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Chiang Yee and Shih-I Hsiung: Renowned Chinese Writers in the West

June 26 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

| Free

During the 1930s and 1940s, Chiang Yee and Shih-I Hsiung were celebrated in the West for their original English-language works that enchanted the public with their delightful freshness and charm. Best known for his Silent Traveller series, Chiang Yee wrote about familiar Western landscapes from a Chinese perspective. Among his publications were three titles on American cities, that is, The Silent Traveller in New York, The Silent Traveller in Boston, and The Silent Traveller in San Francisco, which were all New York Times best sellers. His writings were both humorous and insightful, with a mixture of Chinese poetry, calligraphy, and art. He was also famous for his Chinese translation of the brand name “Coca Cola”; his painting of pandas and his children’s books about pandas; and his introduction of Chinese calligraphy and art to the West. Shih-I Hsiung, on the other hand, became a celebrity as a playwright after his Lady Precious Streamwas staged in London, where it ran for nearly 900 shows. Then in 1935 Hsiung came to New York to stage that play at the Booth Theatre. Lauded as the “Chinese Shakespeare,” Hsiung was the first Chinese to direct a Chinese play on Broadway, a half century earlier than David Henry Hwang’s M. Butterfly. Eleanor Roosevelt went to the show and thoroughly enjoyed it. In addition, his English translation of The Western Chamber and novel The Bridge of Heaven won rave reviews.

By coincidence, both Chiang Yee and Shih-I Hsiung came from Jiangxi, and they left for England at almost the same time. They shared the same flat in London and collaborated on the publication of Lady Precious Stream. While both writers were dedicated to bringing about better understanding between East and West, they differed widely in personality, backgrounds, and literary accomplishments.

The speaker Zheng Da is a professor of English at Suffolk University in Boston. In 1994, he received a Ph.D. in English from Boston University, with interests in American literature, Asian American literature, and popular culture. In 2010 he published a biography of Chiang Yee and recently the biography of Shih-I Hsiung. At the lecture, Prof. Zheng will introduce these two celebrated writers, outlining their life experiences, writing careers, friendships with other contemporary cultural figures, and critical reception today.

Free, but advanced registration is requested.

二十世纪三、四十年代,英国的文坛上出现两位才华横溢的中国才俊蒋彝和熊式一。他们用娴熟的英语致力于介绍中国文化,增进中西文化的交流和了解而名震遐迩。蒋彝以哑行者游记系列驰名,其中三部以美国城市为题材的《纽约画记》、《波士顿画记》、《旧金山画记》,全部登上《纽约时报》畅销书榜。他的作品风格独特,诗书画兼备,带有明显的中国文化特点,并且以中国人的目光细致观察、描写西方的人文景观。1955年,蒋彝迁居纽约,在哥伦比亚大学任教。他翻译的饮料品名“可口可乐”家喻户晓,成为翻译的经典范例;他擅长书画,著有《中国画》和《中国书法》,向西方介绍中国的书画艺术;他是第一个以熊猫入画的艺术家,还以熊猫为题材,写了几本广受欢迎的儿童读物。熊式一则以英语剧《王宝川》轰动英国,在伦敦西区上演三年,近九百场;1936年,又到纽约布思剧院上演,成为第一部在百老汇上演的华人创作的英语剧,比黄哲伦的《蝴蝶君》早了整整半个世纪。媒体称誉他为“中国的莎士比亚”,罗斯福夫人亲临观摩,表示赞赏。除此之外,熊式一还成功英译中国经典戏剧《西厢记》,他创作的历史讽刺小说《天桥》,描写清末民初中国发生的巨大社会变化,被译成欧洲的主要语言,并获得萧伯纳、威尔士、陈寅恪等人的盛赞。

这两位享誉西方文坛的中国作家,都是江西人,差不多同龄, 几乎同时去伦敦,又曾经在同一个公寓里住,但两人的兴趣特点、生活经历、创作手法截然不同。华美人文学会特邀蒋彝传记和熊式一传记作者郑达教授于6月26日做“蒋彝和熊式一:享誉西方文坛的中国作家”专题讲座,介绍两位学者的生活和创作历程、他们与其他文学艺术界人士的交往和友谊,以及目前学界对这两位作家的评价和认识。

主讲人郑达,波士顿萨福克大学(Suffolk University)英语系教授,于1994年获波士顿大学英语博士,主要研究美国文学、亚裔文学、和通俗文化,他出版的作品中包括蒋彝传记《西行画记》 (商务印书馆,2012)、Chiang Yee: The Silent Traveller from the East (Rutgers University Press, 2010)、熊式一传记 Shih-I Hsiung: A Glorious Showman(Fairleigh Dickinson University Press,2020)。

Details

Date:
June 26
Time:
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Cost:
Free
Event Category:

Venue

Online