By Juwen Zhang —
It is my ultimate privilege and honor to share with you this news and celebrate the completion of the publication of a trilogy of translations: one volume of essays on proverb studies by Wolfgang Mieder and three volumes of essays on fairy tale studies by Jack Zipes, both published in 2022, following a volume of essays by Dan Ben-Amos published in 2018 – all in Chinese! This trilogy represents the achievements of the “three musketeers” and bridges folklorists across the Pacific.
I always consider that the development of a discipline is inseparable from translation (both between different languages and between the classic and modern usage of the same language). In planning this trilogy a few years ago, I realized that a more effective way to exchange ideas at a deeper level could be “systemic translation” of the works by one accomplished scholar or one school of thought (see also, “Translations: American Folklore Scholarship Published in China,” AFS Newsletter, June 15, 2021). Of course, any individual translations would also be helpful for cross-cultural communication, as seen in the bilingual volume, Metafolklore: Stories of Sino-U.S. Folkloristic Communication (eds. Juwen Zhang and Junhua Song, 2017, ISBN: 9787306062314).
I was fortunate to get the support from colleagues both in the U.S. and China so as to organize a team of thirty young folklorists, with the hope that more young folklorists could also be translators as well. Now we see the fruition of this labor of love. I thank Professors Fang Xiao and Lihui Yang at Beijing Normal University, Yang Li at the Ocean University of China, and Xiaochun Liu at Sun Yat-sen (Zhongshan) University for supporting and facilitating the publication process.
My personal journey has been even more fruitful: learning from the wisdom and experience of the three musketeers while discussing the essays and talking about a variety of things with them, and reading carefully word by word all the essays in proofreading each young translator’s work and in my own translating. I gained a wider and deeper understanding of the content of each essay, and of the development of international folkloristics at least in the past half century. I thank the three musketeers for their sincere support!
The sun rises every morning, with a blue sky or not. The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly delayed the process of publication, but the trilogy is now completed. I believe that bridges are wider than rivers, and that the more bridges we have, the easier for people to interact in their everyday life and intellectual practice so that the communication will truly be equal, welcoming, and humanistic.
Concepts and Methods in Folkloristics: Essays by Dan Ben-Amos (Beijing: China Social Sciences Press, 2018) contains 18 essays. (See the cover image in the AFS Newsletter, June 15, 2021, above link.)
Folkloristic Studies of Proverbs: Essays by Wolfgang Mieder (Beijing: China Social Sciences Press, 2022) contains 21 essays.
Three volumes of essays by Jack Zipes contain a total of 35 essays: respectively, 13 essays in New Approaches to Fairy Tale and Children’s Literature: Essays by Jack Zipes (Beijing: China Social Sciences Press, 2022).
10 essays in Fairy Tale Studies: Essays by Jack Zipes (Jinan: Tomorrow Publishing House, 2022).
12 essays in From Grimm Tales to Harry Potter: A New Approach to Fairy Tale and Children’s Literature (Shanghai: Zhongxi Book Company, 2022).
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