Version classiqueVersion mobile
OpenEdition Books

De l'un au multiple

 | 
Viviane Alleton
, 
Michael Lackner

II. Des traducteurs d'envergure

Literary translations of the classical lyric and drama of China in the first half of the 20th century

The “case” of Vincenz Hundhausen (1878-1955)

Traductions de théâtre et de poésie chinoise classique dans la première moitié du xxe siècle

Lutz Bieg

Résumé

V. Hundhausen, juriste de formation, passa les trente dernières années de sa vie en Chine (1923-1954). Conseillé et aidé par des amis chinois qualifiés, il devint un étonnant traducteur du chinois ancien, bien qu’il n’en ait eu qu’une faible maîtrise. Il traduisit plus de 120 textes littéraires.
Sa traduction de la célèbre pièce Xixiang ji (L’histoire du Pavillon d’Occident) ayant été portée aux nues dans les pages littéraires des journaux, un sinologue de Bonn, Erich Schmitt, en publia un compte rendu vengeur. Il accusait V.H. d’avoir plagié la traduction en français de Stanislas Julien (1872-1880), ce qui aurait confirmé son ignorance de la langue chinoise. V. Hundhausen attaqua le sinologue en justice et celui-ci fut condamné à une amende. L’audace de ce « traducteur qui ne savait pas le chinois » venait de sa conviction d’être investi de la mission de faire connaître sous une forme poétique sa vision d’une Chine idéalisée. Son œuvre rencontra un succès considérable.
Il joua un rôle décisif dans l’introduction du théâtre chinois en Europe. Depuis la traduction de Prémare, publiée par du Halde (1735) et adaptée par Voltaire (L’orphelin de la Chine), les Européens s’étaient peu intéressés au théâtre chinois – peut-être sous l’influence des préjugés confucéens. En Allemagne, V.H. en fut le véritable pionnier.
Le succès de ces textes, qui présentaient dans un allemand parfait non seulement « les vrais sentiments chinois » mais aussi une Chine utopique, est quelque peu déconcertant compte tenu du contraste avec ce qu’on savait à cette époque sur la situation chaotique de la Chine réelle.

Texte intégral

  • 1 . “What shall delight you and make you happy for long must become homely, known to you, intimate li (...)

Was dich entzücken und auf die
Dauer dich beglücken soll,
muß dir ganz
heimisch, altbekannt,
vertraut wie Vater und Mutter,
Gattin und Kind werden;
es muß den
Reisehut und die Sandalen
des
wandernden Fremdlings ablegen1.
Ludwig Tieck (1773-1853)
(Epigraph in Hundhausen 1926a)

  • 2 . Underlined by the author of this article to accentuate Hundhausen’s intentions, to be commented l (...)

Man hat làngst eine zweifache Art Übersetzer von einander unterschieden. Die eine sucht das Urbild Wort fur Wort, ja womöglich mit den Tônen der Worte herüber-zutragen; man hat sie Übersetzer genannt, wobei man den Ton auf das Überlegte. Die andere Gattung übersetzt, d.i. sie drückt die Gestalt des Autors aus, wie er fur uns, wäre ihm unsere Sprache zu Teil geworden und wollte er seine Gedanken in seinem Umriβ uns mitteilen, etwa sprechen würde. Dies ist die Art männlicher Übersetzung: denn wie weit es jene Gattung auch bringen und wie nutzbar sie zu anderen Zwecken sein mag, kommt sie doch nicht zum Ziel, indem sich unmöglich eine Sprache in die andere verwandeln läβt.
Johann Gottfried Herder (1744-1803)
(Epigraph in Hundhausen 1928
2)

1Against the background of the European consciousness crisis aggravated by the catastrophe of the First World War, it is striking that in the 1920s, an attraction towards the Far East, or Eastern, Chinese spirituality, developed in Germany. Translations of works from this region, in particular, make this tendency evident.

2An examination of these shows that translations of the classical belles-lettres make up the largest part; in comparison, translations of philosophical (R. Wilhelm) and historical works fall clearly behind. Besides the translations of traditional and modern novels and short stories, associated particularly with the name of Franz Kuhn, the most famous translator of Chinese prose literature (by 1961, the year of his death, his 1930 translation of Jin Ping Mei had already been published in 74,000 copies, for instance [cf. Kuhn and Gimm 1980]), the classical lyric poetry of China in particular was introduced into German; these were mostly indirect translations except for the versions done by Alfred Forke (1867-1944) and Erwin von Zach (1872-1942). The longing for a different, “wise” way of life, for a distant and long-gone ideal China (as a distraction? moral uplift? or consolation?) was not insignificant, as we may infer from the number of copies in print: the Chinese adaptations by Hans Bethge (1876-1946), Die chinesische Flöte, appeared in 1907 for the first time and had reached 43,000 copies already by 1929, and 45,000 copies of Klabund’s (Alfred Henschke, 1890-1928) Dumpfe Trommel und berauschtes Gong, first published in 1915, were in circulation by 1952.

  • 3 . For the (“new”) editions of the Xixiang ji in Hundhausen’s translation still available in the 195 (...)

3Nevertheless, translations of drama, the Chinese form of Gesamtkunstwerk, which had only appeared in the history of Chinese literature at a later date, fell clearly behind those of the lyric and the narrative literature. As far as its German adaptations are concerned, drama has always been associated, even today, with one name only, that of Vincenz Hundhausen.3 A. Forke, who may also be mentioned in this-context, was known as a translator of drama during his lifetime for his translation of Huilan ji (Forke 1926), while his further (33!) drama translations have become accessible only in recent years through the efforts of my now retired, former colleague in Cologne, Martin Gimm (Gimm 1978, 1993a, 1993b).

  • 4 . Cf. F. A. Turrettini’s introduction (p. ii) to Julien 1872-80, in which Turrettini writes that S. (...)
  • 5 . Review by Magnin 1842/1843.

4That the translators adopted the Chinese, or to be more exact the Confucian, opinion of drama, which was ultimately negative, may explain the fact, however surprising it may seem, that this literary form was more or less ignored in Europe for such a long time. The play Zhaoshi gu’er (around 1260/80) is one of the first specimens of Chinese literature to become known in the West. Father Joseph Henry-Marie de Prémare (1666-1736) rendered it in free translation (as Tchao chi cou ell, ou le Petit Orphelin de la Maison de Tchao. Tragédie chinoise) in the 1730s, and this version was published after his death by Jean-Baptiste du Halde, in his Description géographique, historique, chronologique, politique de l’Empire de la Chine et de la Tartarie chinoise... (Prémare 1735). It also appeared in the German translation of this “European best-seller”, whose French original was printed in four volumes (Prémare 1749: 418-444). This early and exemplary introduction of Chinese drama, despite its well-known French “adaptation” (L’Orphelin de la Chine) of 1755 by Voltaire (Voltaire 1755), did not stimulate much interest in the theatrical productions of China, as the Confucian view of a “high” (philosophical, pedagogic and didactic) literature, rejecting the drama as trivial and vulgar, a form that served predominantly an “ugly” entertaining function (in the eyes of Confucianism), cast a shadow over it. John Francis Davis’ (1795-1890) translations of Lao sheng’er (1817), and those by Stanislas Julien (1799-1873), of Huilan ji (1832), Zhaoshi gu’er (1834), and finally of Xixiang ji (1872-1880), which was probably completed and edited by François Auguste Turrettini (1845-1908) after Julien’s death (in 1876),4 as well as Antoine Pierre Louis Bazin’s (1799-1863) references to the Chinese theater remained more or less without echo. Translations of complete plays from the work of the dramatists, Tang Xiangzu (1550-1616) and Kong Shangren (1648-1718), appeared only in the 20th century and are associated singularly with their first German translator, V. Hundhausen. I do not mention A. P. L. Bazin’s translation of the Pipa ji, published in 1841 (Bazin 1841),5 and the exerpts from this drama (and the Xixiang ji), translated by P. Angelo Zottoli in his Cursus Litteraturae Sinicae (1879-1882).

  • 6 . In this context I would like to refer to the bilingual commemorative volumes (Fest-schriften) in (...)
  • 7 . V. Hundhausen’s eagerness to have the plays he translated also performed in Europe was shown in h (...)

5Amongst the large group of translators, most of whom were “amateurs”, since the academic representatives of German sinology in the first half of the 20th century did not concern themselves with translations in general, Vincenz Hundhausen, a spirited mediator between the literatures of Europe and China,6 stands out prominently, as the pioneer in introducing the great plays of the Chinese dramatical tradition to Germany.7

The translator who knew no Chinese?

  • 8 . Reviews by Sparig: 1917, Hoppe: 1917, Röhl: 1918, Dürr: 1918. This work was ultimately published (...)
  • 9 . At a time, by the way, when the public interest in Wieland in Germany was already very low. Cf. W (...)

6Who then was Vincenz Hundhausen? Born on the 15th of December 1878 in Grevenbroich, approximately 30 km north-west of Cologne, as a son of a factory owner, V. Hundhausen, who was a grandson of Vincenz Jacob von Zuccalmaglio (1806-1876), a friend of Ernst Moritz Arndt (1769-1860), the great German poetical anti-Napoleon agitator, descended on the maternai side from a musical (i.e. romantic) and patri-otic family of lawyers closely associated with the history, literature and music of the early 19th-century Rhineland; he was committed in multi-farious and active ways to the unification of Germany (Reichseinigung). After studying law in Bonn, Berlin, Freiburg and Munich, Hundhausen settled down in 1909 as a lawyer and notary in Berlin. During the First World War he served as an officer and finally as a prosecutor in the administration of the Commander-in-Chief of the East in the distant plains of Eastern Europe: here he held the office of district chief in Wolkowicze and Bjalowis, in the border area between Poland and Belorussia today, which was not only a blessing to the population there (as shown in a thank-you letter to Hundhausen from pious Jews, which adorned his house in Peking in later years). On his way eastward – which was, coincidentally, the path that his grandfather’s brother, the romantic poet and folksong collector Anton Wilhelm Florentin von Zuccalmaglio (1803-1869), a friend of the poet Heinrich Heine and the composer Robert Schumann, had also taken, although in peaceful cir-cumstances, namely to collect Russian and Polish folksongs – Hundhausen turned translator. In 1916, Hundhausen’s first translation, the Odes of Horace (Hundhausen 1916),8 appeared. He was probably inspired by one of his German idols, Christoph MartinWieland (1733-1813) whom he greatly admired,9 for Wieland had already translated the letters of Horace in 1782 and his satires between 1784 and 1786, and Hundhausen now completed Wieland’s translation work, in a manner of speaking.

  • 10 . Cf. Walravens 1991: 275. Karl May’s (1842-1912) Der blaurote Methusalem appeared in book form f (...)

7It cannot be determined today if such a Western-European translation was already an indication that Hundhausen had opted for literature and against law. In any case, some more years passed before Hundhausen ultimately set out for the “Uninsurable” (Nichtversicherbare, as the novelist Hans Erich Nossack (1901-1977) quite suitably called the quit-ting of an old stage of life for a new, unknown and open life), for the Far East, for China. Only in 1923, as the then forty-five-year-old lawyer, who at this time was a specialist in guardianship and property administration, was called to China to settle an inheritance case (as executor of the Pape-assets in Tianjin), did he discover his country. He remained there initially as Professor of German Literature at the State University of Peking, later as a translator, poet and publisher-printer, and finally as director of a theatre group until his deportation back to Germany in 1954. China, the Chinese culture, perhaps also the (almost unrestrained) freedom that was granted to foreigners in those years fascinated him. Peking and his small estate in the west of Peking, the “Poplar Island” (Pappelinsel), where he lived, wrote poetry, translated, and printed-published, became his “Capri” after all! The country that was totally unknown to him until his arrival cast an enduring spell on him: “Before I came to China [in 1923], I had known this country only through Karl May’s [novel] Der blaurote Methusalem...”, he wrote to the sinologist, Eduard Erkes (1891-1958),10 in retrospect. But whatever this lawyer in his mid-forties, tired of Europe, apparently no longer satisfied with the work in his Berlin office, was seeking in the literature of his new country and also discovered:

Your book Die Krisis der europäischen Kultur [1917] was besides Leibniz and Herder an assurance and confirmation to me as I came to the Far East seven years ago and exchanged my life of a lawyer in Berlin for one of contemplation, learning and creation... (Walravens 1991: 290.)

8wrote Hundhausen in July 1931 to Rudolf Pannwitz (1881-1969), a writer with whom he was to have a lively epistolary exchange of ideas in the years to come – it was not the real China, but an idealized region, an image created in his mind: it was his own, “bookish” China, located in a distant, bygone past that one might call his special “Chinesien” – to borrow a term coined by the Biedermeier poet, Ludwig Eichrodt (1827-1892), in his song Wanderlust from 1848. From now on, his attention was directed to this China of the Middle Ages, of his imagination, the literary China that he himself had extracted from the old Chinese literary tradition and had appropriated or, better, transformed, “Germanised” to some extent, in his translations. The conclusion of the “Prologue” to his Chinesische Dichter (Hundhausen 1926a), illustrates this well: after he has seen – already while “entering the Wang-Poo [= Huangpu] near Shanghai” – the flat bank “shimmering as if at home”, and has thought to have recognized the meadows at the bank as the “meadows of the Marsh [Brandenburgh]”, he concludes with an observation which shows that the proceeding exclamation is to be taken as fulfilled: “You too open up to me! / You greet [me] with homely greetings.”

9He summed up his conviction at the end of his “Introduction” (p. xviii) to his rendition of Mudan ting (Hundhausen 1937), in the autumn of 1937:

With my translation of the three masterpieces of the dramatic poetry of China: Das Westzimmer, Die haute, and Die Rückkehr der Seele, I hope to contribute to it that the place of this literature in the [body of] world literature is acknowledged, [the place] that it deserves, but that was denied to it persistently so far.

  • 11 . Irmgard Grimm, born in 1896, mother of the sinologist Tilemann Grimm (born 1922) and a translator (...)
  • 12 . An introduction to the life and works of Feng Zhi gives Cheung 1979.
  • 13 . Some information on Xu Daolin, who transcribed his name also as Hsu Dau-lin or Hsu Dauling, can b (...)
  • 14 . For Hundhausen’s technique of translation cf. the review of his Westzimmer by Ferdinand Lessing (...)

10How did this poet-translator’s development come about? What caused Hundhausen to translate more than one hundred and twenty Chinese texts – mostly poems – in the 1920s? What were the reasons that he, while teaching “German and World Literature” at the State University of Peking from 1924 to 1937 (until he was removed from office by the German National Socialists, or Nazis), concerned himself in his leisure time – at home and in his printing press on the “Poplar Island”, in the “Lotus Lake” (Lotusteich), probably Beijing’s Qingnian hu of today, outside the walls of Beijing’s ancient Chinese town, opposite the Zhangyi gate in the south-west – with classical Chinese literature, and first of all with the drama, so intensively that he decided to make it accessible to the German-speaking world through his translations? Although V. Hundhausen was an amateur sinologist with an apparently rather limited knowledge of the (literary? classical?) Chinese language,11 he happened to have excellent Chinese colleagues and helpers – like Feng Zhi (17 Sept. 1905 – 22 Feb. 1993),12 a Chinese lyric poet in his own right and a scholar of German literature and philosophy, educated in Heidelberg, or the law specialist and sinologist Xu Daolin (1906-1973),13 to mention only two internationally known Chinese intellectuals; and this made him – along with his Peking experience, approximately 30 years in all – into one of the most remarkable translators of classical Chinese literature.14

  • 15 . Reviews by Wirtz 1928: 287, von Zach 1927: 38, Eichhorn 1927: 480. This title was also published (...)
  • 16 . Reviews by Hsu 1932: 77-78, von Zach 1931: 26, von Tscharner 1934: 43-44, C. 1932:177, Soulié de (...)
  • 17 . Reviews by Fang 1938: 655-657, Ferguson 1938: 173-174, Eschmann 13.5.1944.
  • 18 . After a dedication page (to Wilhelm Bölsche [1861-1939]), the following page contains (originally (...)
  • 19 . This is still a “working title”, announced, and existing in at least two copies, but not publishe (...)

11Amongst his translations from the Chinese, which began to appear after 1926, I would like to mention in particular the beautiful anthology, Chinesische Dichter in deutscher Sprache (Hundhausen 1926a),15 his Pipa-ji translation (Hundhausen 1930),16 and his Mudan ting adaptation (Hundhausen 1937)17 – in addition to the famous Westzimmer (Hundhausen 1926b),18 probably his best-known translation, which will be dealt with below. For all other publications of V. Hundhausen, I refer the reader to the Hundhausen bibliography which H. Walravens announced long ago and which is about to be published; I had access to the completed typescript version of 1991, which has already been cited quite often above (Walravens 1991).19

  • 20 . This is an allusion to Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim (1719-1803); older than Goethe, “Father Gleim” (...)

12Hundhausen, who considered himself an artist and a poet, did not strive to give philological elucidations in his translations; philological correctness or faithfulness to the original was not his strength, as the sinologist Ferdinand Lessing has shown, who made fun of Hundhausen and of his “free” poetical adaptations in German doggerel: “In poetry, the most important thing is the rhyme. If you cannot become a Goethe, be a Gleim”.20 Alluding to Joseph Viktor von Scheffel’s (1826-1886) romantic epic Der Trompeter von Säckingen (1854), Lessing too sometimes ridiculed Hundhausen – who did not have only friends in the so called “German community” of Peking, due to his well-known homo-sexuality – as in the rather loud “Trumpeter of Pekingen” (Grimm 1992: 67). V. Hundhausen, the poetic translator, wanted to present his kind of Chinese “translations” invariably as “adaptations” done by a (modem) German poet. The understanding of the meaning, the translation of the meaning – in the sense of Herder, as evident in the epigraph to this article – was more important to him than a literal translation; he could easily have cited as an authority the formula of Heinrich Stein-höwel (1412-1482/83) found at the beginning of Steinhöwel’s translation of Aesop’s Fables (Steinhöwel after 1474): the following would be, Steinhöwel states, not a “word for word, rather meaning for meaning” (wort uβ wort, sunder sin uβ sin) translation (Österley 1873: 4).

13Xu Daolin has has taken positive note of Hundhausen’s effort, however non-philological it may have been, to render the meaning of the Chinese originals and has characterized it aptly, as I see it, in his partly quite critical review of Hundhausen’s adaptation of some thirty poems of Tao Yuanming:

Hundhausen pursues Tau Yüan-Ming’s verses with an excellent intuitional grasp. He does not translate individual lines, he rather translates the [whole] poem; he does not draw the words, but he paints the tone. Quite a few verses appear a bit strange at first, but a closer look at the text shows that the translation is often an expression of something that lies between the lines... (Hsu Daulin 1930: 271.)

  • 21 . That others also considered him to be a “great” poet is shown, for example, by an essay of the Fr (...)
  • 22 . E. Bödefeld’s statement that Hundhausen maintained “very much the strangeness of the orginal” (Bö (...)

14Vincenz Hundhausen, who (similar to the German poet, Stefan George, cf. note 15, with his special flock of followers) considered himself to be a chosen and devoted poet – “priest”21 – as we can infer from whatever we know of him – was thus a translator-personality, deeply convinced of himself and of his principles of translation (which means: he did not question them!), which is evident in the epigraphs to this article. With his own language, influenced by the late German Romanticism, and his particular literary style which quite satisfied the needs and wishes of a not-so-small reading public for the time, he transformed, for example, the alien (i.e. the far-away Chinese, poetic reality) consciously into something familiar (German); he translated, for example, a “side door” (jiao’men: West/Idema, p. 203 = “corner door”) as an indigenous, “garden gate” (Gartentor, p. 57),22 well known to his German readers. One can even assume that many readers were so fascinated by his poetic and self-confident attitude, and by his adaptations, that they were by no means repelled by the equally abridged and blind view of his (imaginary) China/Chinesien which his adaptations imparted, although this idealized and disguised, wishful image of China must have rather stood out as odd and bizarre against the background of contemporary Chinese reality which was – at least as the newspapers portrayed it in those times – increasingly sinking into darkness and chaos!

15Contemporary reviews of Hundhausen’s translations give the impression that they were much admired in the literary pages, or feuilleton, and however “helpless” the feuilleton then was, as it is today as far as China is concerned, it did help to promote awareness of these translations on the part of the readers. The scholarly world of sinologists reserved their acknowledgement primarily for Hundhausen’s “aesthetic achievements”: Erwin von Zach, for instance, praises Hundhausen in the review of both of his translations from the year 1926 (Zach 1927), as a “true poet” who has “found the right tone, rhythms and rhymes in German to bring this foreign possession closer to our understanding and to make it lovable”, and thus accepts Hundhausen’s guiding principles; German sinologists normally did not, however, want to measure his translations by academic standards, like F. Lessing, in his review of Westzimmer (Lessing 1929). The newspapers, nevertheless, considered Hundhausen undisputedly the most eloquent “prophet” of Chinese poetry and theater in all of Germany. The following three quotations, from reviews of Westzimmer – in the Frankfurter Zeitung by Wolf von Dewall (Dewall 1928) in the Zeitschrift für Bücherfreunde, and in the Humboldt-Blätter by one Ernest (Ernest 1930) – may illustrate this.

16After stating that Hundhausen has been successful in taking – remarkably – “the risk” of a real translation, Wolf von Dewall certifies that

... the true Chinese feeling with all its nuances, so difficult to grasp for the European, flows through the formally perfect German verses of the translator.

17The second review follows the same path:

We can not say how faithfully the German translator has followed the original; but he has presented a piece of pure poetry, full of tender and deep feeling, utmost fascinating psychologically, formally perhaps a little dilettantish (the rhymes of the numerous songs!); as a whole, certainly a delightful enrichment of our knowledge of Chinese literature...

18And the reviewer, Ernest, emphasizes at the beginning of his article,

If the ideal of a translation were to make the reader forget that it is one, then the Westzimmer happens to be one of the most genial and excellent poetic translations that we possess. If we were not to meet so often images, comparisons, and references to mythical or historical events that are strange to us, if the location of the Singspiel on the whole as well as in the details were not filled with such a different spirit, then we would have believed we had a work from the heyday of late German Romanticism in front of us. Whatever one may say about this work as a translation – I am not able to judge it as such – there is no doubt that Hundhausen is a master of poetic language.

The “Hundhausen case” (Fall Hundhausen)

  • 23 . The article by Zhenhuan Zhang (Zhang 1992) gives some preliminary information on Salzmann.

19Since “adaptations” have always been problematic and suspicious to a philologist, this sudden, unanimous promotion of Hundhausen to a first-rate authority in mediating the Chinese spirit must naturally be stunning and disturbing to a sinologist. The praise from Erich von Salzmann (1876-1941), a journalist who also wrote novels located in China and at least one non-fiction book about China,23 spurred Erich Schmitt (1893-1955), then a sinologist in Bonn, to launch his attacks on Hundhausen’s Westzimmer; not surprisingly, since Salzmann “emphasized” first of all the intuitive poetic grasp of a foreign work of literature that a gifted artist may have – a standpoint that was bound to elicit protests from philologists!

20E. von Salzmann’s essay, entitled Vincenz Hundhausen als Übersetzer, was apparently initially planned in the context of Hundhausen’s translations of poems; it appeared, however, after the publication of Westzimmer, in an influential cultural periodical of the time (Salzmann 1928). What seems to have provoked and embittered the sinologist, Erich Schmitt, was that Salzmann made no attempt to conceal his opinion that Hundhausen’s “translations or better, adaptations of the best Chinese poets [emerge] in a natural, or from the sinologists’ point of view, in an unscientific way” (p. 250), were to be preferred by all means to the “patented” translations, to those done by “East-Asiatic sinologists”, where it does not matter at all, if one “can render the sense of the [Chinese] characters in those sounds that one calls, for instance, German” (p. 249). He concluded: “By outlining their thoughts, Hundhausen gives us the Chinese. Hundhausen brings the ancient Chinese alive for us...”

  • 24 . Cf. the review by F. Lessing (Lessing 1929: 273), in which he writes: “I must defend the translat (...)
  • 25 . While showing the relationships between the translations of Alf laila wa-laila (The Book of the T (...)
  • 26 . Quoting Chinese names in publications for the general reading public appears to me indeed very pr (...)
  • 27 . Hundhausen distributed his brochure Der Fall Erich Schmitt... (Hundhausen 1929) partly as a suppl (...)

21For Schmitt, the “Hundhausen case” was “relevant” because of this – as he called Salzmann’s judgements – “uncritical glorification” (Schmitt 1929: col. 300-301). And Schmitt must have been even more enraged by the fact that V. Hundhausen, this translator-dilettante, as he termed him, ignored naively as well as coldly all the previous, laborious, hard, self-sacrificing work done by the sinologists in the “vineyard of their science”: for example, the translation of the Xixiang ji by Stanislas Julien (Julien 1872-80)24 had already been made accessible to the reading public, without, moreover, the least admiration from newspapers or journals! In consequence, Schmitt wrote a furious review of Hundhausen’s Westzimmer (Schmitt 1929), condemning him as a plagiarist (probably without having referred to Norman M. Penzer’s comment,25 written and published a few years before the German sinologist started his feud with Hundhausen, that accusing a translator of plagiarism is “most difficult and futile”, since such an accusation can not be proved convincingly in the final instance) and persuaded that he, Schmitt, had exposed Hundhausen’s version, which was “no independent translation” in his eyes since the translator “is not at all capable of it as latter evidence will prove” (col. 301). According to Schmitt, Hundhausen’s translation was based solely on the French translation published by S. Julien in 1872/80, under the title Si-Siang-Ki ou l’histoire du Pavillon d’Occident, since “H.’s work tallies with it word for word in the prose-section” (col. 301)! He supported this statement with four textual examples that were translated incorrectly according to him, and were meant to prove Hundhausen’s ignorance of the Chinese language (col. 302-303). Further, he quoted an example to criticise Hundhausen for the “grotesque mutilation of best-known proper names” (Se-Ma Sing-Yüe as Hundhausen rendered – instead of Sima Xiangru – the well-known Chinese poet),26 and finally he cited a passage to call the poetic capacity of the translator into question. However, this provoked the former pugnacious lawyer from Berlin and then poet, translator and professor in Peking, who was deeply hurt by this review; he not only instituted court procceedings against the reviewer for defamation (!), but also countered the attack by publishing a brochure called Der Fall Erich Schmitt... only a few weeks after Schmitt’s review had appeared in the Orientalische Literaturzeitung (OLZ).27 This highly polemical pamphlet makes amusing reading in parts, but its major weakness on the whole is, as I see it, that Hundhausen’s correct information about the different versions of the text and commentaries which underly the French and German translations of Xixiang ji are drowned in the “over-heated” language he used and in the display of a sometimes quite empty pathos. Hundhausen wants, for instance, to lighten up the “dark-rooms of a good many guild sinologists”, or he claims that: “In the fossilized hands of these desk-scholars, the cultural image of China is threatened by the same fate that has once distorted the cultural image of European antiquity.”

22However, the peculiarity of this actually academic dispute was that Hundhausen defended himself against the devastating critique of Schmitt not only by literary means, as mentioned already, he also filed a suit against the reviewer Schmitt, an attack that may hardly be justified from today’s viewpoint. As a consequence, presumably enraged, Schmitt pursued his one and only argument. He stuck to his premises, which had already been established, according to him: Hundhausen’s incompetency and his absolute dependence on S. Julien. He totally ignored, for example, the above-mentioned possibility of different text versions which might have explained the deviations between the versions of Hundhausen and Julien. As a resuit, he devalued the incongruences between these two versions of translation principally as proof of Hundhausen’s incompetency. A small “notice” in the OLZ from July 1933 (Schmitt 1933) informed the interested specialists of the outcome of this case and of the literary/ legal battle: Prof. Schmitt was fined the sum of RM 100 – for defama-tion (although the fine was waived in the end on the basis of the Saxon Amnesty Law of April 12, 1933)! The concluding sentence of the “notice” reads:

In the statement of reasons, the District Court has stated [and not least on the basis of testimony from the sinologist Eduard Erkes (1891-1958), while Erich Haenisch had refused to testify] that the work of Hundhausen actually happens to be an independant translation and the translation is based on the Chinese original.

Hundhausen and the consequences

23What lessons can we draw from this tragi-comic dispute that, in addition to the increasing isolation of Hundhausen in a China cut off from Europe during the war and the post-war developments, certainly contributed to the fact that German sinology, after the Second World War, has so far avoided Hundhausen’s translation works? And is it even worth trying to settle the peculiar confrontation between the amateur and the specialist, the inspired poet and the philologist?

  • 28 . In my view, the only serious attempt at synchronizing the work of a sinologist with that of a poe (...)
  • 29 . In this essay W. Bauer described A. Pfizmaier’s, R. Wilhelm’s, and Franz Kuhn’s approaches to tra (...)

24I think so and would like briefly to outline two reasons for this: The first reason refers to the present, mediating task of the discipline, strictly speaking: the task of translating, and especially translating contemporary Chinese literature; for only translations make it possible to inform the general public about the distant, strange China of today which is becoming increasingly relevant! And this is also true for classical Chinese literature: this reservoir includes many important works to be discovered, so that a better understanding of China may be possible: how it has developed and how it appears to us today, as we, the contemporaries, observe and analyze it. For such a task, the discussion of principles and methods of translation, which is possible on the basis of Hundhausen’s work, is absolutely necessary and desirable in my opinion, despite the fact that our present considerations on principles of translation hardly correspond with the views of Hundhausen who emphasized poetic intuition, the very special understanding of the foreign language and circumstances by virtue of a high (“poetic”) competence in the (German) mother tongue of the translator.28 The second reason relates to the history of sinology; for Vincenz Hundhausen is an eminent and important person in this framework. As a translator-personality with his own language – even though this language is limited to a specific time, its “flavour” belonging to the 19th century as such and having passed its “sell-by” date, as it were, so that it can only be enjoyed in its historical context – Hundhausen may and must be placed in the gallery of ancestors who have determined and represented German translations from the Chinese in a specifie way, in the previous and present century (Bauer 199329): August Pfizmaier (1808-1887), Richard Wilhelm (1873-1930), and Franz Kuhn (1884-1961), Vincenz Hundhausen can easily be inserted between Richard Wilhelm and Franz Kuhn.

Bibliography

Bauer, Wolfgang. 1993. Entfremdung, Verklärung, Entschlüsselung. Grundlinien der deutschen Übersetzungsliteratur aus dem Chinesischen in unserem Jahrhundert. Bochum, Richard-Wilhelm-Ubersetzungszen-trum, Ruhr-Universitàt-Bochum (Arcus Texte, 1).

Bazin, M. 1841. Le Pi-Pa-Ki, ou Histoire de Luth, translated from the Chinese. Paris, Imprimerie royale.

Benjamin, Walter. 1980. Gesammelte Schriften. Frankfurt, Suhrkamp.

Bethge, Hans. 1907. Die chinesische Flöte. Introduction and annotations by Hans Bethge. Leipzig, Insel Verlag.

Bödefeld, Eduard, O.F.M. 1938. “Sinensis fidicen lyrae”, Collectanea Commissionis Synodalis, 11: 112-139.

C., H. 1932. (Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: Die Laute), Journal of the North China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 63: 177.

Cheung, Dominic. 1979. Feng Zhi. Boston, Twayne.

Cordier, Henri. 1908. “Nécrologie. François Turrettini”, T’oung Pao, 9: 706-707.

Dewall, W. von 1928. (Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: Das Westzimmer), Frankfurter Zeitung, 13 Feb. 1927.

Dürr, J. 1918. (Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: Die Oden des Horaz in deutscher Sprache), Korrespondenzblatt für die hôheren Schulen Württembergs: 232.

Eichborn, Werner. 1927. (Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: Chinesische Dichter in deutscher Sprache), Literarisches Zentralblatt, 78: 480.

Ernest. 1930. (Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: Das Westzimmer), Humboldt Blätter, 3, 11: 211.

Eschmann, Ernst Wilhelm. 1944. (Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: Die Riickkehr der Seele), Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 13 May 1944.

Fang, Achilles. 1938. (Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: Die Riickkehr der Seele), Monumenta Serica: 655-657.

“Feng Zhi mit dem Friedrich-Gundolf-Preis ausgezeichnet”. 1988. China Aktuell, May 1988, 5: 359, n. 22.

Ferguson, J. C. 1938. (Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: Die Riickkehr der Seele), T’ien Hsia Monthly, 6: 173-174.

Forke, Alfred. 1926. Der Kreidekreis. Schauspiel in vier Aufzügen und einem Vorspiel. Leipzig, Reclam (Reclam UB 768).

Fuchs, Walter. 1936. “Beiträge zur Mandjurischen Bibliographie und Literatur”, Mitteilungen der deutschen Gesellschaft für Natur- und Vôlkerkunde Ostasiens (supplement), 14: 35-36.

Gabelentz, Georg von der. 1879. In Wissenschaftlicher Jahresbericht über die Morgenldndischen Studien from October 1876 to December 1877 (supplement to Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, vol. 33), 51, n. 41. Leipzig, Brockhaus.

Gauthier, Judith. 1867. Livre de jade.

Gimm, Martin (ed.). 1978. Chinesische Dramen der Yuan-Dynastie. Zehn nachgelassene Ubersetzungen von Alfred Forke. Wiesbaden, Steiner (Sinologica Coloniensia, 06).

– 1993a. Zwei chinesische Singspiele der Qing-Dynastie (Li Yu und Jiang Shuqian). Translated by Alfred Forke. Wiesbaden, Steiner (Sinologica Coloniensia, 16).

– 1993b. Elf chinesische Singspiele aus neuerer Zeit nebst zwei Dramen in westlicher Manier. Translated by Alfred Forke. Wiesbaden, Steiner (Sinologica Coloniensia, 17).

Grimm, Irmgard. 1938-39. (Translation of parts of Sanguo zhi yanyi), Sinica, 13, 3/4: 109-121; 14, 1/2: 32-39.

– 1992. Erinnerungen aus meinem bunten Leben. Hannover, Frankfurt, Selbstverlag.

Grimm, Irmgard and Reinhold. 1956. Chinesische Gespenster- und Fuchsgeschichten. Eisenach, Röth (Der Erdkreis).

Gundert, Wilhelm et al. 1952. Lyrik des Ostens. Munich, Hanser.

Haenisch, E. 1933. (Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: Das Westzimmer), Asia Major, 8: 278-282.

Hoppe. 1917. (Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: Die Oden des Horaz in deutscher Sprache), Monatsschrift für höhere Schulen: 285.

Hsü Dau-Lin. 1930. (Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: T’au Yüan-ming), Sinica, 5: 271-272.

– 1932. (Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: Die Laute), Sinica, 7: 77-78.

Hundhausen, Vincenz. 1916. Die Oden des Horaz in deutscher Sprache. Berlin, Borngräber.

– 1926a. Chinesische Dichter in deutscher Sprache. Peking/Leipzig, Pekinger Verlag.

– 1926b. Das Westzimmer. Peking/Leipzig, Pekinger Verlag.

– 1927. Hindenburg. Eine Ode. Tientsin.

– 1928. T’au Yüan-Ming. Ausgewählte Gedichte in deutscher Nachdichtung. Peking/ Leipzig, Pekinger Verlag.

– 1929. Der Fall Erich Schmitt...Tientsin/Peking, Peiyang Press.

– 1930. Gau Ming: Die Laute. Peking, Pekinger Verlag.

– 1932-1936. Festschriften. Peking.

– 1933a. Epilog zum Fall Erich Schmitt. Das “Si-Siang ki” von Stanislas Julien und “Das Westzimmer”. [Without date and place of publication, signed Peiping, 15th of January 1933.]

– 1933b. “Zu der Besprechung meines Buches Das Westzimmer durch Prof E. Haenisch in Asia Major 8, 1/2”, Asia Major, 8, 193: 562-563.

– 1937. Die Rückkehr der Seele. Ein romantisches Drama von Tang Hsiän Dsu. Leipzig, Raschner. 3 vols.

– 1939. Beihau. Gereimte und ungereimte Einfàlle und Ausfälle. Peking, Verlag der Pappelinsel (Die kleinen Bücher der Pappelinsel, 1).

– 1954a. Das Westzimmer. Ein chinesisches Singspiel aus dem dreizehnten Jahrhundert. Eisenach, Rôth.

- 1954b. Chinesische Dichter des dritten bis elften Jahrhunderts. Eisenach, Röth.

– 1978. Das Westzimmer. Ein chinesisches Singspiel aus dem dreizehnten Jahrhundert. Leipzig, Insel Verlag.

– (ed.). Die Brücke.

Julien, Stanislas. 1860. Pingshan lengyan (Les Deux Jeunes Filles lettrées). Paris, Didier & Cie.

– 1872-80. “Si-siang-ki ou l’Histoire du Pavillon d’Occident. Comédie en seize actes”, Atsume Gusa.

Klabund [Alfred Henschke]. 1915. Dumpfe Trommel und berauschtes Gong. Leipzig, Insel Verlag.

Kuhn, Hatto and Martin Gimm. 1980. Dr. Franz Kuhn (1884-1961). Lebensbeschreibung und Bibliographie seiner Werke. Wiesbaden, Steiner (Sinologica Coloniensia, 10).

Lessing, Ferdinand. 1929. (Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: Das Westzimmer), Ostasiatische Zeitschrift, NF, 5: 272-274.

Magnin, Charles. 1842/1843. (Review of M. Bazin: Le Pi-Pa-Ki, ou Histoire du Luth), Journal des Savants, May 1842: 259-272; Oct. 1842: 577-591; Jan. 1843:29-42.

May, Karl. 1892. Der blau-rote Methusalem.

Meerkerk, M. E. R. F. 1928. (Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: Das Westzimmer), Journal of the North China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 59: 124-127.

“Necrology: Hsü Dau-lin, 1906-1973”. 1974. Sung Studies Newsletter, June 1974: 42-46.

Österley, Hermann. 1873. Steinhöwels Äsop. Stuttgart, Literarischer Verein (Bibliothek des Literarischen Vereins in Stuttgart, 117).

Pelliot, Paul. 1930. (Note under “Livre reçus”: Vincenz Hundhausen, Der Fall Erich Schmitt), T’oung Pao, 27: 220.

Penzer, Norman M. 1967. An Annotated Bibliography of Sir Richard Francis Burton K.C.M.G. London, Dawsons of Pall Mall. [Reprint of the 1923 London edition.]

Prémare, Father Joseph Henry-Marie de. 1735. “Tchao chi cou ell, ou le Petit Orphelin de la Maison de Tchao. Tragédie chinoise”, in Jean-Baptiste du Halde (ed.), Description géographique, historique, chronologique, politique de l’Empire de la Chine et de la Tartarie chinoise... Paris, P. G. Lemercier, vol. 3: 339-378.

– 1749. “Tchao chi cou ell / Der junge Wayse aus dem Hause Thao”, in Jean-Baptiste du Halde, (ed.), Ausführliche Beschreibung des Chinesischen Reiches und der Groβen Tartarey... Rostock, Johann Christian Koppe, vol. 3: 418-444.

(Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: Das Westzimmer). 1927. Freie Welt, 8, 1927, 165: 28.

(Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: Das Westzimmer). 1927. Zeitschrift fiir Bucherfreunde, 19: 100.

(Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: Das Westzimmer). 1929. Zeitschrift fiir Bucherfreunde, NF, 5, 1929: 272-274.

Röhl, H. 1918. (Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: Die Oden des Horaz in deutscher Sprache), Monatsschrift fiir hôhere Schulen: 391.

Salzmann, E. von 1928. (Vincenz Hundhausen als Übersetzer), Querschnitt, 8, 4: 249-250.

Scheffel, J.V. von. 1854. Der Trompeter von Säckingen. Ein Sang vom Oberrhein. Stuttgart, Metzler.

Schmidt, A. 1986. “Ein Geisterbuch”, in Die Auskunft. Hamburg: 295-296.

Schmitt, Erich. 1929. (Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: Das Westzimmer), Orientalische Literaturzeitung, 4: col. 300-304.

– 1933. (Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: Das Westzimmer (note)), Orientalische Literaturzeitung, 7: col. 460-461.

Soulié de Morant, G. 1928. L’Amoureuse Oriole, jeune fille. Paris, Flammarion.

– 1930. (Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: Die Laute), Mercure de France, 229: 484-485.

Sparig, E. 1917. (Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: Die Oden des Horaz in deutscher Sprache), Lehrproben und hehrgänge aus der Praxis der Gymnasien und Realschulen, 3: 100.

Tscharner, E. H. von. 1934. (Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: Die Laute), Ostasiatische Zeitschrift, 10: 43-44.

Turrettini, François Auguste (ed.). since 1871. Atsume Gusa.

Voltaire. 1755. L’Orphelin de la Chine. Paris, Michel Lambert.

Walravens, Hartmut. 1991. Auf der Pappelinsel. Eine Dokumentation über den Dichter, Drucker, Verleger, Professor, Regisseur und Anwalt Vincenz Hundhausen (1878-1955) in Peking. Berlin, C. Bell.

West, S. H. and W. L. Idema (eds.). 1991. Wang Shifu. The Moon and the Zither. The Story of the Western Wing. Berkeley, University of California Press.

Wilhelm, Richard [P.T.]. 1928. (Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: Das Westzimmer), Sinica, 3: 38-39.

Wirtz, H. 1927. (Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: Das Westzimmer), Ostasiatische Rundschau, 7: 258.

– 1928. (Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: Chinesische Dichter in deutscher Sprache), Ostasiatische Rundschau, 8: 287.

– 1931. (Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: Die Laute), Ostasiatische Rundschau, 12: 337.

Zach, Erwin von. 1927. (Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: Chinesische Dichter in deutscher Sprache, Das Westzimmer. Ein chinesisches Singspiel in deutscher Sprache. Pekinger Verlag 1926), Deutsche Wacht, 13, 7: 38.

– 1931. (Review of Vincenz Hundhausen: Die Laute), Deutsche Wacht, 17: 26.

Zhang Zhenhuan. 1992. “Das China-Verständnis von Erich von Salzmann”, in Adrian Hsia and Sigrid Hoefert (eds.), Fernöstliche Brùckenschläge. Zu deutsch-chinesischen hiteraturbeziehungen im 20. Jahrhundert. Bern/Berlin, Peter Lang (Euro-sinica, 3).

Notes

1 . “What shall delight you and make you happy for long must become homely, known to you, intimate like father and mother, wife and child. It must lay down the travelling hat and the sandals of the travelling stranger.”

2 . Underlined by the author of this article to accentuate Hundhausen’s intentions, to be commented later.
“One has long distinguished between two different kinds of translators. One kind seeks to render the original image word for word, possibly even including the tone of the words; they were called TRANSlators, the emphasis here lying on TRANS. The other kind translates, i.e. they express the character of the author, as he would talk to us, if he had knowledge of our language and wanted to share with us HIS thoughts in HIS frame. This is the male kind of translation: no matter how much this genre will achieve, it will never reach the goal, for one language cannot be transformed into another.”

3 . For the (“new”) editions of the Xixiang ji in Hundhausen’s translation still available in the 1950s and the 1970s, cf. the following two “imprints”:
a) Hundhausen 1926b. For this originally unbound remainder (of the 1926 edition) which the publisher Röth (then in Eisenach, later in Eisenach and Kassel, and up to the (cont.) last years still in Kassel) published with a new title page around 1954, cf. Schmidt 1986
b) Hundhausen 1978 (original title: Si-siang-Gi. Herausgegeben von Ernst Schwarz) with (new) notes that – as E. Schwarz wrote – “give Chinese proper names in brackets [and thus correct] the inaccuracies in Hundhausen’s transcription”.
The modem translation, in English which replaces all other renderings today, is certainly that by S. H. West and W. L. Idema (West and Idema 1991).

4 . Cf. F. A. Turrettini’s introduction (p. ii) to Julien 1872-80, in which Turrettini writes that S. Julien had proposed in 1860 – in the foreword to his translation of the novel Pingshan lengyan (Julien 1860) – to translate and publish the Xixiang ji; this project was finally completed twenty years later. The publication history of the Xixiang ji in the West is a bit complicated, for Julien’s translation appeared originally – before its publication in the form of monograph or “separatum” – in various fascicles or instalments of the “collection”, probably in 8 vols.: Atsume Gusa, edited by F. Turrettini since 1871. Julien’s translation of the first four acts of the play was printed in 1872 (fascicle 4-5, October 1872, 80 pp.) and of the entire drama in 16 acts in Atsume Gusa in 1876 – according to G. von der Gabelentz (Gabelentz 1879). A slightly different and, at least in parts, incorrect story is told by G. Soulié de Morant, in his Xixiang ji-adaptation (Soulié de Morant 1928: 10), in which he States that the first 7 acts (tableaux) were published by S. Julien in translation for the first time in the periodical Europe littéraire, Paris 1834, which has not been available to me. Then, in 1872 [!], an Oriental journal in Geneva, which appeared in 200 copies, Atsume gusa (i.e. the “collection” that F. Turrettini had edited and published under this title), printed these 7 [!] acts along with “une détestable traduction, fourmillant d’erreurs, des neuf derniers tableaux” – a contribution of F. Turrettini himself, if we are to believe the generally well-informed Erwin von Zach, who states in the same context that both these French translations were based on “an excellent Manju version” (Zach 1927: 38). For F. A. Turrettini, who has been more or less forgotten today, cf. Cordier 1908: 706-707. For the Manju translation of the Xixiang ji, published in 1710 in a bilingual edition, cf. Fuchs 1936: 35-36.

5 . Review by Magnin 1842/1843.

6 . In this context I would like to refer to the bilingual commemorative volumes (Fest-schriften) in large format that V. Hundhausen edited in China between 1932-1936 (Hundhausen (ed.) 1932-1936); these appeared often as “special issues” of the Hundhausen journal Deutsch-Chinesische Nachrichten. Hundhausen dedicated these – as the “Dark Ages” were increasingly approaching Germany – to the classical and enlightened German/European “cultural heroes”, whom he esteemed highly in a peculiar way and wished to introduce to China: Dem Andenken Goethes, Dem Andenken Spinozas, Dem Andenken Wielands, Dem Andenken Schillers, Dem Andenken Humboldts, Dem Andenken Platens and Dem Andenken des Horaz. [To the Memory of Goethe, To the Memory of Spinoza, To the Memory of Wieland, To the Memory of Schiller, To the Memory of Humboldt, To the Memory of Platen and To the Memory of Horace.]

7 . V. Hundhausen’s eagerness to have the plays he translated also performed in Europe was shown in his own theatrical engagement: in 1934 he founded a theatre group called the “Pekinger Bühnenspiele”, gave guest performances in Austria, Switzerland and Germany in 1936, and staged – in his words – “masterworks of the Chinese dramatical literature in faithful German adaptations and in the austere style of the Chinese stage”.

8 . Reviews by Sparig: 1917, Hoppe: 1917, Röhl: 1918, Dürr: 1918. This work was ultimately published in 16,000 copies, as Hundhausen states out of justified pride in his Chinesische Dichter in 1926, and thus may certainly be seen as a considerable success; cf. also Walravens 1991: 63, where he points out that this work was published “in 16 thousand copies according to Kürschner[‘s Deutscher Literatur-Kalender] 1922.”

9 . At a time, by the way, when the public interest in Wieland in Germany was already very low. Cf. Walter Benjamin (1892-1940), who wrote in 1933, the year of C.M. Wieland’s 200th birthday: “Wieland wird nicht mehr gelesen” (Wieland is no longer read). (Benjamin 1980: 395).

10 . Cf. Walravens 1991: 275. Karl May’s (1842-1912) Der blaurote Methusalem appeared in book form for the first time in 1892 (May 1892), after having been published as a journal in the years 1888/89. This happens to be the only full-length novel, a so-called “narrative for youth” (Jugenderzàhlung), where the plot is situated in China – instead of in the Near East or the USA, the location of most of May’s other novels and stories. K. May, whose “Collected Works” in a modem edition embrace more than 70 volumes, is one of Germany’s most influential writers even today, his “inexhaustible chaos of kitsch & absurdities [...] has by now enrolled since three generations hundreds of millions of German people effortlessly as inhabitants of his world”, as the modem writer Arno Schmidt (1914-1979) dryly remarked in 1963.

11 . Irmgard Grimm, born in 1896, mother of the sinologist Tilemann Grimm (born 1922) and a translator herself, who arrived with her husband Reinhold Grimm, a medical doctor, in Peking in 1923 for the first time, remarks laconically on Hundhausen and his “translating”: “He did not know Chinese”; cf. Grimm 1992: 67. I. Grimm has translated together with her husband several Liaozhai zhiyi stories (Grimm 1956), and some episodes from her translation of Sanguo zhi yanyi, published in 1938 and 1939 in the journal Sinica. As she writes in her memoires, the translation was complete in manuscript.

12 . An introduction to the life and works of Feng Zhi gives Cheung 1979.

13 . Some information on Xu Daolin, who transcribed his name also as Hsu Dau-lin or Hsu Dauling, can be found in the “Necrology: Hsü Dau-lin, 1906-1973”. 1974: 42-46.

14 . For Hundhausen’s technique of translation cf. the review of his Westzimmer by Ferdinand Lessing (1882-1962) (Lessing 1929), in which Lessing writes: “A Chinese scholar has revealed and transmitted the difficult text to Mr. Hundhausen, as he himself admits... Hundhausen has tackled the task [of translating the Xixiang ji] with great care and has, as he writes elsewhere, looked up every word in the dictionary – how often he must have looked up in vain, considering the present state of Chinese lexicography – so as to produce, like Goethe before him, firstly a word-for-word translation. This [draft] he then adapted and poeticized in a more or less free manner.” Feng Zhi, “one of the last star pupils of [the German scholar Friedrich] Gundolf [1880-1931], and earlier, already here in China, an admirer of Stefan George [1868-1933] solely out of his own enthusi-asm [for this great poet]” (as Hundhausen wrote to R. Pannwitz in a letter of May 29, 1935, cf. Walravens 1991: 305), whom Hundhausen held in high esteem, was of help to him in translating the Pipa ji, while the assistance of Xu Daolin is mentioned in the context of Hundhausen’s German version of Mudan ting, which he completed in 1937 (Hundhausen 1937). For the bestowal of the Friedrich-Gundolf-Prize on Feng Zhi (1988), who had already received the Goethe Medal in 1983, the Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm Prize of the GDR in 1985, and the “Inter Nationes Prize for Literature and Art” in 1987, cf. “Feng Zhi...” 1988.

15 . Reviews by Wirtz 1928: 287, von Zach 1927: 38, Eichhorn 1927: 480. This title was also published – like Hundhausen’s Westzimmer (Hundhausen 1926b/1954a) – with a new cover after the Second World War as Hundhausen 1954b.

16 . Reviews by Hsu 1932: 77-78, von Zach 1931: 26, von Tscharner 1934: 43-44, C. 1932:177, Soulié de Morant 1930: 484-485, Wirtz 1931: 337.

17 . Reviews by Fang 1938: 655-657, Ferguson 1938: 173-174, Eschmann 13.5.1944.

18 . After a dedication page (to Wilhelm Bölsche [1861-1939]), the following page contains (originally in German, of course) the following statement: “This German edition is based on the Chinese originals of Wang Sche-Fu (parts 1-4) and Guan Han-Tsching (Part 5); both lived around 1200 AD. The reader and librarian at the State University of Peking, Wang Yo-Deh, helped him to understand the difficult original text. The short-story of the Chinese writer Yuan Djeng (8th century AD), added in the appendix, narrates an experience of the author and is the source of the dramatical work. The illustrations are reproductions from original woodcuts by an unknown Chinese master. The rendering of Chinese names does not always aim at a perfect transcription of the sounds from the original language, which may often sound harsh to our ears; rather it is meant to serve the flair of the German language and to differentiate characters.” Reviews by Schmitt 1929: Col. 300-304 and (Notiz) 1933, 7, Col.460/461; cf. also the Review of Westzimmer by Haenisch 1933: 278-282, and the rejoinder to it by V. Hundhausen (Hundhausen 1933b); reviews by Wirtz 1927: 258, von Dewall 13 Feb. 1927, von Zach 1927: 38, Meerkerk 1928: 124-127, P.T. [Richard Wilhelm] 1928: 38-39, von Salzmann 1928: 249-250, Lessing 1929: 272-274, Ernest 1930: 211; reviews in: Zeitschrift fur Bücherfreunde 1927, 19: 100, Freie Welt 1927.

19 . This is still a “working title”, announced, and existing in at least two copies, but not published so far (September 1998); this is the main reason why I have described in such details – with apologies to the hurried reader! – the publications of V. Hundhausen (which are very rare today as they were printed in troubled times and published in a place, far away from libraries in Germany that would have collected them), as well their reviews which have been “detected” in most cases by my old friend H. Walravens, the German bibliographer of (not only!) “things Chinese”, with his usual painstaking care, as the titled Hundhausen book will show one day, hopefully in the not too distant future.

20 . This is an allusion to Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim (1719-1803); older than Goethe, “Father Gleim”, as he was often called, was a talented, but minor and versatile poet, famous in his times for melodious, playful, and “nice” poems, was justly forgotton a hundred years after his death.

21 . That others also considered him to be a “great” poet is shown, for example, by an essay of the Franciscan sinologist, Eduard Bödefeld O.F.M (Bödefeld 1938), which is not quoted in its Latin original, but from the German translation by Hartmut Walravens: Der Spieler der chinesischen Leier, in Walravens 1991: 31-43. After the publication of his first poem: Hindenburg. Deutsche Ode (Hundhausen 1927), Hundhausen collected his lyrical works under the title: Beihau. Gereimte und ungereimte Einfälle und Ausfälle (Hundhausen 1939).

22 . E. Bödefeld’s statement that Hundhausen maintained “very much the strangeness of the orginal” (Bödefeld 1938: 37) does not appear to me to be quite correct; indeed it is contradictory to Hundhausen’s Tieck-motto, quoted at the beginning of my article: Hundhausen, the translator, in fact, wanted to make the foreign text (the traveling hat and the sandals of the wandering stranger) “homely”, “well-known” and “familiar”.

23 . The article by Zhenhuan Zhang (Zhang 1992) gives some preliminary information on Salzmann.

24 . Cf. the review by F. Lessing (Lessing 1929: 273), in which he writes: “I must defend the translator by all means against the reproach that he has used the incomplete translation of Stanislas Julien, published posthumously. As I called his attention to the book in 1925 incidentally, he refused [to see it]; he wanted to be totally independent of other influences.”

25 . While showing the relationships between the translations of Alf laila wa-laila (The Book of the Thousand and One Nights) by R. F. Burton and John Payne, Penzer argued: “One of the most difficult and futile things a man can do is to prove to his own and everyone else’s satisfaction that a translator is guilty of flagrant and intentional pla-garism” (Penzer 1967: 316).

26 . Quoting Chinese names in publications for the general reading public appears to me indeed very problematic right up to our times; one need only take the example of the poetess Li Qingzhao (1082-c.1151) who had the zi (appelation) Yi’an; J. Gauthier called her therefore Ly Y-Hane (Gauthier 1867), a name which H. Bethge further transformed into LY-Y-HAN (Bethge 1907).

27 . Hundhausen distributed his brochure Der Fall Erich Schmitt... (Hundhausen 1929) partly as a supplement to his periodical Die Brücke, 5, 1929, no.29/30, and partly amongst sinologists: it was announced, for instance, by P. Pelliot (1930: 220), who confesses here that he does not find Schmitt’s attempt to prove dependance of Hundhausen’s translation on that of Julien convincing (p.279/280), and that he does not doubt Hundhausen’s claim that he came to know of Julien’s translation only after publishing his own. A similar opinion was expressed first by F. Lessing to Pelliot (Lessing 1929: 273), and later by E. Haenisch (1880-1966) (Haenisch 1933). For the sake of completeness, Haenisch’s arguments in his review may be mentioned here. Haenisch’s statements Sound fair and noble, their substance may be summed up in the following sentence: “In any case, sinology as a science, and sinologists, have reason to be pleased that a book [i.e. Hundhausen’s translation] is making publicity in larger circles than they them-selves” (p.278); however, he too reproached Hundhausen clearly for his “unscientific” act of going to court. This provoked Hundhausen to write a rejoinder in 1932, published in Asia Major in 1933 (Hundhausen 1933b), as well as to publish a further polemical brochure: Epilog zum Fall Erich Schmitt. Das “Si-Siang ki” von Stanislas Julien und “Das Westzimmer” (Hundhausen 1933a).

28 . In my view, the only serious attempt at synchronizing the work of a sinologist with that of a poet – the poet in this case even had some sinological knowledge – occured in the context of the excellent anthology Lyrik des Ostens (Gundert et al. 1952), where – to the best of my knowledge – the sinologist Peter Olbricht (b. 1909) prepared a rough draft of the Chinese poems which the great modem poet Gunter Eich (1907-1972) then transformed and adapted.

29 . In this essay W. Bauer described A. Pfizmaier’s, R. Wilhelm’s, and Franz Kuhn’s approaches to translations of Chinese texts.

Auteur

Lutz Bieg

Albertus-Magnus-Universität, Cologne.

© Éditions de la Maison des sciences de l’homme, 1999

Conditions d’utilisation : http://www.openedition.org/6540

Acheter

Volume papier

Chargement

Unavailable