Monday, 20 March 2017

Villette and The Professor in China

The first Chinese Villette was published in 1932, in Shanghai, in a translation by Wu Guangjian (1867-1943). In 1930 his Wuthering Heights translation had been published. He also did Jane Eyre, it was published in 1935. Before that, in 1933, this Villette (or:  洛雪小姐遊學記; Luoxue xiao jie you xue ji), got a second edition, of which we know a bit more. It was published by Shanghai Commercial Press, in two volumes (290 and 306 pp.).

Cover of the first volume of the
1933 Chinese Villette

Worldcat has an edition of ‘192?’, but this is certainly a mistake. The 1933 work refers to the first edition of 1932 (or rather the 21st year of the new Chinese empire timetable).

The translation got a third edition in 1971, in Taiwan. It has already been described in an article of May 2016. Later I also explained that the title translates as ‘Miss Luo Snow’s study tour in the mind.’


Cover of the 1971 Chinese Villette

The second translation, by Wu Juntao, was published first in 1987, in Taiwan again, by Hunan Art Publishing House. It had 666 pages. The cover couldn’t be found unfortunately.
It had a second edition in 1994, published by Shanghai Translation Publishing House (754 pp.).


Cover of the first 1994 Chinese Villette

The third translation was also published in 1994, under the title of just ‘Lucy.’ It was published in Taiyuan (capital of the province of Shanxi) by Beiyue Literature and Art Publishing House (583 pp.).

Cover of the second 1994 Chinese Villette

The year 1996 saw a ‘Two sisters’ Complete Works’ series, in 10 volumes (with Emily being the second sister). Villette was the fourth volume (626 pp.). It was a new translation, by Chen Caiyu. The Professor (with Emma), in its first translation by Liu Weiliang, was volume 5 (519 pp.) in this series, which was published by Hebei Education Press.


Covers of the 10 volumes of the 1996 Chinese
'Two Sisters' Complete Works' series

In 1998 a new The Professor was published in Changchun (capital of the province of Jilin, like Shanxi in the northeast of the country), by their Publishing House (285 pp.). The translator isn’t known.


Cover of the 1998 Chinese The Professor

The third edition of the Wu Juntao translation of Villette was published in 2000, by the Shanghai Translation Press (14 and 600 pp.). Its title reflects the sound of Villette – Wei La Te. This was also one volume in a ‘Complete Brontë Works’ series, in which a new translation, by Liu Yunbo, of The Professor was published too (222 pp.). The covers were identical.


Cover of the 2000 Chinese Villette

Both Villette and The Professor had their last translated edition in 2013, in a new ‘Complete Works’ series, published by Shanghai Translation Publishing House. The Villette was the fourth edition of the Wu Juntao translation (669 pp.). The Liu Yunbo translation of The Professor had its second edition (259 pp.). The covers of this series are quite identical.


Cover of the 2013 Chinese Villette


Cover of the 2013 Chinese The Professor


The other Brontë  novels
The first Chinese Jane Eyre was published in 1925, the first Wuthering Heights in 1930. It seems like the first Agnes Grey was published in 1993, the first The Tenant of Wildfell Hall in 1997, and the first Shirley in 2000.

Eric Ruijssenaars

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