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On Translating Qiu Jin: To Meet a Kindred Spirit Who Cherishes the Same Songs

Yilin Wang, translator

Mon, 2/26 · 12:00 pm1:20 pm · 144 Louis A. Simpson Building

Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication

The Mandarin term “zhīyīn” 知音 can be translated directly as “the one who truly understands your songs,” and encapsulates one’s longing for a kindred spirit who shares your deepest ideals. This sentiment is at the heart of the poetry of Chinese feminist poet Qiu Jin, and has also become the central lens through which Yilin Wang approaches translating Qiu Jin’s work. Through presenting her translations of Qiu Jin’s work alongside her translator’s commentary, Yilin Wang will reflect on her creative practice as a translator. She will discuss poetry translation as a type of intimate dialogue with the text and author, as built on deep shared understanding of cultural knowledge, and as a form of advocacy for underrepresented voices and literatures.

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