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Famous translator's works published

    A collection of work by Shanghai translator Fu Lei has been published to mark the 110th anniversary of his birth.

    Fu is renowned for translations of French writers, including Romain Rolland, Balzac and Voltaire, in a unique style which captures the literary spirit of their work rather than being a direct translation.

    “Compilation of Fu Lei’s Writings and Translations” is in 26 volumes, containing a whopping 7.5 million words.

    It covers 36 translated books and 26 translated articles, such as Balzac’s masterpiece “The Human Comedy” and Rolland’s “The Life of Michael Angelo.” Fu’s translation of Rolland’s “Jean Christophe” series is still popular today.

    “It cost Fu the most in translating works of Balzac and Rolland, and the two writers became influential in China due to his translations,” said Cao Jian, general manager of Shanghai Yuandong Press, the compilation’s publisher.

    Also included are Fu’s book “Twenty Lectures on World Masterpieces of Art,” political articles and letters to family and friends. The letters include those written to his elder son, the renowned pianist Fu Cong, from 1954 to 1966.

    Fu tells his son to remain rational and humble, and not to be blinded by success. One of the most widely-circulated lines was: “If an innocent heart feels lonely, it will create a new world.”

    The line was used when his two sons buried their parents’ ashes at Shanghai Fushou Garden cemetery in 2013, 47 years after they had committed suicide.

    The compilation made its debut in the Pudong New Area’s Zhoupu Town, where Fu grew up.

    It took Fu’s second son Fu Min, Yuandong Press and Pudong Fu Lei Foundation six years to complete.

    Meanwhile, an exhibition displaying Fu’s handwritten translations and letters has opened at the Zhoupu Art Gallery.

    “Large amounts of his handwriting in the 1960s are showcased, including his famous family letters, and some items are being seen in public for the first time,” said Wang Shuhua, director of the Pudong Fu Lei Cultural Research Center.

    Fu studied art and literature in Paris between 1928 and 1931. He began translating in the 1940s.

    For his outstanding translations of Balzac’s novels, he became a member of the Society for the Study of Balzac in France in the 1960s.