 2000 and notions of dream in collective and individual ventures of texts, performances and publications


(#1-50, from 2011-2012) 



Yi Sha Zigarette

Xu Jiang 640

28. FEBRUAR – 鴻鴻 Hung Hung

2月 29, 2016


Hung Hung

Dieser Monat
ist kürzer als alle anderen Monate.
Ungefähr zwei, drei Tage.

An diesem Tag
ist der Monat zu Ende.
Früher als in allen anderen Monaten.

An diesem Tag
gingen viele Menschen
zu früh in die Nacht.
Und mit diesem Tag war es noch nicht zu Ende.

von Schüssen,
von Weinen.
Begraben unter der Asche.
Darüber lauter Asphalt.

Jedes Jahr
bittet jemand für diesen Tag um Verzeihung.
Jedesmal weiß man nicht für wen.

Jedes Jahr
genießen alle den Feiertag.
Eilen auf dem Asphalt,
gehen ins Kino.
Gehen in Restaurants,
empfohlenen im Internet.
Stehen Schlange, um Frühlingskleider zu kaufen.

Eine Statue wird verhüllt.
Niemand weiß, ob der Kopf
Reue zeigt oder grinst.

Vor vielen Jahren an diesem Tag
klang ein Lied aus dem Trichter.
78 Umdrehungen,
ein Lied vom Duft in der Nacht.
“Nacht ist Tag, Tag ist Nacht.
Im Finstern leben, wie kommt man zutag…”

Übersetzt von MW im Februar 2016







但這一天來不及結束 .

上面鋪滿柏油 .

但從不知為誰道歉 .

排隊買換季新品 .

他在懺悔或竊笑 .


「夜做日 日做暝
黑暗過日 按怎出頭天…」


Auf Wiedersehen, Taiwan

2月 28, 2012


The sun is up above the clouds.
It is a national holiday,
the saddest day in Taiwan’s year.
I’m sad I have to leave this place.
We had a month, and it was great.
We went around for literature.
I have 100 business cards
and many books and magazines
and work for months and maybe years
and hopes of contracts and so on.
And we have lots of memories
of friendly people, rain and sun,
of Kinmen, Gaoxiong and Tainan,
of readings, talks and interviews,
of temples, tours and wonderment.
It is a national holiday,
the saddest day in Taiwan’s year.
The sun is up above the clouds.
I’m sad I have to leave this place.

MW Feb. 28, 2012

Reading in Taipei

2月 27, 2012

這几天都下雨,昨天還可以,不像前天晚上那麽大。昨天晚上觀眾不超過十五人。放假了到二月28日,所以有的人不在台北。開始有一點慢,介紹古詩和慢性的音 樂。不過氣氛越來越好,觀眾和朗讀者溝通很活潑。說道寫作和翻譯的背景、技巧、論點。也說到政治。讀了我在北京寫得反映北京大量拆遷和民工等等社會問題兩 首詩,還讀了李勤安為1987年台灣解嚴寫的那首。發現他說得現在依然很重要。台灣改變了,但也許不太想承認二十几年前的日常細節。而那些細節也很像現在 的中國大陸等等地方。念出一首詩仔細聽你才發現詩歌的作用和力量。朗讀以后在樓上吃飯、聊天到半夜。林維甫已經把2004年和2007年在北京寫得兩首譯成中文,准備發表。
德語詩、英語詩、漢語詩──維馬丁與彤雅立的翻譯雙聲 2012-02-26

Liao Yiwu in Tainan

2月 23, 2012

“My father made me stand on a table when I was small, and recite ancient classical Chinese. I could only climb down after I was able to recite the whole thing by heart. I was only 3 or four years old, maybe. I hated my father.” This is how 廖亦武 Liao Yiwu began to talk to the students and teachers of 國立成功大學 National Ch’engkung University in 台南 Tainan, after he played a wooden flute, a very basic instrument he had learned in prison. Very basic sounds, mute and suppressed at times. Loss and regret. No uplifting fable. “I am not going to tell you very much about the time when I went into prison. You would have no way to understand everything. I was like any young person. I didn’t want to listen to anybody from older generations. And I had gone through 文革 the Cultural Revolution, when my parents couldn’t take care of me. For me, classical Chinese belonged into the rubbish bin, along with many other things. My father was 84 years old when he died”, Liao Yiwu said. Or was it 88 years? Only a few hours of dialogue and open exchange between father and son, in all those years.
Dialogue and open exchange. Between 四川 Sichuan and 台南 Tainan. Between Taiwan and China. Between languages and experiences. Feeling lost, between clashing dialects, conflicting histories. Feeling rooted, at the bottom of society.

On the podium, scholars of 台灣閩南語文學 Taiwanese literature sat along with Liao Yiwu. They spoke in Taiwanese. One professor recited a poem by a high school student. Before Dawn, or something like that. About the massacre from 1947, February 28th. I didn’t understand the words. But you could understand the feeling. The answer is very simple, he said, when a 客家 Hakka student asked what she should do, because the words and songs of her grandmother would die with her. There were too few people who could still speak with her in 客家話 Hakka, she was afraid her mother tongue, her grandmother’s words would become extinct. The answer is very simple, the professor said very gently. He spoke mostly in Taiwanese, so I didn’t understand it all. But he said you just have to study, you can even major in Hakka now. It’s not easy, but there is a common effort.

It was very simple, Liao Yiwu said, when people asked him how he fled from China. I went to 雲南 Yunnan province, bordering Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Tibet. I had made lots of interviews there many years before, with people at the bottom of society. You turn off your mobile. You could also bring extra mobile phones. You get lost in small towns. And then one day I was across the border in 越南 Vietnam, very wobbly on my legs. There was a small train, like in China at the beginning of the 1980s. I knew such trains from drifting around China when I was young. In Vietnam, I was afraid of a lot of things, getting on the train, of simple things to eat. But I could communicate by writing numbers on a piece of paper. 500, wrote the innkeeper. 100, I wrote below. And so on. Finally I was in 河內 Hanoi, in a simple inn. And then I went on-line and contacted my friends and family in China. When I got on the plane to Poland, I was still afraid. The year before, military police in full military gear had come and taken me out of the plane in 成都 Chengdu. But then I realized, although this was a Socialist country, I was in the capital of another country, not in China. And the plane took off.

The lecture hall was full. I sat on the floor in the aisles, like many others. It was a very welcoming atmosphere. “We have a few books to give away for students asking questions in the second part of the lecture.” What is 流浪 liulang? What is 流亡 liuwang? What is 旅行 lüxing? These three words sound rather similar in Chinese. This was another professor speaking. He had studied in Russia. He was from a Taiwanese faculty in 台中 Taichung, but at this occasion, to clarify this question, he spoke in Mandarin. What is drifting about? What is exile? What is traveling? When you are drifting around, you don’t know where you are coming from, and you don’t know where you’re going. When you are going into exile, you know where you are coming from, but you don’t know where you are going, where they will let you stay. When you are traveling, you know where you come from, and you know where you’re going. Very simple differences. But what about us here in Taiwan? 我們是否知道自己從哪裡來,到哪裡去? Do we know where we are coming from, and where we are going? In the 1960s and 1970s, many writers and intellectuals in Taiwan were in prison. It was very hard, but you knew what you were fighting for. Just like the writers and lawyers in China, they know they are fighting for freedom. Now in Taiwan we are very free, in comparison. But we can still be marginalized.

One of the professors was my landlord from 1988 to 1990 in Taipei. He is the chairman of the Taiwanese PEN. In 1988 he was a doctoral candidate in history, and a stage decorator. We hadn’t seen each other or heard from each other for 22 years.


2月 23, 2012

haus der patriotischen frauen
(unter japanischer herrschaft)

fuer Tong Yali

ein baum, ein hof,
der wind, die stadt.
es ist ein warmer wintertag.
in tainan ist es immer warm.
die stadt der tempel, der kultur;
die erste stadt: erinnerung.

MW 22. Februar 2012




《月照無眠》,二零一二年, 台北南方家園出版社,一三一頁

Tong Yali

erinnerung, wagen

der wagen faehrt los.
steine, in schnee eingerollt.
kein wind auf dem meer.
wogen tuermen sich darunter.
der wagen faehrt in den frueheren wind,
in den dunklen strudel.

Aus dem Gedichtband Schlaflos im Mondlicht (Yue zhao wu mian), Nanfang Jiayuan -Homeward Publishing, Taipei 2011, S. 131. MW Uebers. Febr. 2012

Tainan, city of temples. Temples everywhere, many lanes, full of flowers, blossoms, improvised housing, ancient and dated, broken and new. Squares in front of temples for breakfast stands, temple fairs, opera, evening barbecue. Temples complete with public toilets. The main Catholic church of the city is a beautiful traditional temple from 1960. Right across from the temple grounds dedicated to Koxinga, a Chinese-Japanese pirate’s son who fled from the mainland, drove out the Dutch and established the first Chinese kingdom on Taiwan, all in one year, he died rather young. And there is an Earth God’s temple next to the Catholic church. There was a wagon on the square in front of the church, with a few rows of plastic chairs. Very gaudy colors on the wagon, Taiwanese opera. A female warrior with a huge sword, ancient costumes. Tomorrow is the Earth God’s birthday, the church custodian said. Happy birthday! He was in his element, explaining the rich Tainan heritage. Sometimes people come and kneel on the steps of the church, he said, and only then they ask me which important god of the city is housed inside this magnificent temple. And when I tell them this is the Catholic church, they say sorry, we prayed at the wrong place, we didn’t know. Your prayers are very welcome, the custodian replies, and beckons them inside, like he did with us. They had been eating lunch, he and a woman, his wife maybe. Their little chamber next to the door was open. We had looked at the statue first, climbing over stoves and vats with food and cooking utensils, in preparation for the Earth God’s birthday. Mary looks very graceful in a simple and elegant robe, very Chinese, holding her naked baby Jesus. On the mosaic over the main altar inside they look more regal. But it is a very welcoming church. A traditional temple, I-Ching octagon tower with glass windows, couplets left and right written on columns, and boards, wooden and stone. An incense censer in front of the main altar. And an altar on one side for ancestor worship. “Oh, it’s from the 1970s, I didn’t know”, my friend said when we opened the gate, encouraged by the Earth God’s cooks, and looked at the statue more closely. Yes, she has traditional looks, like from the Qing Dynasty, but she is comparatively new, from the times of martial law. White Terror was still practiced on Taiwan when the church was built in 1960. Today, Tainan remembers founding fathers of its modern history inside the Japanese-era house of the Patriotic Women’s Association. These founding fathers of Tainan’s modern era are Japanese and British. Father of water taps and sewage, father of dams and canals, and so on. There is also one guy form the 16th century, sent from China. ”The soldiers who came from China after 1945 and took over from the Japanese didn’t even know houses with running water, they didn’t know taps!” That’s what a poet and scholar told me at the Taipei Book Fair, full of Taiwanese pride.

The last Japanese mayor of Tainan restored the main temples and historic sites. He prevented the Japanese troops from requisitioning and melting the huge bell from Kaiyuan Temple, which is still rung on important holidays. One of the main signs of the Confucius Temple, when you enter the temple grounds, was written by him. The temple grounds are sprawling, open and welcoming. Only the innermost part of the temple is guarded, and the entrance fee is 25 NT, 65 Euro Cents maybe. The city hall and seat of the provincial government from Japanese times is the Taiwan Literature Museum now, very modern and welcoming inside, lots of audio and other impressive installations, beautiful children’s rooms, extensive library, very accessible. This place was our destination when we came down from Taipei and Kaohsiung, an important stop in our one-month stay on Taiwan as translators into German.

freedom 自由

2月 18, 2012



自由不能宣傳、不屬於政府、屬於幻想。所以美國政府宣傳自由有精神分裂症嗎?無論怎麽說,民主制度的政府能夠保護和支持幻想嗎?是應該盡量保護和支持。但政府畢竟不會主動來做,除非覺得也許有什麽對他們的好處。公民社會靠著非政府組織不斷奮斗很辛苦地贏得出來的。沒有公民社會哪里會有幻想? 也許幻想總是會有,雖然有的人不一定會承認大家都有表達幻想的權利。

總共覺得台灣的民主制度也許還不是很完美,但非常難得的,有點像台北的捷運。靠大家支持、要好好維修。 這几年高雄也有了捷運,而且台灣還有高鐵,星期一就會坐一下。

Liao Yiwu in Taipei

2月 12, 2012

I went to a great reading/ concert/ political happening by Liao Yiwu in Taipei tonight. It was organized by Wang Dan’s New School for Democracy. First time Liao performed his legendary poem Massacre from the night before June 4th, 1989 in public for a Chinese-speaking audience. Very memorable experience. People wept and remembered the White Terror and the Feb. 28, 1947 massacre in Taiwan. The case of Zhu Yufu, who got 7 years for a poem in China, was mentioned several times. Liao Yiwu was asked for his opinions about the controversy around the boss of the Want Want conglomerate and media czar (China Times etc.) who recently denied there was a major massacre in 1989. Liao Yiwu reaffirmed the answer he had given at Taipei International Book Fair. He just said he wasn’t very interested what some merchant would have to say. They would say anything to please Beijing, and unfortunately they would get away with it very easily. Liao was also very critical of the book fair. Glossy and haphazard in many ways, that was his impression. No dignity for authors, no thorough organisation of readings. Well, I must say I liked all the events I saw or participated in. The show girls and the people walking around advertising discounts did not give the impression of a very cultured event, rather like some market selling everything aside from books, just like Liao said. But they certainly did have some well organized readings, and international highlights in French and German, for example. Anyway, Liao Yiwu’s performance tonight was a very exceptional event. I think they recorded it, and I heard it was broadcasted live on the Internet. Don’t know where exactly. Liao was asked what he thought about the relation of literature and politics. He spoke about reading Orwell’s 1984 in jail, and talked about the parts leading up to the end of the novel, how Winston is broken with the use of a rat and made to rat out his girlfriend, and how he loves Big Brother as he is taken away to be shot. Perfect example for his own aesthetics, Liao said. He still supports people doing ‘pure literature’, goes to poetry readings about the Full Moon Sound Magazine ( and stuff like that. He was not interested in politics until 1989, he said. The Hakka songstress Luo Sirong sung a very poignant lullaby at the end. This part would not have been forbidden in China. Liao’s performance was so intense it made you vary of police barging in. But the most precious thing was the whole event together, the songs and the music, the talks and discussions. The strong interaction made it all very special and rare.


Wir auf Kinmen – eine Wurzel

2月 11, 2012

Qing Dynasty school in Qionglin, Kinmen. Photo: 蔡亦菱

viele, viele, viele farben
muschelsplitter, alte flaschen
ewigkeiten in spiralen
gelber sand und viel geschichte
in granaten, in den menschen
tunnel und gemuesemesser
aus granaten fuer jahrzehnte
fuer den frieden, fuer besucher
viele, viele, viele voegel
fliegen untertags aufs festland
kehren heim und ueberwintern
women kin-men kaiser-candy

Photo by Johannes Fiederling

Photo by Johannes Fiederling

Photo by Cai Yiling 蔡亦菱

Photo: Johannes Fiederling

More photos


Photo: Johannes Fiederling

Happy Lanterns!

2月 7, 2012

Thanks to Ursula Wolte!

Lantern festival was today, or now it’s yesterday, Mon. 6th, 2012. All the best and many happy moons to all we love!

2 recent poems

vienna’s flat
frankfurt a mat
above the clouds.
a sea of wool.
flying is cool.
somewhere there’s a big bird
or another plane.
then we dive
through the mist
and arrive.
frankfurt is long.
i like hong kong.

MW Jan. 29/30, 2012

grosze rosa azaleen
schmetterlinge, blaetter fallen
geigenklaenge, bass, klavier
zeit der groszen stoerungen
endlich sonne ueber taipei
flohmarkt, festival der kuenste
blaetter wachsen in den himmel

MW Februar 2012


2月 6, 2012


今天六月四日下午翻譯討論會我們四個人都說了翻譯的使命、條件、樂趣、難點、技巧等等。主持人唐薇讓我們報告自己怎么選擇了中文、怎么來到了翻譯文學一行業。其實我們有一部分說出來根本不是選擇中文、選擇文學。一步一步地碰到了機會而已。自己從小對文學感興趣,從十一歲左右開始讀詩歌,一開始就讀不衕語言。八九歲以后父母對亞洲的食物,對打坐、太極拳等等很投入。一方面想保著身體健康、一方面尋找生命的意義。奧地利第二次世界大戰結束重新建立經濟以后在六十年代末、七十年代初開始尋找、開始重新反省國家、社會、藝朮等等在這個世界上的意義。其實一直都得反省,一直必須自問我們到底從哪里來,到哪里去。只是大部分人未說出,沒功夫說出、沒辦法說出我們從納罪制度、從倫理、宗教、道德根本跨了的世界上從未發現的巨大罪惡出來。柏林文學學會代表東格斯(Thorsten Dönges) 昨天在另外的、也是書展的場合簡單地介紹德語戰后和現在的文學,他說得很清楚,德國在二十世紀兩次想控制歐洲,結果是在全世界發動了戰爭。沒說日本在亞洲有衕樣的目的,衕樣地發動了第二世界大戰在亞洲的一面。東格斯代表說當代德語寫作非常重視曆史。在二戰以后第一代作家,像君特·格拉斯(Günther Grass)、海因里希·伯爾(Heinrich Böll)等等他們講戰爭和戰后的恐怖,講納罪德國軍隊和支持他們的人在東歐作出的災難、以后德語民族被驅除的后果。很多作家都講曆史,克里斯塔·沃尔夫(Christa Wolf)等等`民主德國』作家都是。那麽第二、第三代作家,他們就講自己的生活和他們一代的社會嗎?不,很多還是講曆史,講當代曆史,包括奧地利的艾芙烈‧葉利尼克(Elfriede Jelinek)和從羅馬尼亞來的赫塔.慕勒(Herta Müller)等等。而且很多年輕作家這几十年都講家庭的曆史,以講出家庭的曆史講整個社會的曆史。柏林代表沒說奧地利老作家多德勒爾(Heimito von Doderer,1896~1966)他也講曆史,不過主要不是講二戰和奧地利人的罪惡。他有自己的原因,他在三十年代曾經有點支持納罪黨,不過戰后支持進步的、積極的實驗文學,像恩斯特·揚德爾(Ernst Jandl)等等。反正東格斯代表講出了要害,人家作品里到處都是曆史,包括他介紹的新作家西蒙.吾邦(Simon Urban)。吾邦在他第一本長篇(德語叫Plan D)把最近二十几年的曆史改寫,好像1989、1990的變化從未發生,德國仍被分割,2011年秋天還有民主德意志共和國,兩個德國的秘密警察和間諜在仍然分割的柏林勾心斗角、殺人等等。



廖亦武在朗誦會被問對旺旺集團董事長最近好像否定六四屠殺的看法。回答了很好,說他一般不估計商人對政治說一些什麽,因為按照需要很 快就會變。如果明天劉曉波當中國總統,商人都會贊美民主。政治家也一樣,包括目前你們的台灣總統,廖亦武說。人家問廖亦武以后屬於什麽國家,他回答屬於永 遠屬於四川,也引用了《三國》開頭。以后中國因為制度不行了而分開了,我們四川就關心對陝西、湖北等等的外交關系,不那麽注意台灣。

其實今天已經二月五日。這几天睡覺沒規律,這次根本沒有入睡,先是樓下現場音樂未結束,后來出汗,也想到上說的要害和要點。廖亦武的朗誦以后有作家在出版社展位簽字的機會。以后廖亦武去跟他的朋友楊曉斌見面,晚上要回新竹。廖亦武在他的書里面給我簽字以后我就有機會跟新竹的詩人倪國榮先生談話。倪國榮老師給我講他的太太翻譯愛蜜莉.狄金生(Emily Dickinson)几十年的經驗,還介紹他怎麽分學朮寫作和民間寫作。說周夢蝶、亞弦、七等生等等詩人都比較屬於民間寫作。而余光中、樣牧、王文興等等比較都是學朮的寫作。

鴻鴻和他編輯的雜志《衛生紙+》里那些年輕詩人多半該屬於民間寫作吧。夏宇呢?屬於宇宙吧。那彤雅立呢?其實我不清楚。兩種都有,可能是。她辦的《月照無眠》詩聲雜志里有布萊希特(Bertolt Brecht)、有魯迅、有周夢蝶、有不少宋詞。為了詩聲雜志,我給她把一些詩譯成英語,包括周夢蝶寫恆河的那首。是的,我詩歌寫作和翻譯的目的語言是英語和德語,兩種都是。


不過最后什麽叫做文學、什麽叫做藝朮等等往往都是重新被討論的話題,永遠講不完。我自己屬於什麽? 待續。

照相:Benny Au (Hong Kong)

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