"Riding the Wild Horse in Chinese Literature”: Translation and Research on "Jin Ping Mei"


What is the oral tradition of Chinese storytelling about and what is the connection to the great Chinese novels?

How to translate a Chinese classic such as the famed and defamed “Jin Ping Mei”? And how to handle the dilemma of steering one’s boat between enormous amounts of scholarship on the novel without drowning, and keeping up the tempo of translation day after day?

NIAS senior researcher Vibeke Børdahl joined NIAS Press Student Assistant, Julia Heinle, to discuss her upcoming publications “Jin Ping Mei i vers og prosa”, I-X (Vandkunsten, 2011-2022) and “Jin Ping Mei – A Wild Horse in Chinese Literature” (ed. by Vibeke Børdahl and Lintao Qi) (NIAS Press 2022).

Dr. Vibeke Børdahl is a senior researcher at NIAS and is generally recognized as one of the most accomplished scholars in the study of Chinese oral literature. As well as doing much research on the interplay of oral and written traditions in Chinese popular literature and performance culture, over the past decade she has translated the full work of Jin Ping Mei into Danish. The publication is celebrated with a symposium 26-28 October supported by the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, the Carlsberg Academy and NIAS.

Find the NIAS Press book here.

Translation editions by Vandkunsten are here.

The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, and Asianettverket at the University of Oslo.

We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia.

About NIAS: www.nias.ku.dk

Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts: http://www.nias.ku.dk/nordic-asia-podcast

Your Host

Julia Heinle

Julia Heinle is Master's student of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen and the publishing assistant with NIAS Press.

View Profile