THE TRANSLATOR， Mr S. S. Liu， who has combined several conspicuous careers in one lifetime， has selected for this Anthology of Chinese Poetry， 101 poems from 47 poets， beginning with Fu Hsuan， in the third century， down to Jennings Wong， in the twentieth. This is a parallel text edition with the Chinese originals on the left-hand page facing the English translations on the right-hand. Concordances to the works of 38 other English translators are given in the Appendix.
Mr John Cairncross， a distinguished poet and skilful translator， who contributed a further seven translations to Professor Liu’s， says in his Foreword.
‘All translators of poetry， it has often been observed， are expected to combine the conflicting desiderata of fidelity and beauty. But the task of the writer who sets out to English the Chinese poets is even more exacting. He must not only produce a work of art in his own language but also devise means of giving his Chinese version a specifically Chinese touch....At first blush， the challenge seems impossible. Yet Mr Shih Shun Liu’s book demonstrates that attention to rhythm and euphony need not exclude faithfulness to the Chinese nor a specifically Chinese atmosphere.’
1900年出生於湖南湘鄉，十二歲時進入清華園，修業八年，二十歲 （1920）赴美，在五年時間內，以優異成績先後在約翰。霍普金斯大學，密西根大學，哈佛大學，和哥倫比亞大學獲得學士，碩士和博士學位。隨即回國在母校擔任教職，1926年赴南京開始了他的外交生涯，1942年被任命為國民政府首任駐加拿大公使，一年後又被任命為首任駐加拿大全權大使， 在任期內，廢除了兩國之間的不平等條約。隨後被任命為駐聯合國和墨西哥的大使職，到1956年辭職後脫離政壇，在二十多年的退休生涯中，潛心于翻譯工作，先後將《唐宋八大家文選》、《中詩選輯》、《中詩續輯》，諷刺小說《二十年目睹怪現狀》，陳立夫的《四書道貫》，以及《四書》等譯成英文，並撰寫了《出使加拿大回憶》。後人曾讚譽他是清華學人中典型的政學雙棲者。他於1996年病逝世於美國加州庫勃狄諾鎮。
About the Translator
In 1900，Liu Shih-shun was born in Xiang-xiang， Hunan， and was admitted to Qinghua College at the age of 12 where he studied for eight years. He went to the United States by the age of 20 in 1920， and obtained a Bachelor， Masters， and Doctorate degree within five years， at John Hopkins University Michigan University， Harvard University and Columbia University respectively. He returned to China as soon as he completed his studies in 1925， and took up a teaching position at his alma mater. But by 1926， he began his diplomatic career in Nanjing， and in 1942， Dr.Liu was appointed the First Minister-Chancellor representing the Republic of China in Canada. A year later he was formerly appointed as the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Canada for China， and during his term， he abolished the Unequal Treaty with Canada. Dr.Liu was later appointed as Ambassador to the United Nations and eventually to Mexico where he served his final posting in 1956. Over the 20-year course of his post-diplomatic life， he dedicated his time to the translations of the Chinese Classics， including the “Chinese Classical Prose – The Eight Masters of the T’ang-Sung Period”； “One Hundred and One Chinese Poems”； “One Hundred and One More Chinese Poems”； the sarcastic novel “Vignettes from the Late Ch’ing”； “The Confucian Way” by Chen Li-fu； and “English Translation of the Four Books”. He also wrote， in Chinese， “Memoirs of an Ambassador to Canada”. Scholars and politicians alike later praised him as a true dual model of a Qinghua politician and scholar. Dr.Liu passed away of natural causes in Cupertino，California， United States， in 1996.
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