Chinese Literature and Thought Today
What is a Chinese classic, and why do we translate one? These innocent questions lead Sabina Knight and Kidder Smith into a mandala of paradox, metaphor, and tautologies. En route they must negotiate a field of errant nouns, shifty images, and undisclosed participants. Relying on maps drawn by Borges, A. A. Milne, Quine, and Zeno, they find themselves in a landscape where little is certain and much is in transit—from here to here. The generic passports of poetry, prose, and philosophy have been stamped Invalid. So everyone acts like a resident alien. The authors discover that what they don't know is as useful as what they do. And, strangely, translations materialize.
Knight, Sabina and Smith, Kidder, "A Tautology or Two While We Translate Chinese Classics" (2022). World Literature: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.