“Li Sao” translated by “Li Sao”

  Going back 60 years, there is a Russian expatriate poet who lived in Tianjin for two years and taught Russian at the Conservatory of Music. In 1952, he left Tianjin and, together with his mother, passed through Hong Kong, took a ship to Brazil, and settled in Rio de Janeiro. No one would have thought that this tall, thin, and unremarkable Russian, while working hard and engaged in literary translation, actually translated Lao Tzu’s “Tao Te Ching” and Qu Yuan’s “Li Sao”, as well as some famous poems from the Tang and Song Dynasties. in Russian.
  The human heart is really wonderful, it is said that it is small, it can only accommodate a square inch, and that it is big, it can accommodate the world. This Russian expatriate poet who has lived in China for many years, although he has traveled all over the world, he still cares about China and Russia in his heart. He wrote poems silently and sang the theme repeatedly, that is, missing two motherland, two hometowns. This lifelong wandering poet is – Valery Franzevich Pereshin (1913-1992).
  Pereshin was born in Irkutsk, Siberia, Russia. His father was a descendant of a Belarusian nobleman and worked as an engineer in the Central Railway Administration. In 1920, seven-year-old Valery followed his mother from Chita, Russia to Harbin, China, to study at the local Russian school for expatriates. He graduated from Harbin YMCA Middle School at the age of seventeen, and then studied at Harbin Beiman Institute of Technology, where he studied law and Chinese. He began to write poetry and publish works during college, and was favored by Russian poets in Harbin. In October 1932 he joined the literary group “Churayevka” and met many Russian diaspora poets. Pereshin published four collections of poetry in Harbin: “On the Road” (1937), “The Beehive Intact” (1939), “The Stars on the Sea” (1941) and “Sacrifice” (1944). The epic poem “The Legend of the Old Sailor” was translated into Russian and published in China.
  In 1938, the twenty-five-year-old Pereleshin suffered from a serious illness. After recovering from the illness, he decided to devote himself to religion. He became a monk in the Kazan Monastery of Our Lady of Harbin, whose French name was Gellman. In the autumn of the same year, with the help of Victor, the head of the Russian Orthodox Missionary Mission and Archbishop of Beijing Diocese, he went to Beijing (then called Peiping) to work in the library of the Orthodox Missionary Mission and as a teacher in the school for the children of the Missionary Mission. Pereshin liked ancient Beijing very much, and the beautiful lakes of the royal gardens left him an unforgettable impression in his life. He used the word “wonderful” to describe this ancient capital. Working in Beijing, he has made rapid progress in learning Chinese, not only in reading and writing, but also in oral expression. He also traveled around, and the titles of the lyrical poems such as “A Tour of Shanhaiguan”, “A Tour of Dongling” and “Night of the West Lake” all reflected his whereabouts. His rich experience deepened his understanding of Chinese customs, and he recognized Chinese culture. In the poem “Nostalgia”, he admitted that China was a kind “stepmother” and the yellow-skinned Chinese were his “brothers”. A sense of belonging is rare in the work of other Russian diaspora poets.
  Having lived in China for more than 30 years and read a lot of Chinese classical poetry, Pereleshin particularly admired Chinese poets Qu Yuan, Li Bai and Su Shi. He wrote in the poem “Night on the West Lake”: “On the 16th night of every lunar month, / People say: ‘The moon shines brightly in the window.’ / The sky is bright! I am still young, / This place is almost my hometown. //Qu Yuan threw himself into the rushing stream, /his heart could not bear the sorrow; /Li Bai, the head of the head, fell to the bottom of the well, /fishing for the drunken moon in the water.” Not familiar with Chinese cultural traditions, it is difficult to write such verses. Pereshin often uses the imagery of Chinese poetry in his poetry creation and incorporates the elements of Chinese poetry. For example, he often writes about pine trees, while Russian poets generally prefer birch, rowan, and oak; he often writes about lotus and chrysanthemum, while Russian poets prefer dianthus, apple blossom, and rose. In addition, he wrote many times about tea leaves, fans, and huqin, and these images clearly have Chinese characteristics. All of these indicate that the poet Pereshin was familiar with and identified with Chinese culture.
  Reading Pereshin’s poems, it is not difficult to find that the poet likes Chinese religions, such as Buddhism and Taoism, and he particularly appreciates the Taoist thought of “purity and inaction”. Chinese poetry, painting, calligraphy, and music have all aroused his keen interest. Poems such as “Overlooking Beijing from Biyun Temple”, “Huxin Pavilion” and “Huqin” are the most convincing examples. Pereleshin wrote poems, the language is succinct and beautiful, the style of poetry is free and easy, and he pays special attention to rhythm and rhythm, and his layout is obviously influenced by Chinese classical poetry. It is no accident that he regards China as his “second hometown”.
  In May 1943, Pereleshin defended his thesis for an associate doctorate in theology at Harbin Theological Seminary. In November of the same year, he was punished by the Russian Missionary Corps for “violating the canon” due to homosexual behavior. He was transferred from Beijing to Shanghai, where he was supervised and disciplined by Bishop John of the Shanghai Diocese. In 1946, Pereleshin submitted an application to the Russian Orthodox Missionary Corps and retired. During this period, he began to act as a Chinese interpreter for the former Soviet Tass News Agency in Shanghai, and soon after applying for the former Soviet Union citizenship. In the mid-1940s, Pereleshin translated Lu Xun’s short stories, essays and letters into Russian, which were published by Shanghai Times Publishing House. In 1950, with the help of his brother living in the United States, the poet left Shanghai and arrived in San Francisco by boat, intending to emigrate to the United States, but because he had worked for TASS, he was detained by the US authorities and suspected that he was an agent of the former Soviet Union. Deported to Tianjin, China. In 1952, his younger brother helped him obtain a Brazilian visa, and Pereleshin and his mother went to Brazil via Hong Kong and lived in Rio de Janeiro.
  When I first arrived in Brazil, life was quite difficult. Pereleshin worked in TU, worked as a salesman in a gift shop, and also served as an English teacher in a school. In 1957, he took a job at the British Cultural Mission Library in Brazil, where he worked as a librarian for nine years. Due to the embarrassment of life and the unfamiliar language environment, his poetry creation stopped for nearly ten years. It was during these difficult and lonely years that the poet began to translate Li Sao and Chinese classical poetry. He knew that it would be difficult to translate these works into Russian and it would be difficult to publish them in Brazil, but he still insisted. regarded as a spiritual sustenance. Having a spiritual dialogue with the wandering Qu Yuan and the lonely Li Bai seems to bring him some comfort.
  In 1970, Pereshin translated and completed the Russian translation of Chinese classical poetry “Tuan Fan Song”, which included the works of Wang Wei, Li Bai, Du Fu, Li Shangyin, Du Mu, Ouyang Xiu, Su Shi and other poets, as well as “Mulan Ci” and Bai Juyi’s works. “Pipa”. The works he chose to translate have a keynote of melancholy, sadness and migration. In 1971, the poet completed the translation of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching. This Russian poetic version was published in the former Soviet Union’s “Far East Question” (1990) twenty years later. Once the translation came out, it immediately aroused recognition and praise from the academic circles. , published in a single volume in 2000. In 1975, his translation of “Li Sao” was published in Frankfurt, Germany, which was the crystallization of his years of painstaking efforts. Pereyeshin is proficient in Chinese, understands the original text thoroughly and accurately, expresses harmoniously and fluently, and is close to the original style, and the translation has reached a high level. After hearing the good news that “Li Sao” was finally published, the poet specially took his old mother to the street and ate ice cream in a cold drink shop in Rio de Janeiro to celebrate. Thinking of this situation, the poet’s silent dedication to the Sino-Russian cultural exchange is indeed touching.
  The collections of poems published by Pereleshin after moving to Brazil include: “The House of the South” (1968), “The Game Reserve” (1972), “The View of Mount Nievor” (1975), “The King of Heaven” (1976), etc. These collections of poems Mostly published in Germany. Pereleshin’s Russian translations of his poetry collection The Cross of the South (1978) are Brazilian lyric poems translated from Portuguese. In 1983, his collection of poems “Old Leather Jackets” written in Portuguese was officially published. In 1984, in cooperation with Brazilian poetry translator Marquez, he translated the Russian poet Kuzmin’s Alexander Songs into Portuguese and published it. In 1987, a collection of Russian poems “Three Motherlands” was published in Paris, France, including poems written in Harbin and Shanghai, China, as well as works written in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. With China in the heart and Russia in the soul, it is the most gripping theme in many poems.
  Pushkin’s representative poetic novel “Evgeny Onegin” is unique and is written in Onegin stanzas. There are more than 400 stanzas without exception, and the form is extremely rigorous. The form is unprecedented. In terms of attaching importance to the musicality of poetry and mastering sonnets skillfully, Pereleshin deserves to be Pushkin’s heir. Eight chapters, including eight hundred sonnet stanzas, are all written in the Onegin stanza rhythm, which fully demonstrates the poet’s skill in controlling sonnets. For this work, critics have mixed praise and criticism, and it is quite controversial, because its content involves some privacy of people in the cultural and religious circles of Russian expatriates in Harbin and Shanghai at that time, and also involves the homosexuality of the poet himself, so it has been criticized and criticized. It’s no surprise.
  In addition to his native language, Pereshin is also proficient in Chinese, English, Portuguese, and Spanish. His literary creation and translation have built a bridge for cultural exchanges among various ethnic groups, so he enjoys a high international reputation and is known as the first Russian diaspora poet. Excellent representative of the wave, the most outstanding poet in South America. He has contributed to the communication and exchange of national cultures with his works. Therefore, he is not only an outstanding poet, an outstanding translator, but also a respectable messenger of folk culture.
  On November 7, 1992, the poet died of illness in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The poet has only lived in Russia for a short period of seven years, but his childhood impression will be unforgettable; he has lived in China for thirty-two years from the age of seven to thirty-nine years old. The most beautiful years of youth are all related to China. It was natural for him to be fascinated by it; he had lived in Brazil for forty years and already knew that this hustle and bustle city in the southern hemisphere would be his final destination. However, he has always kept a glimmer of hope in his heart, that is, waiting for the opportunity to return to his motherland Russia, looking for an opportunity to return to China, and visit Harbin, Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou again.
  In the mid-1970s, Pereshin wrote a poem entitled “In 2040” to express his wish. He believes that by 2040, he will come back from the dead, come out of the grave, and return to Russia, and he believes that Moscow will publish the “Perelishin Poems”. The lines are intertwined with sadness and joy, vision and confidence. In fact, Russian newspapers and magazines began to publish Pereshin’s poems in the late 1980s, and in the 1990s, his translations were also published or published one after another. It should be said that the date of the poet’s return to the motherland was much earlier than he expected.
  Entering the 21st century, the Russian poetic circle recognized Pereshin as the best poet among the Russian diaspora poets. On the contrary, we Chinese readers still lack understanding of him and are quite unfamiliar with him. As a lover and translator of Pereshin’s poetry, I would like to introduce the poet’s life and poetry works here, so as to comfort me that I still miss China until I die, long to return to China, and regard China as a “second hometown” “The soul of poetry.

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