We are happy to announce the launch of the David Hawkes Archive, jointly established and managed by the University Library System, the Research Centre for Translation and the Department of Translation at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Its main content, a 2,210-page manuscript of Professor David Hawkes' original translation of The Story of the Stone, which was acquired by the RCT in 1997, is now accessible online for all to enjoy. Please visit http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/rct/DavidHawkes.html.
Professor David Hawkes (霍克思, 1923-2009) was a renowned British Sinologist, much celebrated for his scholarship and creative ingenuity and especially his masterful translations of Chinese literature. Many critics consider his version of The Story of the Stone to be one of the first truly successful English renderings of traditional Chinese fiction; it is both scholarly and readable, and retains the poetic and artistic qualities of the original.
The RCT's manuscript of the translation of The Story of the Stone is 2,210 pages long, covering Chapters 2 to 80 of the original text. It was acquired by the RCT in September 1997 and has been preserved carefully by the Centre ever since. In 2013, the RCT decided to place the manuscript in the Special Collections of the CUHK University Library to improve the quality of its conservation. The David Hawkes Archive will be the first collection available through the CUHK Chinese Literature Translation Archive, which is soon to be launched by the Department of Translation and the University Library System in collaboration.
Translation manuscripts often reveal translators' thoughts and emotions. The manuscript of Professor Hawkes' translation of The Story of the Stone enables researchers, scholars, students and lovers of Chinese literature worldwide to experience the challenges faced by Professor Hawkes in the course of his translation, and to pinpoint when, how and why certain translation decisions were made. The manuscript allows readers to witness first-hand the process by which the great Chinese classic gradually came alive in another language.
It is our great hope that access to one of the Centre's greatest treasures will inspire people to follow in Professor Hawkes' footsteps and support our own goal of sharing some of the best Chinese literature with the rest of the world.