Sat, 27 May, 2023, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM (GMT+8.0)
SPH Auditorium (报业中心礼堂) 1000 Toa Payoh North News Centre Singapore 318994

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One Story, Two Channels: Historical Memories, Transregional Resonances, and the Chinese Translation of State of Emergency 

Speakers: Jeremy Tiang, Lim Woan Fei, Chen Si’an

Moderator: Chan Cheow Thia (Assistant Professor, Department of Chinese Studies, National University of Singapore)

Format: Bilingual, interpretation provided

Panel co-organized with Wan Boo Sow Research Centre for Chinese Culture, Department of Chinese Studies, National University of Singapore.

How did two translingual practitioners of varied backgrounds meet to translate a novel? For a country that claims to practice multiculturalism, what does the bilingual existence of a novel signify? Will resonances occasioned by literary translation ensure that a piece of near-forgotten history be better preserved? Works of Singapore English literature are now appearing in Chinese translation. The related endeavours reverse how English is usually harnessed as the target language of translation in Singapore. Also, they initiate meaningful reflections on the scope and definition of “Singapore Chinese literature,” and gesture toward a larger Chinese-language reading public beyond the island-state. 

This session brings together Jeremy Tiang, author of State of Emergency (2018 Singapore Literature Prize for English fiction), and the novel’s translators Lim Woan Fei and Chen Si’an. The translated title Jinji zhuangtai is part of local independent bookstore-publisher City Boom Room’s “City Translation Series.” Together, the speakers will share their thoughts on issues ranging from motivations behind their translingual and transnational collaboration, to historical memories and connections among readers in a non-English language world. 


这场活动聚焦本地英文小说 State of Emergency 的中译本《紧急状态》。小说曾赢得2018年新加坡文学奖(英文小说组),其译本收录于新加坡独立书店城市书房的《城市译丛》出版计划。作家程异(Jeremy Tiang)将连同译者林琬绯与陈思安,围绕他们跨语兼跨国的实践,分享其创作初衷与合作过程,并就受众想象、历史记忆,以及中文/华文世界之连结等课题进行反思和交流。

Jeremy Tiang is a Singaporean novelist, playwright and translator who is currently based in New York City. In 2022, he was the Princeton University Translator-in-Residence and an International Booker Prize judge. His novel State of Emergency won the Singapore Literature Prize in 2018, and his short story collection It Never Rains on National Day was shortlisted for the same prize in 2016. He has also translated over thirty books from Chinese, including works by Yeng Pway Ngon, Hai Fan, You Jin, Zhang Yueran, Shuang Xuetao, Yan Ge, Liu Xinwu and Lo Yi-Chin. He co-edited the anthology Violent Phenomena: 21 Essays About Translation with Dr Kavita Bhanot. His plays include Salesman之死, A Dream of Red Pavilions (adapted from the Cao Xueqin novel) and The Last Days of Limehouse, as well as translations of scripts by Wei Yu-Chia, Shen Wan-Ting and Chen Si'an, among others.

程异,新加坡译者、编剧、小说家,现居纽约。2022年普林斯顿大学驻校翻译家,2022年国际布克奖评委。2018年凭英文长篇小说 State of Emergency《紧急状态》获得新加坡文学奖,2016年凭短篇小说集It Never Rains On National Day 《国庆日从不下雨》入围新加坡文学奖决选名单。他也积极投入文学翻译,译著逾三十本,包括英培安、海凡、尤今、张悦然、双雪涛、颜歌、刘心武和骆以军等作家的小说。近期与Kavita Bhanot博士合编Violent Phenomena: 21 Essays About Translation。剧作包括双语剧《Salesman之死》,及英语剧《红楼梦》(改编自曹雪芹之小说)和 《莱姆豪斯最后的日子》。他的翻译实践延及戏剧,译作包括魏于嘉、沈琬婷、陈思安等编剧的创作。

CHEN Si'an is a playwright, theatre director, short story writer, and literary translator. She is the founder and artistic director of the Sound and Fury Play Reading Festival. She has written four collections of short stories and five plays. Her plays were performed at the Royal Court Theatre, Edinburgh International Festival, National Theatre Company of China, Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center, Taiwan and mainland China Studio Theatre Art Festival, Beijing International Fringe Festival, etc.


Lim Woan Fei works in the news industry. She is also a translator who focuses on content related to society, politics, history, and the general humanities. Her latest translingual works include Jinji zhuangtai (State of Emergency authored by Jeremy Tiang, co-translated with Chen Si’an, May 2023) and Feihu qingyuan---He Yongdao huiyilu (Memoirs of A Flying Tiger authored by Jonathan Sim, October 2022). She was involved in translating a series of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s publications and programmes, such as Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going and Lee Kuan Yew: One Man's View of the World etc. Her other works on senior politicians include Gaonan renwu (Tall Order) and Denggao wangyuan (Standing Tall), the two-volume biography of Singapore’s second Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong (both authored by Peh Shing Huei). An author in her own right, she has published a collection of essays Gaobie Taipei, huijia (Farewell to Taiwan, Bound for Home). Once Lianhe Zaobao’s Taipei Correspondent and a Channel U newscaster for SPH MediaWorks, she is currently a digital content executive producer with Lianhe Zaobao.


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