Esoteric, you betcha! Here’s the brief but positive review of our translation of Alfred Raquez’s Au Pays des Pagodes from the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Hong Kong….
In the Land of Pagodas: A Classic Account of Travel in Hong Kong, Macao,
Shanghai, Hubei, Hunan and Guizhou by Alfred Raquez edited and
translated by William L. Gibson and Paul Bruthiaux
Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2017, 530 pages with 5 maps and 56 b/w
illustrations. HB ISBN: 978-87-7694-201-4, US$90; PB ISBN: 978-87-
(Reviewed by Colin Day)
This translation published by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies is
provided with a substantial introduction that tells us the material in the book
was originally published serially in 1898-99 in L’Echo de Chine: Journal des
Intérêts Français en Extrème-Orient, a weekly newspaper published in Shanghai.
It also tells us that the author using the pseudonym ‘Alfred Raquez’ was in
fact Joseph Gervais, a bankrupt, reprobate lawyer with a warrant out for his
arrest, who had fled France for the Far East in March 1898. Perhaps, with
such an author, one should not be surprised to find the writing lively and
Briefly, Raquez/Gervais travelled widely in China, as the subtitle of
his book suggests, and wrote daily reports that tell of his experiences and
more valuably convey his detailed observations of life and customs wherever
he went. His writing on Macao, for example, provides both a colourful
description of the city and its buildings and also of the people that he saw as
he travelled around. Then in the very next report he shifts gears and provides
a prosaic but useful report on the industries of Macao. This is thus both an
enjoyable travel narrative and a useful source of information on China at the
end of the nineteenth century.
Bookish.asia has given our translation of Alfred Raquez’s book In the Land of Pagodas a stirling review (this same reviewer also gave us our first review on Amazon which got us 5 stars)!
We are very pleased that Raquez’s travels through China at the turn of the century are gaining a wider audience thanks to our efforts.
Check it out the Bookish.asia review here: http://bookish.asia/land-pagodas-%E2%80%A2-alfred-raquez/
Buy our book here: http://www.niaspress.dk/books/land-pagodas
Check out this excerpt from In the Land of Pagodas published in NeeHao magazine. It features a great section from our translation of Alfred Raquez’s first book: his description of a sumptuous dinner on a flower boat in Canton in 1898.
Then buy the book here: http://www.niaspress.dk/books/land-pagodas
Here’s nice a interview with myself and Paul about our translation of Alfred Raquez’s first book, In the Land of Pagodas.
Check out the interview here in English: https://china-underground.com/2017/04/13/curious-case-mr-alfred-raquez-parisian-fugitive-run-far-east/
Thanks to the good folks over at China Underground for their awesome support!!
You can feel us penetrating the Great Wall here: http://china-underground.com/2017/04/03/in-the-land-of-the-pagodas/
It’s a cool newswebsite in English about Chinese topics that don’t have to do with Xi, trade, Trump, or the South China Sea, so click around once you get there.
My pal and fellow Monsoon Books author Rosie Milne runs a nifty blog called Asian Books and she was kind enough to post this puff piece about my scholarly translation with Paul Bruthiaux of Alfred Raquez’s travelogue In the Land of Pagodas which was recently published by NIAS Press.
Check it out and support Rosie’s blog…then buy a copy and support me!
After a brief delay, NIAS Press is now pressing print on our translation of Alfred Raquez’s first book, In the Land of Pagodas, his travel account through China in 1898/99.
NIAS did a beautiful job putting this book together. It looks gorgeous! It will be available from 29 February.
You can learn more and pre-order your copy here: http://www.niaspress.dk/books/land-pagodas
Paul and I are already well into our translation of Raquez’s second book, Pages Laotiennes, an account of his trip through Laos in 1899/1900. That should be in print in about a year.