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Liebe im neuen Jahrtausend

Can Xue │ Karin Betz

Liebe im neuen Jahrtausend, Photo: Silke Briel / HKW

Jury’s comment

This book is the strangest there’s been to read in a long while – something like a long car ride in the fog, where new characters keep getting on and off without any fuss, accompanied by ghosts and demons. The people cannot free themselves from thoughts about their feelings and wander around helplessly, without a hint of despair. Their perplexity is their normality. The immoral seems to become an issue – but is it still immoral when all standards are blurred in the fog? Here in the West, the work, written by hand in a daily ritual, will be read as an attack on the conventions of psychological middle-class literature – in the East, perhaps also as an attempt to evade state norms in an elegant dance of veils. The author is obviously as knowledgeable of Western literary history as she is of Eastern. Her book is exceptional. Thanks to Karin Betz’s powerful translation, we can now read it, too.

– Robin Detje

Can Xue, © private

Author: Can Xue

Can Xue’s family fell victim to the Cultural Revolution and she was not allowed to attend school after her primary education. Inspired by her father, she studied Western and Russian literature. She is considered one of the most important authors of the present day and was the only woman in the Chinese avant-garde literature scene to establish herself far beyond the country’s borders. Can Xue moved to Beijing in 2001.

Karin Betz, © Barbara Neeb

Translator: Karin Betz

Karin Betz is a cultural mediator, editor, moderator and DJ. She translates Chinese and English literature by authors such as Liao Yiwu, Liu Cixin, Liu Xiaobo and Mo Yan.