Writing a blog for an international audience is very complicated.
People in California are never awake when I write in Europe. People in Australia and Argentina are reading it upside down. And in China, when you want to access my blog, the government may tell you that it’s not a good idea to waste time like this, advising you to focus on your homework instead.
But, as I experienced myself when I was in Iran, people often find a way around censorship. And thus, over the convoluted jungle paths of Samizdat, some intrepid and fearless writer in China discovered my stories and made it her mission to translate them into at least one of the hundreds of languages of China.
If you read Chinese, you can find the story here.
Or if you have friends in China, you can print the story and mail it to them. I think that’s what the crazy button on the top right is for, but I don’t know much about technology. By the way, did you know that movable-type printing was invented in China 400 years before Johannes Gutenberg claimed his invention? The world’s failure to recognize this was the reason behind China’s long-standing reluctance to join the WTO.
What I like about translations in China is that the original title is prominently displayed, not like in other countries where you have to search for the original title with a microscope, if it is included at all.
Oh, and here is the English version, so you can enjoy the romantic story without going through a confusing course at the Confucius Institute.
- More about translations and about languages.
- More about China, although I still haven’t been there myself, which means you should take everything with a grain of Himalayan salt.
- And more romantic stories.
I have one follower in China. She’s in Hong Kong and reads and writes English perfectly. I think she’s originally from Malaysia.
It’s great “meeting” and becoming friends with people all over the world through blogging.
And the interesting thing is that some readers (like you, probably) know more about me through my blog than many relatives or friends, who refuse to read it.
Both of my daughters know about my blog, they know I write about my life, them included. They know I protect their privacy but they don’t care to read it. There are people literally on the other side of the world that know me better than the daughter that lives with me.
People aren’t curious, it seems. They just want to been spoon fed superficial flash and bang. I prefer my virtual friendships. I love people, but I also can’t stand them, ya know?
As critical as I am of the internet and especially of social media, I would name this as the greatest benefit: the opportunity to look for friends beyond one’s village or town.
Especially me, living in a tiny village, I would feel completely lost and lonely and probably depressive, if it weren’t for friends around the world.
Huh! That’s the first time I’ve seen the German title for that book. Tells you a lot about translations into English
I was also surprised to see that.
But that way, the original author can at least find his own book in a Chinese bookshop.
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Wow… It’s so wonderful an experience to read your blog as a Chinese reader deeply into Martin Eden. I read it aloud from cover to cover, almos the same way as you did. I hadn’t expected to find your connection with China and an Chinese audience and when I did see the title of this post I felt electrified all over the body literally! I also love the idea about “hermit” and “happy hermit”. So lucky to have wandered into your blog. Your writing does inpsire me to gather myself.
Oh, thank you very much for your kind words!
I have meanwhile read “Martin Eden” two more times, and I think I will continue to read it every couple of years.
If only I had the guts to implement its lessons in my own life…
But then, I guess we must not think of our life and the ideal life as 0 or 100 and nothing in between, but as a scale. As long as we are moving in the right direction, it’s better than just staying where society or coincidence has put us.
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