Literature and Tradition

September 24, 2019 @ 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Room 211 Stong College, Keele Campus
York University
Jessica Tsui-Yan Li

With Andrew Parkin | Canadian Poet and Professor Emeritus, Chinese University of Hong Kong

There is a centuries old phenomenon in literary history in many cultures, including Chinese culture: folk tales and their characters based in country life have often inspired writers who cater to a more educated and literate audience of townspeople. Craftsmen sometimes depict in folk art elements of the stories that have become classic. In opera and ballet, folk elements often provide a basic plot—Cinderella is one example. In Andrew Parkin’s sequence of poems, “Gourds,” he creates a western poetry drawing on a Chinese folk art – the engraving of dried gourds, the size of billiard balls.

Andrew Parkin emigrated to Canada in 1970 and began publishing poetry and academic books and essays while working to the rank of full professor in the English department at the University of British Columbia. He was appointed to the Chair of English Literature at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1990. Andrew’s poetry collections have been published in Canada, Germany and Hong Kong. He published his first novel, Private Dancers or Responsible Women in 2011, and has finished a second, Bruno’s Secret. The recently completed Third Wave will complete the trilogy. His latest of nine books of poetry is the bilingual English/Chinese Star with a Thousand Moons (Ekstasis Editions, 2018). Andrew was educated in Russian at the Joint Services School for Linguists and at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge.

This event is organized by Jessica Tsui-Yan Li (Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics) with the support of the Chinese Program, Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics; York Centre for Asian Research; and the Graduate Diploma in Comparative Literature.

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