A Matter of Life and Death: The Translator Fou Lei

A Matter of Life and Death: The Translator Fou Lei Feature Mingyuan Hu. Fou Lei: An Insistence on Truth. Leiden: Brill, 2017.x, 251 pp. Hardcover $165.00, ISBN 978-90-04-34391-7. Fou Lei 傅雷 (1908–1966) was the celebrated translator who brought to Chinese readers numerous masterpieces of French literature, including works by Romain Rolland, Balzac, Voltaire and Hippolyte Taine. He spent three and a half years as an idealistic and adventurous young man in France, Switzerland and Italy, from 1928 to 1931, before returning to Shanghai and launching himself into a prolific career as a cultural critic and translator, becoming one of China’s leading public men of letters. After 1949, like so many Chinese intellectuals and creative artists of his generation, he was courted by the new regime (a courting made easier by his own wishful thinking), and during the early 1950s he made ever more strenuous efforts to be accepted by the new cultural commissars. He sincerely hoped that he might be allowed to play a genuine role in the New China, provided he could appear to believe in its underlying ideology (even partially), and could be seen to help to promote it. After a few years of this fruitless self-abasement he was, like thousands of others, rejected and ultimately destroyed http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Review International University of Hawai'I Press

A Matter of Life and Death: The Translator Fou Lei

China Review International, Volume 24 (2) – Jun 4, 2019

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9367

Abstract

Feature Mingyuan Hu. Fou Lei: An Insistence on Truth. Leiden: Brill, 2017.x, 251 pp. Hardcover $165.00, ISBN 978-90-04-34391-7. Fou Lei 傅雷 (1908–1966) was the celebrated translator who brought to Chinese readers numerous masterpieces of French literature, including works by Romain Rolland, Balzac, Voltaire and Hippolyte Taine. He spent three and a half years as an idealistic and adventurous young man in France, Switzerland and Italy, from 1928 to 1931, before returning to Shanghai and launching himself into a prolific career as a cultural critic and translator, becoming one of China’s leading public men of letters. After 1949, like so many Chinese intellectuals and creative artists of his generation, he was courted by the new regime (a courting made easier by his own wishful thinking), and during the early 1950s he made ever more strenuous efforts to be accepted by the new cultural commissars. He sincerely hoped that he might be allowed to play a genuine role in the New China, provided he could appear to believe in its underlying ideology (even partially), and could be seen to help to promote it. After a few years of this fruitless self-abasement he was, like thousands of others, rejected and ultimately destroyed

Journal

China Review InternationalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jun 4, 2019

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