Chinese version of Rabindranath Tagore’s Stray Birds translated by
renowned Chinese writer Feng Tang was stripped off the shelves today
following criticism over its " astray interpretations".
The translated line that received most criticism was when "The world
puts off its mask of vastness to its lover" was translated to "The world
unzipped his pants in front of his lover".
原文"The world puts off its mask of vastness to its
Another criticized part lies in the word "hospitable" in the line "The
great earth makes herself hospitable with the help of the grass". Feng
translates this using the Chinese word "sao", which is closer to the
English word "flirtatious".
另一 句"The great earth makes herself hospitable with the help of the
Zheng Zhong, president of the publishing house said, "We received
complaints from the readers and negative comments from the media. We
decide to recall the book and reevaluate the book before we make a
decision of how to deal with it."
Feng doesn’t seem to be bothered much by the matter. Soon after the
notice was released, Feng said in an interview with The Paper (a Chinese
news portal) that he believed "history and literature would make their
judgment", and that time shall speak, so shall the work itself.
But such confidence became rather pale confronting what negative
comments embraced him since the three-months to finish book was issued
"The boasted poet would only flaunt with obscenity, to meet the
curiosity of the vulgar readers. Please don’t apply your hormone
storytelling on Tagore," said Qinwo, a user on Chinese SNS site
douban.com. Most comments blast Feng’s vulgar and cheesy interpretation
has harmed the simple and sublime beauty created by Tagore.
On douban.com, the book received an average of only 4.1 points, a
rather disappointing rate compared to Zheng Zhenduo’s version, which got
an average of 9.1 points.
Despite criticism, however, there are also those who favor Feng’s
translated work." Tagore is a poet, and so is Feng. A poet’s view of
another poet is surly different from that of a translator’s. This is
rather helpful in understanding poems," said a senior Chinese publisher
who chose to remain anonymous in an interview with China Daily Website.
A Chinese sociologist and sexologist, Li Yinhe, also voiced support
for Feng’s poems. She wrote an article in her sina blog yesterday,
saying that Feng’s version of Stray Birds is the best Chinese translated
"If we compare Feng’s version with that of Zheng’s, it makes no effort
to see that Feng’s version is poem, but Zheng’s merely interpretation of
poem. Feng exceeds Zheng in terms of poetic quality, as he has brought
out the beauty of poems, only in his way.If there is a flaw in Feng’s
works, then, it is being too ’Feng’," Li said.
来源:China Daily 双语新闻