'Finnegans Wake' Chinese version sells out first print
APBEIJING--The Chinese version is no easier to read than the original, the loyal-minded translator assures, but James Joyce's “Finnegans Wake” has still sold out its initial run in China — with the help of some big urban billboards.
February 1, 2013, 1:01 am TWN
Wang Weisong, chief editor of the Shanghai company that published the first Chinese translation of the Joyce classic, coyly said at a recent forum in Shanghai that he wasn't expecting any success for the book, but that the modest initial run of 8,000 copies has sold out since it went on sale Dec. 25. He said more copies are being printed to meet demand.
Dai Congrong, who spent eight years translating it, told the same forum that she didn't fully grasp the novel but that it was supposed to be difficult, and that she kept the Chinese version that way.
The book, widely considered Joyce's most experimental and inscrutable work, was promoted by an unusual billboard campaign in major Chinese cities — with 16 of them in Shanghai alone.