Tracks in the Snow

Wanggiyan Lincing
Wanggiyan Lincing 完顏麟慶 (見亭) at the age of thirty-nine, by Wang Yingfu

To what should we compare human life?
It should be compared to a wild goose trampling on the snow.
The snow retains for a moment the imprint of its feet;
the goose flies away no one knows where.
Su Shi, trans. Simon Leys

人生到處知何似。
應似飛鴻踏雪泥。
泥上偶然留抓痕。
鴻飛那復計東西。
— 蘇軾


The translation of the mid-Qing-dynasty Manchu Bannerman Lincing’s (Linqing 麟慶, 1791-1846) Tracks in the Snow 鴻雪因緣圖記 was undertaken by Yang Tsung-han 楊宗翰 at the suggestion of John Minford in the 1980s. Further work was done on these translations by Rachel May. Since 2015, Christina Sanderson has been collating and revising Professor Yang’s unfinished work and translating the remaining chapters of Tracks in the Snow. This translation with annotations and explication is being undertaken with the support of an Australian Research Council grant awarded to Geremie R. Barmé and John Minford under the title ‘Manchu Rivers, Manchu Mountains’.

Links to previously published chapters from Lincing’s illustrated memoir are provided below. New work will appear as it becomes available.


Tracks in the Snow 鴻雪因緣圖記 — Episodes from an Autobiographical Memoir by the Manchu Bannerman Lin-ch’ing 麟慶, translated by Yang Tsung-han 楊宗翰, edited by John Minford, from East Asian History, 6 (December 1993)

More Tracks in the Snow (Renditions, Spring 1999)

Further Tracks in the Snow (China Heritage Quarterly)

 

Illustration from Lincing's Tracks in the Snow
Illustration from Lincing’s Tracks in the Snow