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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Meeting with Xue


Xue and I met on Friday to talk about her first impression of the material we have connected and to try to plan future work.  We decided that for the next few weeks her job will be to think of "cooler" or more recent or less "establishment" intellectuals--people like Han Han, Li Chengpeng, Yu Jianrong.  One reason for this is that when you look at the various M.E. Sharpe translation series, it turns out that quite a lot of stuff is available in English.  This does not of course mean that we cannot work on these figures or that we will agree with all their choices about what to translate.  My impression is that Contemporary Chinese Thought or Chinese Law and Government any of the translation series serves a fairly niche, academic market, and is not aiming to do a broad representation of contemporary Chinese intellectual life as our documentary will presumably attempt to do.  A second reason is that the material available in English (or French, though there's less in French, I think) is very heavy on politics and economics, so we should at least try to get a sense of other existing worlds.  And finally, even if I'm basically comfortable remaining with "establishment" intellectuals who basically try to play by the rules, we still might want to consider some dissenters.

I will meet with Alex on Dec. 23.  He has checked out software programs that might be useful for our online translation exercises.

Xue suggested perhaps trying to set up a one-monthly translation group in Montreal, which sounds like good fun to me.  If by some miracle we get that started before formal translation labs evolve, we can test run the software and the larger process in that way.

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