But for a Moment There Were Your Words, Forcing All Forms of Life Inside of Me, and the Parallax View, and the Figure, and the Form
I still remember so much of that time. The author—diffident, angled just so—perched off to the side of the woman interviewing him (and the interpreter beside her). My own body, tremulous and eager, hitching forwards—because I did not want to miss a word, W, that day. You were completing your PhD on the response of the reading public to those early-twentieth-century poets working outside Modernism, and you were being supervised by another poet Dennis Haskell, and you had asked me to be there. A few years back you had completed some translations, Chinese translations, of Joyce Carol Oates—Wild Nights!, a short story collection about the final days of Poe, Dickinson, Twain, James and Hemmingway. And you were living them, living those short stories, W, I think. Looking back, maybe you were more invested in the talk than I was.
The year was 2011. A writers festival in Boorloo, Western Australia. Yan Lianke had just released 丁庄梦Dream of Ding Village—in English. Text had published it.
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