Poetry. Asian & Asian American Studies. Music. The nearly supernatural nature of this groundbreaking work can be glimpsed in the book's title: YÍNGĒLÌSHI (Chanted Songs, Beautiful Poetry): SINOPHONIC ENGLISH POETRY AND POETICS. When read aloud, YÍNGĒLÌSHI (pronounced yeen guh lee shr) sounds like an accented pronunciation of the word "English," while the Chinese reader sees the Chinese characters for "chanted songs, beautiful poetry." Stalling coined this term (and "Sinophonic English") to give a positive name to an increasingly widespread variation of English created by combining the two dominant languages of globalization (Mandarin Chinese and English). With over 350 million English speakers in China (more than there are Americans alive) many of whom speak English by recombining existing Chinese sounds into English words and sentences, this new hybrid language is already overwhelmingly present, yet its aesthetic potential has not yet been explored. Stalling's book complicates any easy dismissal of so-called Chinglish by creating a genuinely uncanny poetry written entirely in Sinophonic English. Stalling rewrites a common English phrasebook into hauntingly beautiful Chinese poetry (which is all translated into English) that when sung, becomes an uncannily accented libretto, a story of a Chinese tourist's one-way journey into this interstitial language and its sonorous, if disastrous, consequences.
Hank Lazer @ Ron Slate's On the Seawall
Jonathan Stalling is the author of Poetics of Emptiness (Fordham UP), GROTTO HEAVEN (Chax, 2010), YÍNGĒLÌSHI: SINOPHONIC ENGLISH POETRY AND POETICS (Counterpath, 2011), LOST WAX (Tinfish Press, 2015), is the translator of Winter Sun: The Poetry of Shi Zhi 1966-2007 (The University of Oklahoma Press) and an editor of The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry: A Critical Edition (Fordham). Stalling is the founder and Curator of the Chinese Literature Translation Archive at the University of Oklahoma, where he is also an Associate Professor of English and the editor of Chinese Literature Today magazine and book series. His new work on Chinese-English interlangauge and transgraphic poetics and learning systems can be found online at TEDx Talk. Stalling lives in Norman, Oklahoma with his wife Amy, and their three children: Isaac, Eliana, and Rowen and their many pets.Author City: NORMAN, OK USA