The Lantern and the Night Moths

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Belletristik / Lyrik, Dramatik


The work of Tang Dynasty Classical Chinese poets such as Li Bai, Du Fu, and Wang Wei has long been celebrated in both China and internationally, and various English translations and mistranslations of their work played a pivotal but often unacknowledged role in shaping the emergence and evolution of modern Anglophone poetry.

In The Lantern and the Night Moths, Chinese Canadian poet-translator Yilin Wang has selected and translated poems by five of China’s most innovative modern and contemporary poets: Fei Ming, Qiu Jin, Zhang Qiaohui, Xiao Xi, and Dai Wangshu. Their poetry expands and subverts the long lineage of Classical Chinese poetry that precedes them.

Wang's translations are featured alongside the original Chinese texts, and as well as original essays by Wang that reflect on the key themes and stylistic features of modern Sinophone poetry and on the art and craft of poetry translation. Together, these poems and essays chart the development of a myriad of modernist poetry traditions in China that parallel, diverge from, and sometimes intersect with their Anglophone and Western counterparts.