Since my mind isn’t up to more than five words and I can’t read my notes from the reading at the moment, here are just a handful of pictures from Bei Dao‘s reading in a tiny bookshop in Bonn, just around the corner from where I live (2 mins max). If you haven’t yet read any of the man’s poems, I urge you herewith to amend this oversight. In English there are several translations, most recently by Hinton and Weinberger. I can’t judge them, but for various reasons, if you are German, don’t read Wolfgang Kubin‘s German one. I will explain tomorrow why I would advise against that. Wolfgang Kubin, that’s the white-haired man you can see in one of the pictures below. The smaller, wiry, black-haired man, that’s Bei Dao.
Here is my autograph (yes, I’m a fanboy)
Here are a few pictures of Bei Dao reading. These are of him reading a speech that he wasn’t allowed to give himself when he won a major Chinese prize today. His wife accepted it and read the speech.
And this is him reading one of his poems. He’s a wonderful reader, as far as you can judge that if you don’t understand a phrase of what is said.
This is Bei Dao looking critically at his translator Wolfgang Kubin. Apparently (*sigh*, according to Kubin), Bei Dao had reprimanded him for his kind of presenting the poems. (For more on this in part 2 of this post. Click here)