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CIPG Presents New Books at London Book Fair
A launch ceremony and seminar of Six Tragedies of Shakespeare & Dream in Peony Pavilion hosted by China International Publishing Group is held at London Book Fair
Edited by Li Nan 

Fang Zhenghui, Vice President of China International Publishing Group (CIPG) delivers a speech at the  launch ceremony and seminar of Six Tragedies of Shakespeare & Dream in Peony Pavilion, hosted by CIPG and sponsored by its subsidiary Dolphin Books at London Book Fair on April 12

(COURTESY OF CIPG)

On April 12 London time, the launch ceremony and seminar of Six Tragedies of Shakespeare & Dream in Peony Pavilion, hosted by China International Publishing Group (CIPG) and sponsored by its subsidiary Dolphin Books, was held at the London Book Fair.

Ni Jian, the envoy of Chinese Embassy in UK, Fang Zhenghui, Vice President of CIPG, Frances Wood, famous English librarian, sinologue and historian, Rob Shepherd, managing director of Shepherds Sangorski & Sutcliffe and Zaehnsdorf, Andrew McGeachin, managing director of Henry Sotheran Limited, Haiyao Zheng, writer and curator of the Muban Educational Trust, delivered speeches.

"Tang Xianzu was a contemporary of Shakespeare, both of who died in 1616. Next year will be the 400th anniversary of their passing. China and the UK could jointly celebrate the legacy of the two literary giants to promote people-to-people exchanges and deepen mutual understanding," said Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit to London last October.

As a response to Xi's proposal, Dolphin Books hosted the launch ceremony and seminar at the 2016 London Book Fair to commemorate the two immortal literary masters Shakespeare and Tang Xianzu (1550-1616, a famous Chinese dramatist), hoping this activity can help to promote the cultural exchanges between China and UK.

The launch ceremony and seminar of Six Tragedies of Shakespeare & Dream in Peony Pavilion, hosted by CIPG and sponsored by its subsidiary Dolphin Books at London Book Fair on April 12 (COURTESY OF CIPG)

Six Tragedies of Shakespeare includes King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, and Antony and Cleopatra, translated into Chinese according to William Shakespeare: Complete Works published by Royal Shakespeare Company in 2007. The illustrations of Six Tragedies of Shakespeare are selected from the 1881 London edition, and the 1623 first folio edition is appended at the end of books through photoprinting. With gold blocking, the exquisite and elegant covers of this series fully reflect western bookbinding style.

Dream in Peony Pavilion tells about the love story between Du the Belle and Liu the Dreamer of Mume Flower, sings the praises of young people fighting hard for free love, and presents a romantic ideal of seeking individual happiness, calling for the emancipation of personality and opposing feudality. With illustrations selected from the block-printed edition made during the reign of Emperor Wanli of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Dream in Peony Pavilion (Chinese-English Edition) is bound in traditional western style combined with Chinese elements: on the leather cover full of western classical flavor Chinese patterns reflecting the contents of this drama are thermoprinted, which will be easily accepted by foreign readers and at the same time presents the charm of Chinese culture.

Both of this two series are translated by famous Chinese translator Xu Yuanchong. In 2014, Professor Xu claimed "Aurora Borealis" Prize for Outstanding Translation of Fiction Literature, which is one of the highest honors in the international field of translation. He has published more than 100 translation works. His works, Songs of the Immortals — An Anthology of Classical Chinese Poetry was published and distributed by Penguin Books in 1994. As Xu is 95 years old now, he cannot journey so far from Beijing to London. So he specially shot a short video for this activity, in which he spoke glowingly of his original intention of translating and his understanding of Shakespeare and Tang Xianzu. This video was played in the activity.

In the seminar, Frances Wood,Rob Shepherd, Andrew McGeachin, and Zheng Haiyao discussed about the mutual influences of British and Chinese books on each other. Their topics, such as the earliest Chinese books to reach London, the role of fine book production in publishing today, 200 years of bookselling in London, different format of Mo Yan's novel, captured the attention of audience.

Founded in 1986, Dolphin Books is a subsidiary of CIPG and a member unit of Work Committee of Chinese Children's Books. It is the only professional children's publishing house in China which assumes the mission of international communication, specializing in the publication of children's and humanistic education books.

A donation ceremony also took place in the activity. CIPG donated Six Tragedies of Shakespeare, Dream in Peony Pavilion and other books to British Library, Cambridge University Library and SOAS Library to enrich their collections of books.

(China.org.cn April 12, 2016)

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