Skip to content

Reflections of a working writer and reader



Footnotes Like Skyscrapers

Hu Ling at Words Without Borders: Some say a good story should be like an iceberg.

. . . perhaps a translator is a bit like a Chinese restaurant owner, who finds himself serving mostly a non-Chinese clientele: should I assume my diners have unadventurous palates and always serve them the familiar “chow mein” and “kung-pao chicken”? Or should I assume that everybody is a potential epicurean and serve up complex flavors from regions and with ingredients that they would not have heard of? How do I transmit to my diners, in the famed dish of “Westlake Carp Braised in Vinegar,” the flute on the causeway and lingering scent of the lotus flowers just above the water?

Comments are closed.