A Lineage of Light — Final Lecture, David Hawkes

David Hawkes (1923-2009) and the Translation of The Story of the Stone is the fifth and final lecture in the series ‘On Culture & Translation’. It was presented by John Minford at the Hang Seng Management College on 12 March 2016.… Read

A Lineage of Light — Lecture Four, Arthur Waley

Arthur Waley (1889-1966) and the Translation of Chinese Poetry is the fourth lecture in the series ‘On Culture & Translation’. It was presented by John Minford at the Hang Seng Management College on 5 March 2016.… Read

A Lineage of Light — Lecture Two, James Legge

James Legge (1815-1897) and the Chinese Classics is the second lecture in the series ‘On Culture & Translation’. It was presented by John Minford at the Hang Seng Management College on 20 February 2016.… Read

A Lineage of Light — Introductory Lecture Notes

John Minford has provided the notes (class handout) for the Introductory Lecture in his series of talks under the title ‘On Culture & Translation’, previously published in China Heritage. The notes are reproduced below; a PDF version can be downloaded here.… Read

A Lineage of Light — Introducing Four Translators

… felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken … — John Keats *** In February and March 2016, John Minford, co-founder of The Wairarapa Academy for New Sinology and a leading literary translator of Chinese, presented ‘On Culture and Translation’, a series of five public lectures at the Hang Seng Management College 恒生管理學院 in Hong Kong where he is Sin Wai Kin Honorary Professor of Translation and Culture 冼為堅榮譽教授 (中國文化與翻譯) in the School of Translation.… Read

More Other People’s Thoughts

Other People’s Thoughts is a section in the Journal of the China Heritage site. It is inspired by a compilation of quotations put together by Simon Leys (Pierre Ryckmans), one of our Ancestors, during his reading life.… Read

Bathing Baby Buddha

The Eighth Day of the Fourth Month 四月初八 is celebrated as the Buddha’s Birthday. Falling on the 3rd of May 2017 the festivities are sandwiched between China’s 1st of May International Labor Day 國際勞動節, a public holiday that lasts until the 2nd of May and marked by a long weekend, and Youth Festival 青年節 on the 4th of May.… Read

Stories of Regret — the Zhang family of Huayin

One of the many abiding legacies of Confucius is his legendary work as an editor. The Mentor-Exemplar of Ten Thousand Ages 萬世師表 is famed for editing the classic Book of Songs 詩經, thereby creating China’s earliest work of literature while at the same time establishing a tradition of censorship: according to legend he edited some 3000 folk songs and poems down to a scant 305 for the edification of his disciples.… Read

顛倒 Downside Up — the art of Lois Conner

The New York-based photographer Lois Conner’s work is featured on the masthead of this site and on that of China Heritage Annual, which was launched in March 2017. Lois and I met in New York in the summer of 1996, and since then we have worked together on many projects (a list of our collaborations is given below).… Read

The Silent Majority and the Great Majority

Here we remember and commemorate the work of Wang Xiaobo 王小波, a writer of prose and fiction who died twenty years ago. In a celebrated essay titled ‘The Silent Majority’ 沈默的大多數, Wang wrote about what he called the yin and yang of public expression in China, or the World of Silence and the World of Speech: …people keep silent for any number of reasons, some because they lack the ability or the opportunity to speak, others because they are hiding something, and still others because they feel, for whatever reason, a certain distaste for the world of speech.… Read

Easter Resurrected: a letter from David Hawkes

In the 1980s, after completing his monumental translation of the first eighty chapters of The Story of the Stone 紅樓夢, David Hawkes retired with his wife Jean to an old stone farmhouse called Bryn Carregog (Stony Hill), in the mountains of Mid-Wales.… Read

Wang Xi-feng’s Guide to Success in Modern China

The name Wang Xifeng is a byword for guile, treachery and cunning. A brilliant creation among the many brilliant creations of Cao Xueqin, author of the eighteenth-century novel The Story of the Stone (The Dream of the Red Chamber), Wang is familiar not only to students of Chinese literature, but to anyone who has dealt with people whose personalities are distorted by authoritarianism, patriarchy and the myriad forms of repression resulting from hypocrisy.… Read

In Memoriam: Sylvia Jean Hawkes, 1927-2017

On 28 March 2017, Jean Hawkes, née Perkins, 波金絲, passed away peacefully in Minehead, Somerset, at the age of ninety. She was the widow of the Sinologist and translator David Hawkes 霍克思, who died in July 2009.… Read

In the Shade 庇蔭

The Fourth of April 2017 marks the day for ‘sweeping the tombs’ 掃墓, a festival on which respect is paid to loved ones and forebears. Known since ancient times as Qingming 清明, ‘Clear and Bright’, it is the Eighth Day of the Third Month (depending on the year, this can be the 4th, 5th or 6th of April according to the Gregorian Calendar).… Read

Xi Xi in the Bamboo Grove

Here we introduce two more figures in The Teddy Bear Chronicles 縫熊誌, created by the Hong Kong writer and teddy bear artist Xi Xi 西西, and translated by Christina Sanderson. The teddies and essay below feature Xi Kang 嵇康 and Ruan Xian 阮咸, two of the famed Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove 竹林七賢.… Read

China’s State of Warring Styles

In modern China (as in so many other countries), changing fashions have reflected the shifting political and cultural landscape of the country. The success of the 1911 Xinhai Revolution not only saw the abdication of the last Chinese emperor, it also ushered in the Zhongshan Suit 中山裝 (known in the international media as the Mao Jacket) designed for the revolutionary leader Sun Yat-sen (Sun Zhongshan), an item of clothing replete with revolutionary symbolism.… Read

China Heritage Annual Launched

China Heritage Annual is a new series produced by China Heritage, the online home of The Wairarapa Academy for New Sinology 白水書院. Along with the China Heritage Journal it is a successor to China Heritage Quarterly, an e-publication produced under the aegis of the China Heritage Project from 2005 to 2012.… Read

2014: Where’s the Ancient City of Nanking Going?

南京最后的古城往何处去 姚远 Yao Yuan, who has born in Nanjing in 1981, has written extensively for the mainstream Chinese media about the threats to the architectural and cultural heritage of the city posed by developers, commercial ventures, Party programs and public neglect.… Read

The Australian Legation in Nanking

From July 1941 until October 1949, the Commonwealth of Australia maintained two diplomatic legations in the Republic of China. Frederic Eggleston, then one of Australia’s leading international relations theorists and an advocate who supported closer ties with Asia, was Minister of the first legation, located in the wartime capital of Chungking, until he was recalled in March 1944, and posted thereafter to represent Australia in Washington.… Read

The Hall of Deep Willows and Its Master

深柳大師與深柳堂 Wu Yankang 武延康 Translated by Frederick W. Mote 閒門向山處
深柳讀書堂 Editor’s Note The following is an account of the Jinping Buddhist Press, founded in Nanking following the depredations of the Lower Yangtze Valley, and the wholesale destruction of Buddhist monasteries, libraries and practice, during the pseudo-Christian Taiping Rebellion (1851-1865).… Read

The Age of Exuberance

David Hawkes The Chinese equivalent of the sack of Rome occurred in A.D. 311 when [the capital of the Latter Han dynasty] Luoyang fell to the barbarians. As many better-off Chinese as could get away fled south, where a Chinese court had established itself in Nanking.… Read

2015: Mayor Bulldozer

In 2015, Ji Jianye 季建業, mayor of Nanjing from January 2010-October 2013, was sentenced to fifteen years gaol for graft. Ji was known as ‘Mayor Bulldozer’ 推土機市長 for the widespread destruction of heritage sites in the city, radical building and development plans that lead to the wholesale felling of many of the city’s beloved trees, and a politically driven commercialism that laid waste to as much as it created.… Read

The Man With the Key

The Man With the Key Is Not Here 管钥匙的人不在 Karin Malmstrom & Nancy Nash   The Man With the Key is Not Here 管钥匙的人不在 offers ‘Sixteen Chinese Key Words’ (pun intended), or ‘Everyday Mantras’, and their layered meanings, that Chinese watchers of China know to be on the watch out for.… Read

1959: This Land so Rich in Beauty

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, a number of noted upcoming artists — their number included Lü Fengzi 吕鳳子, Xu Beihong 徐悲鸿, Zhang Daqian 張大千, Yan Wenliang 颜文梁, Lü Sibai 吕斯百, Chen Zhifo 陳之佛, Gao Jianfu 高劍父, Pan Yuliang 潘玉良 and Pang Xunqin 龐薰琹 — worked in the new national capital Nanking and were later identified as a kind of ‘ Jinling Artistic group’ 新金陵畫派, although they shared little in common.… Read

1954: Awakening from a Dream of Red Mansions

The Story of the Stone (also known as Dream of the Red Chamber) is China’s most famous novel. It depicts the height of court power and wealth in an imaginary capital city, often thought to be loosely based on Nanking (Jiangning 江寧/ Jinling 金陵).… Read

April-September 1949: The Nanking Press

Knight Biggerstaff The following account of the post-liberation Nanking print media appeared on 8 March 1950 in Far Eastern Survey, vol.19 no.5: 50-54. — The Editors The Chinese Communists frankly regard the press as an instrument of propaganda, as an important means of ‘educating’ the people.… Read