Posts Tagged ‘fiction’


八月 28, 2020

Li Yan

Nachdem Mo Yan den Nobelpreis bekommen hat,
haben Leute in Lu Yaos Heimatort gesagt,
Lu Yao sei gestorben.
Wie könnt er die Welt dem kleinen Kerl überlassen,
der müsste Fürze essen und kaltes Wasser trinken.
Der kleine Kerl hat noch Briefe an Lu Yao geschrieben.
Lu Yao ist ein Heiliger!
Was ist der kleine Kerl, eine Dattel-Teigfülllung?
Lu Yao hat einen Tempel, der ist schon gebaut!
Und zwar von der Regierung.

April 2020
Übersetzt von MW im August 2020


LEUCHTSPUR 2018: science fiction aus china 路燈:中國科幻

十月 27, 2018



《贍養上帝》 刘慈欣 Liu Cixin: DEN HERRGOTT VERSORGEN, übersetzt von Martina Hasse

《深山疗养院》 郝景芳 Hao Jingfang: GEBIRGSSANATORIUM, übersetzt von Carsten Schäfer

《末日》 韩少功 Han Shaogong: UNTERGANG, übersetzt von Helmut Forster

《丽江的鱼儿们》 陈楸帆 Chen Qiufan: DIE FISCHE VON LIJIANG, übersetzt von Maja Linnemann

《影族》 残雪 Can Xue: SCHATTENVOLK, übersetzt von Martin Winter

《养蜂人》 王晋康 Wang Jinkang: DER IMKER, übersetzt von Marc Hermann

《草原动物园》 马伯庸 Ma Boyong: STEPPENZOO, übersetzt von Frank Meinshausen

《萤火虫之墓》 程婧波 Cheng Jingbo: GLÜHWÜRMCHENGRAB, übersetzt von Cornelia Travnicek

《热岛》 夏笳 Xia Jia: HEISSE INSEL, übersetzt von Julia Buddeberg




韓東 詩歌 Han Dong: GEDICHTE übersetzt von Marc Hermann

沈浩波 詩歌 Shen Haobo: GEDICHTE übersetzt von Martin Winter

唐欣 詩歌 Tang Xin: GEDICHTE übersetzt von Martin Winter

erhältlich ab November 2018 in den Konfuzius-Instituten von Wien, Bremen und Frankfurt sowie bei
unter “andere lieferbare Bücher”.







九月 22, 2017

Liu Xia

ich bin die seele von einem mann namens nijinsky
ich esse sehr wenig obwohl ich dünn bin
ess nur was mein geist mich essen lässt
ich mag keinen angeschwollenen bauch
sonst kann ich nicht tanzen

ich hab angst vor den leuten
ich habe angst vor ihnen zu tanzen
sie wollen das tanzen zur unterhaltung
aber die unterhaltung ist tot
sie könnens nicht spüren
und wollen doch dass ich lebe wie sie

ich bleib lieber daheim
bleib weg von den leuten
schließ mich ein in die wohnung
schau auf die wände auf den plafond
ich kann auch leben wenn ich gefangen bin

ich bin ein philosoph ohne denken
auf der bühne des lebens
und keine fiktion
ich bin ein geist in einem körper
rede gern in gedichten
also bin ich der rhythmus

schlafmittel helfen mir nicht beim schlafen
alkohol auch nicht
ich werd immer müder
ich möchte gern aufhören
der geist lässt mich nicht

ich will geradeaus gehen
ganz hoch hinauf und runterschauen
die höhe spüren die ich erreichen kann
ich will gehen

Übersetzt von MW im September 2017













十月 6, 2015

Ballester_JM_1658-La_Balsa_de_la-MedusaThursday, 8th of October 2015
20:00 h

First time in Austria!

»Human Life is Fiction.«


Liao Yiwu: Reading at Literaturhaus Vienna, Seidengasse #13, 7th district

Moderator: Wolfgang Popp (Author and Journalist)
Reading: PRISON. TEMPLE. (Long Poem)
Liao Yiwu (China) Mein Gefängnis. Mein Tempel.

erschienen in AKZENTE 3/2015, hg. v. Herta Müller,
deutsche Übersetzung von Martin Winter / 2015

Music: Liao Yiwu
Wolfgang Popp and Liao Yiwu
Interpreter: Yeemei Guo



八月 31, 2014

NorincoYi Sha

Pigtail is meeting his friend at the tent.
“Bao, do you have cigarettes?”

That box of cigarettes was stolen,
just like the type 64 handgun up on the roof.

Bao sits on the bed in the construction tent.
He broke his leg when they ran with the pistol.

Bao wants to sell it
and go to the hospital to get his leg fixed.

Pigtail is all against that.
“Bao, they will take down your head!”

Bao starts to cry,
crying harder and harder: “Look at the state I’m in!”

“I haven’t eaten at all for two days.
You want my leg to stay broken?”

Now Pigtail starts crying.
He’s wiping his face: “Look at this state we’re in!”

Pigtail decides to sell the gun.
He sells the gun to Mr. Dong.

This was the beginning of a big case:
The 12/1/97 murders* in Xi’an.

On such a night everyone thinks of the murders
I think of Pigtail and of Young Bao.

These hopeless kids from the bottom of China,
this people’s poet can’t get them out of his head.


Tr. MW, August 2014


*This serial murder case from the beginning of 1998 was made into a TV series and broad-casted all over China in 1999 and 2000. The police gun mentioned in the poem was lost on December 1st, 1997, and the case was eventually named after that date. The police in Xi’an were pressured to solve the murders before March 31st, 1998, because US-President Clinton was coming to Xi’an in June. See John Pomfret in the Washington Post.













Dieses Leben: 今生:Erinnerung & Liebe 愛和記憶

十一月 3, 2012

It was great. Lai Hsiangyin 賴香吟 read part of her story about a member of a former underground movement who has to confront his own weakness when his divorced wife needs his attention. I read Julia Buddeberg’s translation. Chen Kohua 陳克華 read three poems. First came Nothing 無, very Buddhist. Then a couple of last things. The last café 最後的咖啡館. The last motel 最後的汽車旅館. Very Taiwanese kind of motel dive. Secrete details, medical details, scientific details included in all three poems. Questions and answers. Audience members asked a few questions, and we had an interesting discussion. How and why did Ms. Lai write the story? What comes first, life or politics? And so on. Students, immigrants, veterans maybe, of Taiwan politics. Chinese Studies, East Asian Studies Institute, Vienna University 維也納大學東亞文化系. Austrian PEN. Two days in Vienna. Two nights. 維也納卌八小時左右。Arriving, getting lost on the airport. Translator’s fault. Translator’s idea, the whole thing. Not lucrative. I am sorry. Not smooth. Interesting, yes. Freezing. Exhausting. Fun. Fruitful, hopefully. Thanks very much! To the organizers. Thank you! Everyone who helped us. But above all 賴香吟、陳克華多謝!辛苦你們!Liebe. Liebe und Erinnerung. 愛和記憶。Love and memory. 賴香吟小說的主要題材。維也納很適合你們。柏林也是。柏林比較像現在的台北,相當開放、國際化的。柏林非常重視記憶。維也納的過去其實比柏林可怕,因為沒有柏林那麼公開的重視記憶。

So we had Q&A. Then the encore. We had Vienna in the café, in my translation. Apocalypse. Pouring coffee, to the last. Tabori. Hitler and Freud. Is there a Freud statue? There is his private clinic. Oh well. Statues of Strauss, Beethoven. Vivaldi, very recent. With his orphan students, all girls. Musicians, composers. When Aids broke out in Taiwan, the government forbade intercourse with foreigners. As well as doing it from behind. That’s how Chen Kohua thought of the poem. As a medical man. And risk group member. No intercourse with foreigners, no sex from behind, and we’ll be fine. Right. That’s where the quotation marks in the title come from. Freud and Jelinek. Dreams of Vienna. Love and memory.






Chen Kohua

Du näherst dich aus meinem früheren Leben.
Ich seh’ dich ganz klar, du gehst in meine Zukunft.
In die Zukunft der Zukunft.

Aber ich hab’ nur die Gegenwart. Wenn ich
traumlos aufwache,
hab’ ich jedesmal die Sorge,
dass ich dich verpasse, für immer —

Ich möchte zurück in den Augenblick des Fehlers,
den Film anhalten,
die Zeit und das Bild:
Für immer stehst du auf, um zu gehen.
Ich streck’ dabei die Arme aus.

Übersetzt von Martin Winter im November 2012

Mo Yan 莫言 and Murakami Haruki 村上春樹 (二)

十月 22, 2012

I want to thank Charles Laughlin for his recent posts on the MCLC list and on Facebook. His conclusion included these words: “Mo Yan’s critics are expecting the same of him that Mao Zedong would have: the political subservience of writers and their responsibility to serve as the political conscience of the nation”. Now I have written another blog post about this. 罗老师多谢!
Mo Yan’s 莫言 situation is ironic, as Charles Laughlin says. But serving “as the political conscience of the nation” is not the same as “political subservience”. It is rather the opposite. As we know, Murakami Haruki 村上春树 and his colleagues can be “the political conscience” of Japan, making “politically progressive gestures”, but Chinese writers in China, because of “political subservience” cannot be “the political conscience of the nation”, except obliquely in their fiction, poetry etc. Or in the first few days after they win a Nobel.

Along with Charles and many other people I am very glad that after Mo Yan was announced as a Nobel winner, he finally felt up to, or forced to open his mouth as a public intellectual, in contrast to the meaning of his pen name. Now he can be a public figure, like Murakami in Japan, not just an ambivalent functionary and a reclusive writer. Or can he? Is he going to say anything more on China-Japan relations or political prisoners? Is he going to mention Liu Xiaobo 刘晓波 in Stockholm? He will certainly be asked about other Chinese Nobel winners. That’s the nature of this particular prize, whether you like it or not.

Murakami and his colleagues can “serve” as public intellectuals, when their conscience tells them to do something additional to their writing. The irony is that under CCP 中国共产党 rule, there are no public intellectuals in China. There are occasional trouble-makers and commentators, like Ai Weiwei 艾未未 and Murong Xuecun 慕容雪村, Yu Hua 余华 and Wang Shuo 王朔. But can any of them speak their mind in public at length about Sino-Japanese relations or other sensitive topics? Apart from these writers and artists, there are professors like Cui Weiping 崔卫平, who issued the call to turn back to reason in Sino-Japanese relations, which got censored on Sina Weibo 新浪微波. She has often been prevented from traveling abroad. And there are some civil rights lawyers, who sometimes disappear.

Murakami and his colleagues can “serve as the political conscience” of Japanese society in and out of their books. Mo Yan has to be very circumspect with his topics. The Garlic Ballads was censored and supressed for a while. Mao’s “Talks” 讲话 at the “Yan’an Forum” 延安文艺座谈会 helped to make sure writers and artists could not speak their conscience. Vague documents like this have played an important role as instruments of obedience inforcement in one-party societies, as Anne Sytske Keijser and Maghiel van Crevel have shown in a recent article in “De Groene Amsterdammer” (10/17/2012). Mo Yan knows about this dilemma. His comments after he won the Nobel, and even some comments before, suggest he cannot find hand-copying and displaying Chairman quotes quite as harmless as Charles. That would be the difference between working with political realities in China and teaching about them in the US. The conditions of these political realities are still determined by largely the same factors as decades ago. As Keijser and Van Crevel put it, Mao’s “Talks” and other directives are up on the shelf, routinely mentioned in speeches by present leaders, and ready to be enforced again as needed. Yes, Mo Yan and his colleagues fought successfully for enough freedom to write great literature. Isn’t that enough? Not outside the realm of fiction, unfortunately. The cultural achievements of the 1980s couldn’t prevent the 1989 crackdown and everything that stays vague and threatening in theory and practice today.

Mo Yan writes “stupendous” novels, as Charles Laughlin says. Yes, he does. His development as a writer was influenced by the threat of starvation, the brutality in the name of revolution, and by the ideology. Yes, including the Yan’an “Talks”, as Charles shows. Now, Charles says, “China’s writers are receiving much-deserved international recognition simply because they are devoting their souls wholly to literary art.” Yes, they do. Liao Yiwu’s 廖亦武 speech in Frankfurt was in Sichuan dialect 四川方言. The text is available on the Internet. Try to find a video not dubbed into German. The German translation was fine, it just wasn’t dialect or even colloquial German. And it didn’t sound half as humble as Liao himself did. Politics made him into the writer, musician, poet and activist he is now. And his temper, his foolhardiness, as he readily admits. Not a hero, as Jonathan Stalling suggested. The German Book Trade’s Peace Prize has often been awarded to writers such as Orhan Pamuk.

The irony is that in theory, as taught by Charles, “Mao Zedong would have” reminded writers of their “responsibility to serve as the political conscience of the nation.” In practice, he silenced them. Virtually all, in time. So there would be no political conscience. That’s what Orwell’s Nineteen-Eighty-Four is about. Words like “Ministry of Truth” 真理部 are very well-known in China. 1984 is a vision of the closed world of a one-party state. Some moments of life in other societies can feel just as eerie, like a progressive college professor who turns into a cult leader, as in Murakami’s 1Q84, or, even more so, the perfectly cultured killer with secret roots in Korea. But on the whole, Japan in the 1980’s, evocatively and masterfully portrayed, is not ironic enough for connecting to Orwell’s 1984. I guess Taiwan under martial law 台灣戒嚴, in 1984, could have just made it.

Hu Ping 胡平, elected as independent candidate in Beijing’s Haidian district towards the end of the brief Beijing Spring over 30 years ago, recently circulated an excerpt from Mo’s “Life and Death Are Wearing me Out” (Shengsi pilao 生死疲勞). The novel was already well-known before the Nobel. A land owner who had his head blown off in the land reform in 1950 is born again as a farm animal several times, most famously as a donkey. In this excerpt, the donkey/landlord laments his unreasonable and unnecessarily bloody execution, until the guy who shot him tells him he acted with expressive backing from local and provincial authorities, to make sure the revolution was irreversible. So was it “a matter of historical necessity”? I don’t know what Hu Ping meant by circulating the email that somehow ended up forwarded in my inbox, because I don’t follow Chinese exile communications very closely. To me, the excerpt sounds just as absurd, evocative, tragic and yes, “stupendous”, as Mo Yan’s novels usually do. And thus rather close to Orwell’s 1984, or Wang Xiaobo’s 王小波 2015, in a way. I don’t think most readers would think that the author wants to commend, recommend or even excuse such acts of brutality.

There is another irony. Gao Xingjian 高行健 was awarded the Nobel prize for literature in 2000 even though, or maybe because, he did not and does not make himself available for political comments. Gao emigrated to France in the late 1980s and rescinded his Party membership in 1989, and it doesn’t seem he wants to come to terms with the powers that be in China in his lifetime. But on the whole, Gao has made about as many explicit political comments in the last 20 years as Yang Mu 楊木.
Chinese writing in 2012 is very complex. At least there is “much-deserved international recognition”, finally. Yu Hua’s essays “China In 10 Words” 《十個詞彙里的中國》 were serialized in the New York Times 紐約時報, among other international papers. And now Yang Mu, Mo Yan and Liao Yiwu appear together in headlines, also in the New York Times. What more could we wish for?


十月 19, 2012

Chen Kohua und Lai Hsiangyin treten am 29. Oktober um 20 Uhr im Hörsaal SIN 1, Ostasieninstitut Universität Wien auf. (Campus Altes AKH, Hof 2, Eingang 2.3)

Übersetzung: Martin Winter

Eine Veranstaltung des Österreichischen P.E.N. – Clubs

Mit Unterstützung des BMUKK

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