既然2020年3月Cambria Press出版了陸敬思一人翻譯的A History of Taiwan Literature by Yeh Shit’ao，是否還有必要再出另一版本？再三思考之後，我還是決定出版以拔苦子和我合作完成的這一版本。2010年9月出版的彭萱註解版《台灣文學史綱》，將「尾註」改成「脚註」（footnotes）附在同頁的下面。因此，在修訂的過程中，我決定將英譯本初稿的「尾註」全部改成「脚註」，以便讀者在同一頁閲讀相關的資料和解説，成爲這一英譯版本的不同特色。
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爲這本書，在十年磨一劍治學功夫的修練過程中，前後參與的研究助理，多達十數人，包括Anna Lin、Marco Lam、Cheng Lai Kuen、Linshan Jiang、Bella Chen、Zachary Belgum等，翻譯家Sue Wiles也曾協助審閲譯稿，聖塔芭芭拉加州大學台灣研究中心的歷任助理，包括Karen Doehner、HeatherWeitzel、Angela Borda、Raelynn Moy，也都積極給與協助。這本書終於出版，使他們的功勞不至於白費，儘管可能的錯誤，在所難免，尚請讀者涵諒。
Editor's Foreword to An Outline History of Taiwan Literature
Yeh Shih-t'ao (1925-2008) was an outstanding Taiwanesenovelist, literary critic and historian of Taiwan literature. In the history of the development of contemporary Taiwan literature he occupies an incomparably important position. After his death in December 2008, a special issue devoted to his work was publishedin Issue #25 of Taiwan Literature: English Translation Series (hereafter TLETS ) (July 2009). In the foreword to that issue I introduced his accomplishments as a way of expressing my reverence and grief. We have included that foreword in this book for the reference of our readers. As a literary historian, Yeh's magnum opus is An Outline History of Taiwan Literature (hereafter Outline). It is a comprehensive account that treats the subject of Taiwan literature from the perspective of Taiwan. Although it is only an outline, the book has very special significance in the history of Taiwan literature because it describes that history from the point of view of the people of Taiwan as I have discussed in my introduction to this book entitled, “From ‘Regionalism’ to ‘Nativism’ : An Introduction to the English Translation of Yeh Shih-t'ao's Taiwan Wenxue Shigang (An Outline History of Taiwan Literature).”(December 2009)
There are three editions of this book:
1) The February 1987 first edition of Outline published by Literary World Magazine (Wenxuejie zazhishe 文學界雜誌社), originally 179 pages with a 172 page appendix by Lin Ruiming entitled, “A Chronology of Taiwan Literature” (pp. 181-352), making a total of 352 pages.
2) The November 2000 Japanese translation entitled A History of Taiwan Literature (Taiwan bungakushi 台湾文学史) published by Kenbun Publishers (Tokyo) 305 pages, including detailed notes and explanations by translators Nakajima Toshio and Sawai Noriyuki which contribute an additional 120 pages. There is also an index of 20 pages.
3) The September 2010 annotated edition of Outline issued by Spring Sunlight Publishers (Chunhui chubanshe 春暉出版社) with collation and Chinese translation of the Japanese language edition annotations by Peng Hsuan. This edition included Peng Jui-chin’s newly edited “Literary Chronology of Yeh Shih-t’ao’s An Outline History of Taiwan Literature” constituting an extra 152 pages (pp. 288-339), for a total of 339 pages.
There are things about the close relationship between these three editions of Outline and the process of planning and publishing this English translation that must be clarified. Although the original text of this book was only 179 pages, it touches upon is a broad spectrum of historical material, includes reference to a large number of authors, along with a huge number of their works, and it employs very concise language in its critical discussion, therefore translating the text into English is no simple task. It is not something that a single individual could hope to successfully achieve. Over time, as we progressed from the planning stages of the English translation to its publication, there have been many twists and turns. It is not possible to give a full description here, but I would like to offer a simple explanation below.
Considering that Outline is an important medium through which foreign scholars can gain an understanding of the development of Taiwan literature, there was considerable value in producing an English translation. I always had hoped to see an English version of this book and encouraged Professor Christopher Lupke to take up the challenge of translating it.
In 2004, Prof. Lupke began his translation. However, when he sent me his first draft in August of 2006 it had many mistakes and omissions. It was incomplete and could not be published. This was especially true of Chapter One concerning the transplantation of the traditional classical Chinese literature, along with the footnotes and annotations in Japanese. For this reason, there was no alternative but for me and Robert Backus, then English language editor of TLETS, to go over Lupke’s text line-by-line to make corrections to the translation. In 2013, because he wished to use it in support of his review for promotion at his university, Prof. Lupke requested that I send the revised manuscript to him. After I did so, I never heard from him again. I never imagined that in 2019, he would use the revised manuscript without any notification to me, and got the book published by Cambria Press in the United States with himself as the sole translator and with financial support from the National Museum of Taiwan Literature. This is how Prof. Lupke described the process in the “Acknowledgements” of that book:
That Ye Shitao was willing to publish this in book form in 1987 was a true statement to his indomitable faith in the literature of Taiwan. Seventeen years later, Dr. Kuo-ch’ing Tu, Lai Ho and Wu Cho-liu Endowed Chair in Taiwan Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, encouraged me to translate Ye Shitao’s book, and I am grateful to him for this crucial nudge. I did indeed translate the work as well as the voluminous notes to the Japanese translation, produced by Nakajima Toshirō (sic) and Sawai Noriyuki. Dr. Tu and the late Dr. Robert L. Backus read through and offered numerous suggestions for the revision of my translation, saving me from countless blunders as I traversed this vast landscape of literary history. For a variety of reasons that can be subsumed under the general rubricof life intervening at every step, the publication of the translation has languished for more than ten years. (ix-x)
In his acknowledgements, Prof. Lupke reveals that, “For a variety of reasons that can be subsumed under the general rubric of life intervening at every step, the publication of the translation has languished for more than ten years.” This statement is equivocal at best. After he submitted his first draft to me in 2006, he had no practical role in the work of revision at all. Also, according to this explanation, Lupke began work on the translation of the book in 2004 and submitted a first draft in August of 2006. He does not indicate which edition he was working with. In fact, it should have been based on the first edition of February 1987 and the November 2000 Japanese translation. Thus, following the Japanese edition, these translation notes and explanations were added at the end of each chapter as endnotes.
The Cambria Press English translation identifies Christopher Lupke as the sole translator, but in fact this is not the case. Although in his acknowledgements he makes special reference to the encouragement that Robert Backus and I gave him to translate Yeh Shih-t’ao’s book. He neglects to recall that I once advised him that the publication of the English translation of the book could only be completed through the joint efforts of three translators and would be published by the US-Taiwan Literature Foundation. He also did not respond to my suggestions and ultimately, without any advance consultation with me, published the book with himself as the lone translator.
Now that Cambria Press has issued Outline as A History of Taiwan Literature by Ye Shitao, translated by Christopher Lupke in March 2020, is there really any necessity of publishing another version of the same text? After giving the question much thought, I have answered in the affirmative and decided to publish the text completed by Robert Backus and me. The September 2010 edition of Outline with annotations by Peng Hsuan replaces the endnotesin the original with footnotes at the bottom of the same page. For that reason, in the process of revising the English translation I decided to change all of the endnotes in the first draft into footnotes so that the reader would be able to read the relevant material and explanations on the same page. This is a distinctive characteristic of this version of the English translation. We cannot ignore the work that Prof. Lupke put into the first draft of the translation, but apart from expressing our thanks to him, we must especially extend our gratitude to the author, Yeh Shih-t’ao, who, before his death, granted me permission to make an English translation of his book. We also give thanks to Nakajima Toshio and Sawai Noriyuki, whose Japanese language translator’s notes and explanations make up two thirds of the translated text, for giving me English translation rights. Furthermore, it is because of a sense of personal obligation to Yeh Shih-t’ao and Robert Backus that I have a heart-felt desire to complete and publish this book as soon as possible. I would like to offer it to the author and the late translator in order to give comfort to their souls in Heaven.
When Yeh Shih-t’ao published this book he personally sent me a copy, at the same time happily giving me permission to translate the text into English. It goes without saying that he trusted me and had expectations of me. Robert Backus was responsible for editing the TLETS journal for eighteen years (1996-2014). His understanding and appreciation of Taiwan literature shared in the spirit of Yeh Shih-t’ao’s now-famous view that“literature belongs to the land.” That is to say, the literary work of Taiwanese writers springs from shoots growing from that piece of land that is Taiwan. It was also Robert’s wish that the readers of the world could gain a better understanding of Taiwan through literary work. To put it another way, he wanted the creative soul of Taiwan’s authors and the spirit of Taiwan literature, wherever it might be found, to receive a sympathetic response from the readers of the world. I fondly remember his passionate support for the English translation of Taiwan literature and his selfless contributions over the years. After he passed away I wrote a poem to grieve for him.
A pioneer of Confucian studies of the Edo era
Your erudition your character your wisdom
Was entirely devoted to Taiwan literature for eighteen years
You took on the task of English editor giving of yourself quietly
Now finally, a smile on your face you have gone to meet with
Taiwan’s master authors whom you know so well
A modern Yan Hui you accepted your lot and took joy in the Way
The Way found in the voice of Heaven and people’s words in Taiwan letters
Moved you profoundly as it resounded
With your perception and tolerance of human behavior
Every word written of the authors of Taiwan
As it passed through your heart was irrigated again
To become sprouting seeds ready for sowing
In the hearts of the world’s English readers
In the process of creation every word every phrase
Is a cocoon of soulful thought congealed
One by one in immortal cocoons
That store the genius of Taiwan’s writers
Then, in that moment of contemplative reading
Springs from its cocoons to soar aloft
In the sky of the reader’s heart.
After Robert Backus passed away, Terence Russell assumed responsibility for the English editing of TLETS. The comradeship that he gives me as he devotes so much time and energy to editingthe English translations has been tremendously encouraging. In 2019 and 2021, as the production of this book entered its final stages, he revised the manuscript of the translation one more time from beginning to end and also assisted with final production details. I am extremely grateful for all the selfless labor that he has devoted to the book as its editor.
In the ten years during which this book has undergone scholarly refinement, more than a dozen people have assisted in the work of research, including Anna Lin, Marco Lam, Cheng Lai Kuen, Linshan Jiang, Bella Chen, Zachary Belgum, and others. Translator Sue Wiles has assisted with checking the translation. Several assistants in the Center for Taiwan Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, past and present, including Karen Doehner, Heather Weitzel, Angela Borda, and Raelynn Moy have also generously contributed their help. Now that this book is finally being published, all of their efforts will not be in vain. Despite all these efforts, it is almost inevitable that there will be mistakes in the text, and for these we beg the reader’s understanding and forgiveness.
With the publication of this book, one of the missions of the US-Taiwan Literature Foundation has been completed. For this I sincerely appreciate the collaboration and support of National Taiwan University Press, especially that of Editor-in-Chief Tang Shih-chu, and executive editor Yen Chia-yun. I consider the English translation of Yeh Shih-t’ao’s Outline to be my personal tribute, not just to Yeh himself, but to all the authors and scholars of Taiwan. Together we will forever share the path of promotingthe English translation of Taiwan literature, and I offer my heartfelt gratitude to them for giving me their trust, support and assistance.