Controversial Chinese Tagore Translation Taken Off the Shelves


Beijing: The Controversial Chinese Tagore translation to be taken off the shelves by the publisher, after it stirred controversy world wide.

Chinese writer Feng Tang has kicked up a major controversy by publishing a distorted translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s poems. The translation misinterprets Tagore’s lines to give them pornographic meaning. The writer, Feng Tang, does not know Bengali and has apparently used available Chinese translations of Tagore’s works to give his own interpretation, literary sources said.

“Feng Tang is trying to attract attention to himself, and get some cheap publicity. He knows he won’t be arrested for this, and is taking advantage of the situation,” Tansen Sen, a Chinese scholar and director of the Center of Global Asia in Shanghai told TNN. “I won’t call this a translation. It is a reinterpretation done in a vulgar manner,” he added.

China’s State media published portions of Feng’s controversial translation of Tagore’s collection of poems, ‘Stray Birds’.  In one place, Feng’s translation says that “”The world unzipped its pants in front of his lover.” The Chinese media said that the proper Chinese version of the poem said, “The world puts off its mask of vastness for its lover”.’

The writer has come under heavy criticism over the Chinese Internet and several local newspapers and websites have criticized his rabble rousing book of translation.