Made my way to Phnom Penh during the holidays to do some work in the National Archives. I found some exciting material that I will share in another post, but here are some other Raquez spottings….
In the Land of Pagodas on the shelf at Monument Books!
It was exciting and humbling to find our translation of In the Land of Pagodas on the shelf at the iconic Monument bookstore. Read a review of it in the South China Morning Post.
It’s also available on Amazon and direct from the publisher, NIAS Press.
At an art-store for tourists near the National Museum, I spotted this framed photo….
It’s Raquez’s postcard of the Laotian performer Sao Si, which was for sale at the 1906 Colonial Exposition in Marseille, where he brought her to perform.
The art-store downloaded a hi-res copy, printed it on canvas, then framed it. They were asking a whopping US$40 for the picture!
Good to see that Raquez’s photography is still scintillating, provoking, and selling…and in a town he used to frequent.
More on Raquez in Phnom Penh in coming posts….
Meanwhile, keep your eyes peeled and your wallets open for the impending release of our translation of Laotian Pages…
A positive and perceptive new review for our translation of Alfred Raquez’s In the Land of Pagodas has been published at NewBooks Asia. Check it out here: https://newbooks.asia/review/faces-unknown
“The quality of the translation is excellent and includes an abundance of well-researched footnotes as well, which certainly facilitate the understanding of Raquez’s French references, making it easier for the reader to follow the rich, but at times confusing, narration without major difficulties.”
Buy our book here http://www.niaspress.dk/books/land-pagodas
Awhile back, the website China Underground interviewed Paul and myself about our translation of In the Land of Pagodas (find it here: https://drgblogsupreme.wordpress.com/2017/04/17/interview-with-wlg-and-pb-on-china-underground/
Now the good folks at China Undergound have included that interview in their new digital magazine, which can be downloaded here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/14UfbS2wQ813BG87G0UPtkAr2FR0lQ9oU/view
Get it, dig it, feel it…then buy the book!
Another fantastic review of In the Land of Pagodas…this one from at the Asian Review of Books.
Buy the book here: http://www.niaspress.dk/books/land-pagodas
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.
“Gibson and Bruthiaux have renovated Au Pays des Pagodes with detailed then-and-now research and addictive footnotes that often outshine the author’s original text.”
“As the co-editors dissect the “Raquez” text, they turn his readable fin-de-siècle memoir into In the Land of Pagodas – a fascinating steampunk travel blog that reveals much about the French community in China, and how Raquez reinvented himself in it.”
“In the Land of Pagodas is an impressive academic update and required reading for anyone with a connection to China.”
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