Archives For October 2016

William S. Burroughs’ Chinese Covers

In the past few weeks we’ve brought you book covers from the Chinese translations of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.  While many were shocked to see how popular Kerouac has become in the notoriously censorious communist nation, few were surprised that Ginsberg’s work is harder to find – particularly in translation. Burroughs lies somewhere between the two – not nearly as popular as Kerouac, but a little more so than Ginsberg. This perhaps demonstrates that the barrier Ginsberg’s work may have faced in reaching a Chinese readership may not be due to homosexuality, drug use, or even profanity. As we can see below, Burroughs’ novels Naked Lunch and Queer have both been translated into Chinese, and are available on the Chinese version of Amazon. I believe Ginsberg’s politics were more likely the issue. Continue Reading…

Allen Ginsberg’s Chinese Translations

Last week, I updated an old post on Chinese translations of Jack Kerouac’s novels. The article proved surprisingly popular, in fact knocking our website out temporarily after seeing 33,000 visitors in just three hours! I will try to keep it up-to-date in future, as it seems every year China gets a new translation of a Kerouac novel. Continue Reading…

New Allen Ginsberg Readings on YouTube

I heard recently that a friend of a friend, owner of a cassette recording of Allen Ginsberg reading from 1964, had converted the recording and uploaded it to YouTube. The recording is below, cut into four sections. It was recorded at Better Books in London. Included are the following poems, along with some fascinating/humorous commentary from Ginsberg.  Continue Reading…

Chinese Kerouac Covers

Jack Kerouac‘s novels, particularly On the Road, are popular all around the world. When Allen Ginsberg arrived in China in 1984, he was surprised to find Kerouac’s name on the tip of Chinese tongues around the university campuses. When Beatdom editor, David S. Wills, first visited China in 2008, he found Kerouac’s books on street corners and in bookstores across the country. Even his favorite bar was a tip of the cap to Kerouac. Its name was 在路上 – lit. “on the road”. Continue Reading…