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Narrative Poem
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Narrative Poem (Paperback)

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Synopsis

Bilingual Chinese-English edition translated by Brian Holton. Before and since his enforced exile from 1989, Yang Lian has been one of the most innovative and influential poets in China. Widely hailed in America and Europe as a highly individual voice in world literature, he has been translated into many languages. Narrative Poem, Yang Lian's most personal work to date, is built around a series of family photographs, the first of which was taken on the day when he was born, on 22 February 1955, and the last of which dates from the time he spent undergoing 're-education through labour' - and digging graves - during the mid-1970s. The poetry ranges backward and forward in time, covering his childhood and youth, his first period of exile in New Zealand, and his subsequent adventures and travels in and around Europe and elsewhere. In 'this unseen structure written by a ghost' Yang Lian weaves together lived experience with meditations on time, consciousness, history, language, memory and desire, in a search for new/old ways of speaking, thinking and living.

Narrative Poem, or (Xushishi), was published in China in 2011, and this bilingual edition presents the Chinese text alongside Brian Holton's masterly translation of a technically complex work of great beauty, The book also includes Family Tradition, Yang Lian's first ever preface to his own work, and Ghost Composer/Ghost Translator, a translator's afterword by Brian Holton. 'Trees that desire silence but cannot be silent will murmur at their lack of Samadhibala, the meditator's gentle strength of will. At the same time, the winds of Family Tradition will not cease blowing. I believe they never will.' - Yang Lian (in Family Tradition)

Fiction & PoetryPoetryPoetry by individual poets Publisher: Bloodaxe Books Ltd Publication Date: 22/06/2017 ISBN-13: 9781780373515  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Yang Lian was one of the original Misty Poets who reacted against the strictures of the Cultural Revolution. Born in Switzerland, the son of a diplomat, he grew up in Beijing and began writing when he was sent to the countryside in the 1970s. On his return he joined the influential literary magazine Jintian (Today). His work was criticised in China in 1983 and formally banned in 1989 when he organised memorial services for the dead of Tiananmen while in New Zealand. He was a Chinese poet in exile from 1989 to 1995, finally settling in London in 1997. Translations of his poetry include four collections with Bloodaxe, Where the Sea Stands Still (1999), a Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation, Concentric Circles (2005), Lee Valley Poems (2009) and Narrative Poem (2017), as well as his long poem Yi (Green Integer, USA, 2002) and Riding Pisces: Poems from Five Collections (Shearsman, 2008), a compilation of earlier work. He is co-editor with W.N. Herbert of Jade Ladder: Contemporary Chinese Poetry (Bloodaxe Books, 2012), and was awarded the International Nonino Prize in 2012.

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