Literature eyes global space

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In late February, the China Writers Association launched the Sailing Project at China Modern Literature Museum in Beijing. More than 150 people from home and abroad attended the ceremony in person or online, including Chinese writers and publishers, culture officials from foreign embassies in China, and Sinologists from Spain, Turkiye and Mexico.

The project is to support the translation, publishing and promotion of Chinese literary works in overseas markets.

Zhang Hongsen, vice-president of the association, says in a speech that, through the translations of fine literary works, readers across the world can not only learn about the lifestyle of contemporary Chinese people, but also get closer to their spiritual world, culture, custom and social life, so that they can better understand contemporary China.

"The China Writers Association has been promoting the communication and exchange of Chinese literature in the international market, providing help and support to translators of Chinese literature," he says.

"We expect translators to continue caring about and supporting contemporary Chinese literature, so that we can benefit from one another in communication and exchanges."

In June, Algeria will be the guest of honor for the year at the Beijing International Book Fair. Algeria's Ambassador to China Hassane Rabehi says this year marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to promote peace, prosperity and cooperation among people around the world.

Literary translation is of great significance, and the Sailing Project, with a series of fine translation works, will strengthen mutual understanding of people from different countries, bring about cooperation and strengthen international cohesion, Rabehi says.

As the guest of honor for this year's BIBF, Algeria will also proactively promote the cooperation between China and Algeria, and translate more books into Chinese language so that readers can learn more about Algerian literature and culture.

Judith Oriol from the French embassy in China says books can transcend time and space, becoming an important medium for different cultures to communicate.

For a long time, there had been few translators in France who could translate Chinese literary masterpieces, but now there are more people learning and speaking Chinese, which has brought new possibilities. She says she expects the two countries to have more communication and exchanges to further the cooperation in publishing industry.

The ceremony also included a section devoted to introducing 17 novels that have been recently published in China, such as Ge Liang's Yanshiji (Food Is Heaven) and Di An's Qin'ai De Fengmi (Dear Fengmi). Cooperation agreements for five of these novels were signed.

Wei Wei's Yanxiali (In the Years), a novel about a woman's life against the backdrop of China's reform and opening-up, will be translated into Persian.

Ye Zhou's Liangzhou Shibapai (Eighteen Stanzas of Liangzhou), a novel about the history of the Hexi Corridor in Northwest China's Gansu province, will be translated into English. The artery connecting China with Central Asia served as a conduit for Buddhism, trade and military ventures in ancient times.

Lin Bai's Beiliu, a novel about the personal history of a female scholar in southern China, starting from the 1950s, will be translated into Vietnamese.

Li Fengqun's Yuexia (Under the Moon), a novel about the problems concerning marriage and love that contemporary Chinese women are facing, will be translated into French and Hindi.

Ye Mi's Bulao (Never Get Old), a novel focusing on the protagonist's love affair against the background of China's reform and opening-up, starting in 1978, will be translated into English and Korean.

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