China’s flagship literature magazine has launched an English version to tap into overseas audiences and boost the global impact of contemporary Chinese literature.
People’s Literature, the first literary magazine to be established in the People’s Republic of China after its founding, published last Friday a 160-page English issue featuring translations of 17 Chinese writers’ works.
Entitled “Pathlight,” the issue intends to cater to overseas readers who are interested in the latest trends and rising stars in China’s literary circle, said Li Jingze, editor-in-chief of People’s Literature and Pathlight.
“Overseas readers who are curious about Chinese literature are in dire need of a trustworthy and highly professional introduction, which is exactly how the English version is positioned,” Li said.
Literature, if promoted effectively, will also contribute to the international influence of Chinese culture and boost the country’s soft power, Li added.
Pathlight includes speeches and writings by five winners of this year’s Mao Dun Literature Prize, a prestigious Chinese literary award.
“Bellwethers, or writers most representative of Chinese literature, have to be introduced,” Li said.
Young writers whose fiction, non-fiction and poetry work might be unfamiliar even to Chinese readers are also included in Pathlight.
A group of 13 native English speakers were recruited to translate the selected pieces.
“More translators with an intimate knowledge of Chinese culture and proficiency in Chinese language should be trained to meet ever-expanding demand in the international market for translations of Chinese literary works,” Li said.
Pathlight is currently being published on a trial basis and will likely be published quarterly for the time being, Li said.
“We hope Pathlight will serve as a light on the path of cultural exchange between China and other countries,” Li said.