Blog / 2013 / Translated into Chinese
December 10, 2013
A month or so ago, the Internet introduced me to Vivian, a student and artist from Hong Kong. Vivian really likes my book Crime Against Nature, and, when she asked how I would feel about a Chinese translation, I could barely contain my excitement.
Vivian created a traditional Chinese version and a simplified Chinese version, both of which she posted on Facebook as photo albums.
It’s surprisingly moving to see my work in a different language, but part of me wonders if what’s got me choked up is less the translation itself and more Vivian’s generosity.
What’s more, in our email conversation surrounding the book, Vivian commented on my use of the common rabbit as an example by sharing with me a fascinating bit of Chinese culture. In the 6th century poem “The Song of Mulan”—the same one that inspired Disney’s movie—after the heroine reveals to the other soldiers in her company that she is a woman and not a man as they had believed, she says “[when you pick them up with their ears] the male rabbit will kick its back legs and the female rabbit will blink and squint, but, when the two are walking side by side, how can you tell whether I am male or female?”
It would appear that humanity has known for some time that gender is not a simple matter—and also that art and bunnies are key in bringing us to a fuller understanding of the true diversity of expressions and behaviors!
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