SHI: A Radical Reading of Chinese Poetry, Yunte Huang

SHI: A Radical Reading of Chinese Poetry

Yunte Huang

Publisher: Roof Books
PubDate: 9/1/1997
ISBN: 9780937804728
Price: $9.95
Quantity Available: 40
Pages: 72
SKU #: H02G

Poetry. Asian Studies. This book is not an attempt to grasp the "essence" of Chinese poetry, nor is it an endeavor to produce an over-polished version of English that claims aesthetic superiority over other works in the same field. It grapples rather with the nature of translation and poetry, and explores poetic issues from the perspective of translation and translation issues from the perspective of poetry. With its agenda hidden, translation is too often the handyman for the metaphysical, mystical, or universal notion of poetry. When emerging from obscurity, translation becomes an ally with poetic material and enacts the wordness of the words. This book strives to strengthen the alliance between translation and poetry.

"In this anthology of classic poetry from China, Yunte Huang transforms our sense of 'Chineseness' by replacing the Orientalized scenic and stylistic tropes of traditional translations with multilevel encounters with the Chinese language. In acknowledging the foreigness of its source texts, this collection reimagines the task of translation and the possibilities for crosscultural points of contacts, in the process changing the way we read Chinese poetry."—Charles Bernstein


Yunte Huang grew up in a small town in southeastern China, where at age eleven he began to learn English by secretly listening to Voice of America programs on a bettered transistor radio. After receiving his B.A. in English from Peking University, Yunte came to the United States in 1991, landing in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. As a struggling Chinese restaurateur in the Deep South, he continued to study American literature, reading William Faulkner, Ezra Pound, and Emily Dickinson on the greasy kitchen floor.

In 1994, Yunte attended the Poetics Program in Buffalo, where, at an estate sale, he discovered the Charlie Chan novels. He was immediately hooked. After receiving his Ph.D. in 1999, he taught as an assistant professor of English at Harvard, where he began researching the story of the Chinese detective—both real and fictional—and the life of Earl Derr Biggers, a Harvard graduate who had authored the Chan novels.

Yunte Huang is currently a professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  

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