“When I first came to Shanghai two years ago, I didn’t find a very visible English-language literary community,” says Juli Min, the editor of the Shanghai Literary Review, “so I wanted to create that space.” Twice a year, her journal publishes poetry, fiction, essays, book reviews, and translations, along with an assortment of visual art. Its pieces run the gamut from an essay by Zou Jingzhi, the playwright and screenwriter known for The Grandmaster, to an interview with Eleanor Goodman, the acclaimed translator of Chinese poetry, to paintings by artists who are still at university. It’s become a beacon for creators from around the world, a community both within each printed volume and in the Shanghai bars and cafés where it holds events. This spring has been a flurry of activity: issue no. 3 will come out in June, while a special volume about Chinese cities, titled Concrete, hits the press at the end of May.
“两年前我第一次来到上海，我找不到任何英语的文学团体，所以我就想自己创立一个。”《上海文艺评论》编辑 Juli Min 说道。这本杂志每年出版两期，内容包括诗歌、小说、散文、书评、译文，以及各种视觉艺术。杂志的内容题材广泛，既有《一代宗师》的编剧邹静之的散文作品，也有著名中文诗词译者顾爱玲（Eleanor Goodman）的访谈，甚至能看到还在念大学的年轻艺术家的画作。现在，《上海文艺评论》已经成为全球创意工作者的一盏明灯，它不将自己局限于纸本杂志上，还在上海各处的酒吧和咖啡馆举办活动。今年春季，对杂志来说格外忙碌：第三期杂志将于6月份发行；以中国城市为主题的特刊《Concrete》(《混凝土》)，也将于5月底发行。
Of course, you can’t create a community by yourself, and Min has had some help. In late 2016 she founded the Shanghai Literary Review with fellow writers Kenny Ong, Ryan Thorpe, and Mike Fu, and over the last year and a half the journal’s masthead has grown to four more editors—Alex Gobin, Brian Haman, Colum Murphy, Nina Powles, and Fuping Shao—and a rotating cohort of assistants and interns. Together they organize poetry readings, open mics, book clubs, author talks, and an array of events that draw both expats and locals. They regularly collaborate with kindred organizations like Literary Shanghai (a separate group with a similar name) or the storytelling collective Unravel. In April they teamed up with Spittoon, a literary magazine from Beijing, to organize a music and poetry soirée called “Spit-tunes.”
当然，单靠一个人的力量要打造这样一个群体是不可能的， Min 也是如此。2016年末，她与作家好友 Kenny Ong、Ryan Thorpe 以及 Mike Fu 一起创办《上海文艺评论》，经历一年半的时间，杂志目前又多了五名编辑 Alex Gobin、Brian Haman、Colum Murphy、Nina Powles、以及 Fuping Shao，以及一个助理和实习生团队。他们在一起组织诗歌阅读、开放麦 (open mics) 、读书俱乐部、作者会谈，以及吸引到众多外籍和当地文学爱好者的活动。他们也经常与类似组织合作，譬如文艺上海（名称相似的文学组织）、或是 Unravel（每月会定期举办故事分享会的团体）。四月份，他们与来自北京的文学杂志《Spittoon》合作，组织了一个叫做 “Spit-tunes” 的音乐诗歌活动。
Despite the name, the journal isn’t just about Shanghai: its stories and art look far beyond the city, its contributors come from around the world, and its editors are scattered across China, the US, and the UK. Nor does the journal aspire to speak for the city or its readers. “We’ve never fooled ourselves into thinking that we were the voice of Shanghai or representative of China’s literary scene,” clarifies Min. “Our magazine is an English-language magazine, for an English-reading audience. We also don’t think of ourselves as representing expat writers per se, in that we don’t privilege expat voices or stories when selecting works.” Instead, the title is an attempt to create a cosmopolitan space for artists from around the world, particularly those based in Asia.
The Shanghai they claim is both a real city, with its daily rhythms and its grit and glamour, and an imagined space of dislocation and convergence, where people may spend years living side-by-side and never meet. In its small way, the Shanghai Literary Review provides a space for global lives and stories to be shared.
虽然名为《上海文艺评论》，但杂志本身的地域性绝对超越这座城市。编辑遍布中国、美国和英国各地，其中收录的故事和艺术、和作者群也来自世界各地。况且，为上海及所在的读者发言，也并非杂志本身的意图。“我们从未认为自己是在替上海发声，或是代表中国文学界。” Min 说，“我们是一本英文杂志，目标是英文读者。但同样地，我们也不认为自己代表外国作家，因为我们在选择作品的时候不会特别偏向外国作家的作品。” 相反的，之所以取这个杂志名，只是试图为来自世界各地的艺术家，特别是那些位于亚洲的艺术家创造一个世界性的空间。
他们所说的 “上海” 既是指现实中的这座城市，一座快节奏、充满毅力和魅力的城市；也是一个人来人往的想象空间，人们共同生活在这里却从未打过照面，彼此不断错过、相遇、再错过。《上海文艺评论》提供了一个平台，为的是把人们聚集起来，分享这些来自世界各地的生活与故事。
Min and her colleagues have now shepherded two issues to print, and two more are on the way. As soon as she started the first one, she was hooked. “I just love the whole process—reading, editing, layout, proofing,” she says. “It’s a lot of work, but I love seeing text and art come together into something physical, collectible, something you can give to a loved one, something that brings joy. After we did issue one, I couldn’t get enough. I wanted to do more—I had an insatiable appetite to produce.”
That appetite led Min and her colleagues to put together a special volume between issues two and three. Concrete, which comes out at the end of May, centers on China’s cities. “I worked on the book together with Alex, our Visual Editor. We settled on the idea of lyric essays paired with photography,” she recalls. “Memoir and photography both capture reality as well as distort it, and we thought that these two forms would work well in conversation.” The result is a distinctly literary and artistic view on China’s breakneck urbanization.
这种 “贪得无厌”，让 Min 和团队决定在杂志的第二期和第三期之间推出一个特刊——那就是将在五月底发行、以中国城市为主题的《Concrete》。“我和视觉编辑 Alex 一起商量如何制作这期特刊。我们最后决定采用抒情散文搭配摄影作品的作法。” 她回忆道，“回忆录和摄影，既能捕捉现实也能扭曲事实，所以我们觉得这两种形式的对话会挺不错的。” 最终的成果就是这本以文学与艺术角度，去讲述中国快速城市化进程的杂志。
Even with the narrow theme, the texts take a range of approaches. “The pieces are incredibly diverse in style, subject, voice, and I’m really proud to have them all,” says Min. “One of my favorites is ‘The Bureaucrats’ Daughters,’ by Lynn Zhao. She writes about her and her friends’ childhoods growing up on Beijing’s Wanshou Road as daughters of high-level Party officials. Though Zhao is a young writer, there’s a great sense of nostalgia that pervades her writing.” That young writers can find a welcome in the journal speaks to its inclusiveness—and its cosmopolitanism.
即使只讲述单一个主题，但杂志内的文字仍然展现出极其丰富的创作方式。Min 说：“这些作品在风格、主题、语调方面非常多样化，我真的很自豪能将它们全部呈现出来。我最喜欢的作品之一是 Lynn Zhao 的《The Bureaucrats’ Daughters》（《官场的女儿》）。作者讲述了自己作为高官党员的女儿和其他同样身份的朋友，发生在北京万寿路的童年故事。虽然 Zhao 还很年轻，但她写作的字里行间弥漫着浓厚的怀旧情绪。” 一本杂志能够欢迎如此年轻的作家，恰恰印证了它的包容性及其世界主义。
The Shanghai Literary Review is cosmopolitan in the best sense of the word: it brings together voices from around the world, both established and novice, and its events are open to all. And with activities spanning at least three continents, it’s hard to keep up with. Concrete will launch in Shanghai on May 31, at an event the journal is putting on with local storytelling group Unravel, while issue 3 comes out in June. The summer and fall will see more events in Shanghai, New York, and London. “What we wanted to do was build a literary community and stay connected to the global literary world,” says Min. By any measure, they’ve succeeded.
《上海文艺评论》很好地诠释了 “世界性” 一词: 它汇集了来自世界各地的声音，其中有些是早有建树的艺术家，有些是刚刚崭露头角的新人。它所举办的活动向所有人开放，足迹遍布三大洲，范围之广很难让人跟上他们的脚步。《Concrete》将于5月31日在上海发行，在杂志与上海故事分享组织 Unravel 合作举办的活动中推出。第三期《上海文艺评论》也将于6月发行。夏秋之际，杂志还将在上海、纽约和伦敦举办更多活动。“我们想要做的是建立一个文学团体，一个与全球文学世界保持联系的社团。” Min 说。无论如何，他们都成功了。
Concrete is now available for pre-purchase on the Neocha Shop.
- Year of Publication: 2018
- Pages: 164
- Size: 17cm x 24cm
- 尺寸： 17 x 24 厘米
Event: Lost in Translation: A Storytelling Collaboration with Unravel and the Shanghai Literary Review
Date: Thursday, May 31, 2018
Time: 6:30 PM
Ticket: Advance tickets are available for purchase here.
Block 24, 1F-103
1262 West Yan’an Road (near Panyu Road)
Changning District, Shanghai
People’s Republic of China
活动: Lost in Translation: A Storytelling Collaboration with Unravel and the Shanghai Literary Review