Translations and Transformations
Fenkl’s Cathay is a complex interweaving of fiction, translation, scholarship, and transformative writing. It includes new translations of the three luminaries of Tang Dynasty poetry: Li Po, Tu Fu, and Wang Wei—but that is only to whet the appetite. The volume also features the opening of the seventeenth-century Korean Buddhist classic, Nine Cloud Dream, by Kim Man-jung; an emulation of a horrific yet transcendent Tang Dynasty chuanji (“strange tale”); a magical, and yet postcolonial, revisioning of Hans Christian Andersen’s nineteenth-century fairytale, “The Nightingale”; and the enchanting story of the Shakyamuni Buddha’s conception and birth. The scope and depth of Fenkl’s achievement are astonishing. A simultaneous tribute to and criticism of Ezra Pound’s history-making 1915 chapbook of the same title, Fenkl’s Cathay is destined to be an instant literary classic.