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Shanghai publisher pushes Monkey King business at Frankfurt Book Fair
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15:47, August 13, 2009

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A classic Chinese fairy tale translated into English is to be one of China's central works at this year's Frankfurt International Book Fair, in Germany.

Monkey Subdues White-Skeleton Demon, a tale known throughout China, debuted at the week-long Shanghai Book Fair 2009, which opened Thursday in Shanghai and is the largest book fair in China.

Li Xin, president of Shanghai People's Fine Arts Publishing House, the book's publisher, told Xinhua Thursday, the book was a reworking of the 1960s version with pictures by leading Chinese illustrators Zhao Hongben and Qian Xiaodai.

The color illustrations followed a traditional painting style in the depictions of the magical Sun Wukong, or Monkey King.

However, the original translation failed to reach a large foreign audience at the time, because it was a propaganda vehicle for the ideologies of the "Cultural Revolution" (1966-1976).

In the original English version, Monkey King was portrayed as a revolutionary fighter and White-Skeleton Demon represented the reactionaries, said Kang Jian, editor-in-chief of the publishing house.

To make the book more accessible to foreign readers, foreign editors at Shanghai Daily, a Shanghai-based English newspaper, edited the new translation, and some of China's most prestigious translators proofread it, Kang said.

The new English version is a fairy tale in its strictest sense and free from any propaganda, Kang said.

"We hope the foreign readers will find themselves fascinated by the magic of Sun Wukong who speaks good English," said Li, president of the publishing house.

The publishing house was planning Japanese and Vietnamese versions of the book, said Li.

China, as this year's Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt fair, had sent 7,600 books, including 100 "pillar" works as of Aug. 5, according to the General Administration of Press and Publications.

The Frankfurt International Book Fair runs from Oct. 10 to 14.

Source: Xinhua

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