US group: Foreign authors censored in China without knowing | Inquirer Lifestyle

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A foreign tourist wears a mask in front of Tiananmen Gate on a polluted day in Beijing, China. Like its physical environment, China is suffocating the literary landscape by imposing censorship on foreign titles. AP

US group: Foreign authors censored in China without knowing

A foreign tourist wears a mask in front of Tiananmen Gate on a polluted day in Beijing, China. Like its physical environment, China is suffocating the literary landscape by imposing censorship on foreign titles. AP

WASHINGTON — A US-based advocacy group is warning Western authors to be vigilant of censorship of their work in China’s fast-growing book publishing industry, which is sometimes done without their knowledge.

A report Wednesday from the PEN American Center says translated versions of foreign books may be excised because of political sensitivities, like Taiwan, Tibet and the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown on democracy protesters. But references to sexually explicit material and gay and lesbian issues are also frowned upon.

The report intends to draw attention to how pervasive Chinese censorship could affect writers outside the country as China takes an increasingly prominent place in the global publishing industry. China will be the regional focus of this year’s BookExpo America in New York next week, with a delegation of hundreds of state writers and publishers.

China is one of the largest book publishing markets in the world, with total revenue projected to exceed $16 billion in 2015 and a growth rate of roughly 10 percent per year, according to the report. Chinese publishers acquired 16,115 foreign titles in 2012, up 60 percent from 2004. American and British books are the most popular.

The report says that in many instances, foreign authors and their agents and publishers do not have sufficient knowledge of the workings of Chinese censorship to ensure books aren’t censored. Many have signed contracts that promise the preservation of the author’s original content but leave the translation to the Chinese publisher and fail to vet the resulting copy. Other authors consent to some censorship, reasoning that even in diluted form, getting new ideas into China will help the cause of free expression.

American novelist Paul Auster told PEN he did not discover the changes made to the translated version of his book “Sunset Park” until after publication in China last November. He said he felt his book was “mutilated.” The plight of dissident and Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo is a minor plot in the book. The publisher cut several pages, and in other places replaced the dissident’s name with “L.”

The New York-based agent of author Barbara De Angelis consented to the removal in Chinese translation of about 30 percent of the text of her “Secrets About Men Every Woman Should Know,” without the author’s knowledge, according to the report. The Chinese publisher found the sections dealing with bedroom secrets and advice too sexually explicit, it said.

PEN said it interviewed dozens of authors, publishers and literary agents in the United States, China, Taiwan, Australia, and Europe for the report. It says that as book advances and royalties payments rise in China, there are serious concerns about the kinds of compromises foreign authors and publishers may make and the impact this can have on free expression.

“If we don’t act, how long will it take before a wide swath of writers begin to simply avoid taking up topics that could complicate access to readers in China or elsewhere once their books are translated?” said Suzanne Nossel, PEN Executive Director.

In response to a request for comment, Chinese Embassy spokesman Zhu Haiquan said the Chinese government protects its citizens’ right of freedom to publish, but those exercising that freedom must abide by Chinese law. He said a growing number of foreign publications have been translated into Chinese and they are welcomed and well received in China. TVJ

 

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  • plenty“_coups

    Is it a Coincidence???

    China Earthquake

    26th July 1976

    Gujrat Earthquake

    26 January 2001.

    Tsunami in Indian Ocean

    26th Dec 2004

    Mumbai attack 26/11

    26th November 2008

    Taiwan earthquake

    26th July 2010

    Japan Earthquake

    26th February 2010

    Now Nepal earthquake

    26th April 2015.

    Why is it Always “26” ?

    26 Dec 1861 Earthquake in Egion, Yunani

    26 Mar 1872 Earthquake in Owens Valley, USA

    26 Aug 1896 Earthquake in Skeid, Land, Islandia

    26 Nov 1902 Earthquake in Bohemia, sekarang Czech Republic

    26 Nov 1930 Earthquake in Izu

    26 Sep 1932 Earthquake in Ierissos, Yunani

    26 Nov 1943 Earthquake in Tosya Ladik, Turki

    26 Dec 1949 Earthquake in Imaichi, Jepun

    26 Mei 1957 Earthquake in Bolu Abant, Turki

    26 Mar 1963, Earthquake in Wakasa Bay, Jepang

    26 Jul 1967 Earthquake in Pulumur, Turki

    26 Sep 1970 Earthquake in Bahia Solano, Colombia

    26 Jul 1971 Earthquake in Solomon Island

    26 Apr 1972 Earthquake in Ezine, Turki

    26 Mei 1975 Earthquake in N. Atlantic

    26 Mar 1977 Earthquake in Palu, Turki

    26 Dec 1979 Earthquake in Carlisle, Inggris

    26 Apr 1981 Earthquake in Westmorland, USA

    26 Mei 1983 Earthquake in Nihonkai, Chubu, Jepang

    26 Jan 1985 Earthquake in Mendoza, Argentina

    26 Jan 1986 Earthquake in Tres Pinos, USA

    26 Apr 1992 Earthquake in Cape Mendocino, California, USA

    26 Okt 1997 Earthquake in Italia.

    26 dec 2004 Tsunami aceh

    A number of interesting facts that we’d think about it:

    Do we realize … ???

    Acheh

    Tsunami

    26-12-2004,

    Jogja

    Quake

    26-05-2006

    Tasik, Jawa Barat

    Quake

    26-06-2010

    Mount Merapi Eruption

    26-10-2010

    Tenggarong Bridge

    Samarinda, Indonesia

    Collapse

    26-09-2013

    26 Okt.

    Haiyan typhoon

    Recent earthquakes in Nepal on 26-04-2015.

    Why all this Occur on the date of 26th?

    Is this coincidence?

    In The BIBLE, Read What God Said in –

    HAGGAI 2:6 <– (Number 26)

    Its Written HAGGAI 2:6 : "This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land.

  • Dominic Spencer

    No-one should really be surprised. It should just be assumed that everything in China is censored. It should make the news when China doesn’t censor something.

  • plenty“_coups

    White people is the superior race among all the other races in the world. Filipinos people are lazy, they lounge around the house, drinking beer all day, and rape their own relatives. Have you ever looked closely at a native Filipino’s face? Flat nose? Black skin? Nappy hair? Thick lips? It is so ugly. Look at the world, everywhere you look white people are in a position of power and wealth compared to Filipinos, black people or other races. White people are simply superior compared to other races. It’s true that Filipinos people smell bad and look ugly; small, flat nose, thick lips, curly hair, black skin. However, Filipinos are still lucky compared to black people. For black people, their saving grace is that they are big-boned and muscular, and so make very good slaves. They can also do sports except swimming and winter sports. They are not intelligent and so make their living using their bodies instead of their brains. I am just saying the truth. Black people are big and muscular and can make a living doing sports, so they don’t have to do well in school. Black people who win Miss Universe winners are rare. There are more models who are Caucasian than Black (or Asian). White people with their white skin, high nose, colored eyes look better compared to the rest of the races. If you have money, then you have power and can do or say anything you want. That is how the world works. Unfortunately for blacks, you can only do so much with your physical abilities, that’s why they don’t earn as much as white people. White people can earn more money than blacks using their brains, that is why white people are the richest and most powerful people here on Earth.