‘Cherish one’s own beauty, respect other’s beauty, and when both beauties are respected and cherished, the world will become one”（各美其美，美人之美，美美与共，天下大同——费孝通）, said Fei Xiaotong, a famous Chinese sociologist at a cerebration party in honor of his eightieth birthday about thirty years ago. In a time of growing interest in intercultural communication today, these words sound especially wise and far sighted. Translation, as one of the most important means for cultural communication, is usually done into one’s mother tongue from other languages by native translators. This largely guarantees the quality of translated text, so far as the linguistic readability is concerned. However, this method implies a one-sidedness in correspondence, as only the translator’s ‘respect for other’s beauty” is concerned, regardless, though not completely, of how the local people look upon and cherish their own beauty. It should be compensated by translations on the other way, that is, works selected, interpreted, and translated by the local people themselves into languages other than their own. This approach may go directly against the prevalent views in modern translation theories but, in my opinion, is worthy of practicing. It is perhaps an even more effective way to bring about successful communication in cultures, and the beauties of the world can really be shared by the world’s people. It is with such understanding that the Shanghai Foreign Languages Education Press is organizing a new series of books, entitled Readings of Chinese Culture, to introduce Chinese culture, past and present, to the world, with works selected and translated by the Chinese scholars and translators.
The series will cover a wide range of writings including but not restricted to works of different literary genres. For the first batch, we are glad to provide three books of essays and two books of short stories, all written by authors of the 20th century. They will be continued by a batch of serious academic writings on premodern Chinese classics in philosophy, literature, and historiography, written by influential scholars of our time. Later, we will offer more books on classical Chinese drama, classical Chinese poetry, etc.
Some of the books in the series have been published before, but they have been revised and rearranged for the new purpose to meet the current needs of broader readers. We are looking forward to hear comments and suggestions on the series for future improvement.
【译者简介/About the translator】
Wang Rongpei（ 1942-2017） graduated with a bachelors degree from Shanghai International Studies College in 1964 i and a master s degree from Fudan University in 1967. He began to work as an English teacher in 1975 in Dalian College of Foreign Languages and he was President of the College from 1985 to 2001 He was a guest professor of Dalian University and a doctoral tutor of Soochow University and Dalian Polytechnic University. His translated works include The Book of Change, The Book of Poetry, Laozi,Zhuangzi Mozi, 300 Poems of Han, Wei and the Six Dynasties,The Poetry Collection of Tao Yuanming, Gems of the W Ballads Gems of Pingtan Story-telling, Gems of Kunqu Opera,Gems of Suju Opera, etc His translation of Tang Xianzu’s classical plays such as The Peony Pavilion led to the publication of his magnum opus The Complete Dramatic Works of Tang Xianzu. He also published monographs Comparison and Translation and A Comparative Study of Tao Yuanmings Poems in English and edited Studies on Chinese Classics into English.