The Frightening Translatability of Censorship

the_china quarterlyI’ve just published a brief essay on censorship inside and outside China on the Critical Inquiry blog, “In the Moment.” Poetry and Translation in Times of Censorship; or, What Cambridge University Press and the Chinese Government Have in Common reflects on the experience of having my words translated and edited for publication in China and in the Cambridge University Press journal The China Quarterly, which was earlier this year mired in controversy for bowing to Chinese government censorship.

The essay concludes:

It is easy to become worn down or even blind (as I was) to the many silent and insidious operations of censorship in the world today. Perhaps the one advantage of engaging directly with overt censorship in China is that it can make one aware of the broader workings of censorship and self-censorship that operate in contemporary culture. These lessons are, like censorship itself, eminently—and frighteningly—translatable.

You can read the full essay here.

About Jacob Edmond

Jacob Edmond is associate professor in English at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He is the author of Make It the Same: Poetry in the Age of Global Media (Columbia University Press, 2019), A Common Strangeness: Contemporary Poetry, Cross-Cultural Encounter, Comparative Literature (Fordham University Press, 2012), and of numerous essays, which have appeared in journals such as Comparative Literature, Contemporary Literature, Poetics Today, Slavic Review, and The China Quarterly.
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