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China Seminar

China Seminar with poet Wang Jiaxin

Wednesday 9 March 2022
Live in the Vossius room in the University Library and online via livestream
Vossius room

The second China Seminar talk of this semester will take place at the Leiden University Library in the Vossius room on March 9, 2022, 15:15-16:30.

Prominent Chinese poet Wang Jiaxin 王家新 will read from his work and reflect on poethood in China today before engaging in a conversation with the audience. This will take place in Chinese, English, and Dutch and be moderated by Prof. Maghiel van Crevel.

Currently in the Netherlands at the invitation of the Dutch Foundation for Literature, Wang Jiaxin (1957) was sent to the countryside for "re-education" during the Cultural Revolution, like so many of his generation. In 1978, two years after Mao Zedong's death, he enrolled as a student of Chinese language and literature at Wuhan University. His first collection of poetry was published in 1985 and he has since continued to publish steadily, winning many national and international awards, and participating in poetry festivals around the world. He is renowned for his Chinese translations of Paul Celan, Marina Tsvetaeva, Federico García Lorca and Osip Mandelstam, among others.

In a singular, tranquil style, Wang Jiaxin unfolds his vision of the relationship of the individual to society, history, destiny, and humanity. In the shadows of past and present he searches for truths, large and small, from direct experience. Although many of his poems take place in winter, at night, or in the dark, Wang also sees plenty of warmth, brightness, and hope.

Wang recent books include Een asgrauwe dageraad (2021), a collection of his poetry in Dutch translation. Edited by Silvia Marijnissen, this is a collaborative effort by ten translators from Flanders and the Netherlands.

Publications by Wang are available at the Asian Library.

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