Daoists of Mt. Lao Pt. 1 – Wesley Holzer [EN]

Submitted Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Translator’s note: This story is retold faithfully, leaving out no details from Pu Songling (蒲松齡)’s original. But unlike the myriad translators who have come before me, I have elected to forgo the inevitably ill-fated strategy of maintaining the original author’s ingenious structure and infallible flow in Chinese. For scholarly pursuit, such a translation is understandable – perhaps commendable – but it does not make for good reading. Stubbornly trying to render the linguistic conventions of 18th century Classical Chinese into modern day English is the main reason that more than 150 years of translations of Liaozhai Zhiyi read almost identical to one another: all very academic. My aim is, instead, to give you something worth flipping through while relaxing on the couch, sitting on the train, or (heaven forbid) wasting away in the office.

“The Daoists of Mt. Lao” (勞山道士) is one of the most enduring tales from the 18th century masterpiece Tales of the Strange from Liaozhai (聊齋誌異) for its moral of humility and patience. A well-off young man heads to the mountain to learn the mystic arts of the immortals, bust struggles when reality at first falls short of his expectations. This is the first of a two-part translation of the story. – W. Holzer

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Dead Cat – J.S. Feng, A.G. Rodriguez, E.J. Rivera & J.A. Rodriguez [EN]

Submitted Friday, June 20, 2014

Preface: “Dead Cat” is a screenplay written for a film writing class at National Chengchi University. The four of us tackled this exhausting task with great enthusiasm, learning the hardships of converting an ordinary story into a usable screenplay with the proper use of indicators.

Writing “Dead Cat” was extremely fulfilling and a fantastic experience for me personally, as we dug deep into character development and the world of symbolism and nuances. Whatever the outcome, we are proud of our work. – J. Feng Continue reading