Monday, July 25, 2011

Literature: Translations of Wang Xiaobo's Prose "An Unique Pig Who Goes His Own Way"

I really like Wang Xiaobo's prose. Unfortunately, some of his most insightful writings have not been translated into English. With my moderate literary skills I have decided to correct that injustice and allow more people to have access to this man who has the ability to express the profound in such simple terms. Personally, I find his writing style to be similar to that of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's or the prose of Tagore if the reader is familiar with these works, in other words, they are simple stories that express some truth which is most often ignored if someone just says it directly.

I have translated one of his prose since I know you can learn something from it. Like many of his writings, the story is simple but the meaning is far deeper:

When I went out to the countryside back in the day, I fed pigs and herded cattle. If there were no one around, these two kinds of animals would still know how to live. They would wander around idly, eating or drinking when needed. When spring comes, they'll make love. Just like that, their lifestyle is very simple, lacking anything to take advantage of. The arrival of man gave their lives certain arrangements: every cow and every pig now has a purpose. For most of them, this new lifestyle was quite sad with the former working in the fields while the latter growing meat for slaughter...


  1. Thanks for translating the story, Shen. I can definitely see the similarity to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and appreciate the fable-like message.

  2. Thanks Irene! I translated another of his the other day. Let me know what you think!