A translation of Bruno Schulz’s Letters is now a part of a growing collection of Polish literature available in Chinese.
Polish literature has many advantages to attracting an audience in China. A different literary standard, unheard of subjects and a language of unique description has encouraged the Embassy in Beijing to consistently support the publication of Polish poetry and prose. Increasingly relevant are the translators conducting this work. A press conference that accompanied the release of Letters brought the media closer to recognising the high-skill of Professor Wu Lan. An editor and translator of Polish literature into Chinese, it was her 2009 translation of Ryszard Kapuściński’s Podróże z Herodotem (Travels with Herodotus) that initiated interest and action.
Schulz’s Letters is not the only work of the writer to be translated into Chinese. In 2009, there were some short stories that were based off of an English translation and last year Taiwan released Ulica krokodyli (The Street of Crocodiles). Taiwan is also working on Sanatorium pod klepsydrą (The Hourglass Sanatorium) to be issued next year.
2013 also marked the publication of two other important items of Polish literature in China. Among them was Czesław Miłosz’s Zniewolony umysł (The Captive Mind), translated by Professor Wu Lan, and a collection of publications dedicated to Janusz Korczak including Król Maciuś Pierwszy (King Matt the First). Plans for next year include translating Labiryntu nad morzem (A Labyrinth by the Sea) by Zbigniew Herbert as well as the first attempt to translate any work written by poet Adam Zagajewski. Applying her expertise to the ground breaking task is none other than Professor Wu Lan.
Chinese translators are highly valued in Poland. In 2012 an outstanding interpreter by the name of Professor Yi Lijun was awarded the prestigious Transatlantic Award for his work on such texts as Adam Mickiewicz’s Pan Tadeusz and Witold Gombrowicz’s Ferdydurke.
Sources: MSZ. Author: SW 19/11/2013, translation: SMG 20/11/2013