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June 09, 2011

Comments

chris y

Not saying it wouldn't be possible, even easy, but how would you Sinify the sentimentalised Christmas to which Dickens returns as a dog to its vomit?

Also, are there institutions analogous to Dotheboys Hall?

JamesP

Spring Festival. And abusive and rip-off Chinese schools are numerous - if you wanted the boarding aspect, probably best to make it a summer camp.

JamesP

Especially the summer camps for "internet addiction" or similar - the ones with a supposed curative purpose.

Charlie

What about Jarndyce and Jarndyce?

Phil

Charlie wins. I was thinking of the opium den in Edwin Drood, which would need some reimagining - and Occidentalising, ideally (an Internet cafe with an illicit connection to the West?)

Phil

Oh, and Chris - can you name Christmas scenes in two Dickens novels without the word 'Christmas' in their titles?

ejh

I thought of Bleak House, but presumably we could insert some kind of entanglement with Chinese bureaucracy instead. Not sure what to do about inheritance though - how does that work in China?

You'd also have to find a stand-in for smallpox.

ejh

Phil - do you count The Cricket And The Hearth?

Phil

Well spotted. Actually he wrote five "Christmas books", which are all noticeably different in style and content from the major novels (and the minor novels, come to that), as well as being shorter. Outside of those he wrote a lot of big meals, but not that many Christmas dinners that I can remember.

ejh

What's the plan for Barnaby Rudge?

belle le triste

Oliver Twist? Are organised urchin gangs of pickpockets transferrable, and how would Fagin be done?

JamesP

Organized urchin gangs of pickpockets are, well, organized urchin gangs of pickpockets. China's got plenty. Though organized gangs of small child beggars (sometimes also pickpockets) are more normal.

Charlie

Did all the posts just vanish from AFOE or did I imagine that? And is someone trying to tell me something?

Barry Freed

No Charlie, they're all gone. I can't get into the archives either, everything's gone. Even the google cache of the front page.

Charlie

Well, I think I can remember what I wrote, more or less. Edward Hugh on the other hand ...

Richard J

As a placeholder, I suggest:

"Here, in quite staggering detail, is why SmallEuropeanCountry is completely fucked."

Charlie

Perhaps we could syndicate B&T. We in fact seemed to be doing that for a short while some time ago.

Alex

A MySQL index table has been corrupted. As Murphy's law would have it, out of the 20 odd tables it's the one in which WordPress keeps our core content. I'm currently waiting for a backup to complete before attempting to recreate the index.

dsquared

A MySQL index table has been corrupted

Don't be judgemental Alex, your MySQL table has just chosen an alternative lifestyle.

Alex

The sinister cult reprogramming has proven effective:-)

We're back.

Charlie

To celebrate, I made a new post.

alec

A Tale of Two Cities. [irony alert]
ALL Chinese look alike

jamie

To reverse the premise, petitioning, black jails and so on would be a great subject for a Dickens novel.

Brendan

Dickens was translated into classical Chinese pretty early on by Lin Shu. Here's the end of his version of David Copperfield:


And now, as I close my task, subduing my desire to linger yet, these faces fade away. But one face, shining on me like a Heavenly light by which I see all other objects, is above them and beyond them all. And that remains. I turn my head, and see it, in its beautiful serenity, beside me. My lamp burns low, and I have written far into the night; but the dear presence, without which I were nothing, bears me company. O Agnes, O my soul, so may thy face be by me when I close my life indeed; so may I, when realities are melting from me, like the shadows which I now dismiss, still find thee near me, pointing upward!

吾书至此已毕,不复更枝其词,如此等之颜面,转瞬随风烟而渺,惟中有一人,音容长在吾心眼之中,余但回眸,此人常侍,虽夜静灯阑,彼尚侍我,噫!安尼司吾之灵魂性命,尔之玉容,至吾临命之时,宜常在吾侧,及余离此世界,及于影国,尚望尔以指向上,如诏我时也。

Brendan

Late night at the bar, so I'm going to translate the classical Chinese version of Dickens back into English without cheating by looking at the original.

Here, though well might I like to further extend it, endeth my tale. Those faces now vanish, as mist on the wind, save one that endures in my heart and remains with me at my every reflection. She remains, though my lamp dims, beside me -- ah! Agnes, my soul and my heart's-blood, may thy jewel-like countenance, as now I near my end, be at my side; as I depart this earth and leave this realm of shadows, may you yet be above me, as if telling me that the time has come.

(Checking back up to see how I did.) Hm. Well, not bad, considering. For what it's worth, and my translation notwithstanding, I find the pseudoclassical Chinese more moving than the original.

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