Image (left to right): ANU student Zhu Jiayi, Dr Mark Gibeau, Associate Professor McComas Taylor, Professor Catherine Trevis, Grazia Scotellaro, CAP Dean Professor Helen Sullivan and Dr Shengyu Fan

Image (left to right): ANU student Zhu Jiayi, Dr Mark Gibeau, Associate Professor McComas Taylor, Professor Catherine Trevis, Grazia Scotellaro, CAP Dean Professor Helen Sullivan and Dr Shengyu Fan

The Translator’s Mirror for the Romantic: Cao Xueqin’s Dream and David Hawkes’ Stone: Dr Shengyu Fan Book Launch

18th August 2022

On 17 August, we hosted the official book launch of The Translator’s Mirror for the Romantic: Cao Xueqin's Dream and David Hawkes' Stone. This book by CHL's Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director of Languages, Dr Shengyu Fan, uses precious primary sources to decipher a master translator’s art in Stone, a brilliant English translation of the most famous Chinese classic novel, Dream.

Here's what some of the guests had to say about the book:

“This is a masterly study of how a great translator recreated in English the masterpiece of Chinese fiction. Those interested in fiction generally, in the Hongloumeng 紅樓夢 in particular, and in the magical alchemy whereby David Hawkes transformed the novel into The Story of the Stone will find this book an enthralling read. Fan Shengyu’s close reading of original and translation allows us a better appreciation of the “true flavour” 真味 of both, and an understanding of the serious playfulness with which Hawkes approached his work as translator.” - Duncan M. Campbell, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

“Cao Xueqin’s Honglou meng is a masterpiece; David Hawkes’s The Story of the Stone is equally a masterpiece. Connecting the two is a phantom text, Cao’s Honglou meng as imagined and desired by his translator Hawkes. Fan Shengyu is the first person to attempt to capture and record this phenomenon of intercultural dreaming, the “lost translator’s copy” that existed in Hawkes’s mind and that grants us entry to a world of textual, aesthetic and historical choices otherwise invisible. Fan deserves our gratitude for his painstaking, sympathetic reconstruction of the many forking paths in the Cao-Hawkes garden.” - Haun Saussy, University of Chicago, USA

Here's a glimpse of this amazing celebration of Fan's labour of love, a culmination of 20 years of intricate work.

Watch the recording here.

Fan1Dr Shengyu Fan, presenting his book and the inspiration source behind it

Fan3the Story of the Stone

Fan5Fan6Fan7Fan8The College of Asia and the Pacific Dean, Professor Helen Sullivan inaugurating the event

Fan9

Fan10Fan11Fan12Fan13Fan14Associate Professor McComas Taylor sharing his perspectives

Fan15Professor Catherine Trevis from the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS)

Fan16Duncan Campbell from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Fan17Many online participants graced the event, including Professor Haun Saussy from the University of Chicago

Fan18Fan19Fan20ANU student Zhu Jiayi performing the Guzheng, a traditional Chinese instrument

Fan21Fan22Fan23Fan24Fan and his family with Counsellor Guo and her colleague from the China Embassy

Fan25Fan26Fan27Fan and McComas Taylor in conversation with Chi Crawford from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office

Updated:  7 July 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, Culture, History & Language/Page Contact:  CHL webmaster