Ouyang Jianghe played a central role in the 1980s underground Sichuanese poetry scene that gave rise to the Chinese poetic avant-garde, and during that time he became known as one of the “Five Masters from Sichuan.” Since then he has emerged as one of China’s most prominent literary figures, authoring four books of poetry and essays and publishing numerous works of criticism on art, music, and literature. He is also a noted calligrapher. In 2010 he was awarded the Chinese Literature Media Award for poetry. He lives in Beijing and travels frequently to the U.S. and Germany. Doubled Shadows is his first poetry collection in English.
Austin Woerner, a translator of contemporary Chinese poetry and fiction, has published translations in Poetry, Kenyon Review Online, Zoland Poetry, and elsewhere. The recipient of fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and the UC Riverside Department of Comparative Literature, he holds a degree in East Asian Studies from Yale University and lives in New York City.
Doubled Shadows, by Ouyang Jianghe
from Chinese by Austin Woerner
ISBN 978-0-9815521-7-0 (paper)
6 x 8
108 pages [bilingual Chinese/English]
Through the terrific contextualizing introduction by Wolfgang Kubin and then through a hilariously instructive personal note by Austin Woerner on translating this book, we enter the match-lit rabbit hole of Ouyang Jianghe’s poetry. And it brings us surprisingly nearer to our own world, allowing us impossible simultaneous perspectives: the close up and the pan shot, the thing in its event (including the thing of language) and the philosophical consideration of its web of implications. Woerner translates genius into genius.
Ouyang Jianghe is a poet of luxuriant elusiveness and complexity, teasing silvery slivers of light from the shadows. His imagination transforms the world into ghostly ideas of itself that continually challenge and haunt the reader. We are fortunate now to have Austin Woerner’s vivid translations: they bring at last into English an important Chinese writer who will change the way we all look at poetry’s tasks and pleasures.
—J. D. McClatchy