Taiwan's literary "new wave" takes a stance on the contemporary world
A history professor and a young intellectual trapped in a quiet and insipid existence, are consumed by loneliness, despite the presence, real or fantasized, of those around them, and try to find an escape from the sluggishness of their daily lives through typing on their computers. Who is the character and who the writer? Or are they both one and the same, one being who invents a double life? Like Pluto, expelled in 2006 from the list of the nine planets of the solar system, identity, history, and memory are constantly rewritten, discarded or questioned. In this first daring novel where memories and imagination merge, Huang Chong-kai brings together several levels of reality. Through the novel's subtle narrative architecture, full of detours, backtracking and deviations, he takes us on a poetic journey where what counts is not so much the story or the novelist who tells it as the path that he travels. Critically acclaimed upon its release in Taiwan in 2012, a simplified Chinese version was then published in China in 2013.
Book: "Encore plus loin que Pluton", by Huang Chong-Kai, published by L’Asiathèque
"... In this novel, the true and the false merge as the main character, whose name we do not even know, builds and destroys his memories. He confuses reality and phantasies while seeking to fill his emotional void, through his identity mistakes ... "
Encore plus loin que Pluton
“...Encore plus loin que Pluton as an existentialist questioning through a fiction / reality whose writing sometimes makes and sometimes undoes the framework. (...) the author's avatars are mutually written without excluding each other, combine their existences between past, present and future, between alternative or parallel realities, in a game of mirrors where reflective writing invites fear of heights ... "
Encore plus loin que Pluton
"... a completely singular and confusing first novel where the reader can get lost so much the narrative construction is complex, and made up of flashbacks, unless he manages to let himself be lulled by the words, by real or invented memories ... "
Huang Chung-kai was born in 1981 in Yunlin (Taiwan). A history graduate, he is currently editor-in-chief of the literary magazine Nouvelles. He is the author of three novels, two collections of short stories, and several other short stories in journals and magazines. He has already won several literary awards, including the New Young Writer Award from the United Daily newspaper. He is part of the new and rising generation of Taiwanese writers, regularly dealing in his novels with the relationship of Taiwanese youth to globalization. His works, of postmodern inspiration, combine references to popular culture and metafictional literary experiments.
Born in 1987, Gwennaël Gaffric is a lecturer in Chinese studies at Jean Moulin University Lyon 3, where he teaches Chinese language and culture. He is the author of several articles in French, English and Chinese on Chinese-speaking literature (China, Hong Kong and Taiwan). His recent research focuses on contemporary Chinese language science fiction. He is also a translator literary and directs the "Taiwan Fiction" collection at L'Asiathèque.
Lucie Modde is a freelance translator (English and Chinese -> French) since November 2014. Graduated from the professional master's degree in editorial, economic and technical translation (French, Chinese, English) at ESIT, she also followed the literary translation training at the ETL (Paris).
She notably translated:
Chou Fen-ling, « La nuit du repli », in the serie of short novels Formosana - Histoire de démocratie à Taiwan, L'Asiathèque, 2021
Huang Chong-kai, « Un cabiaï », in the serie of short novels Formosana - Histoire de démocratie à Taiwan, L'Asiathèque, 2021
Huang Chong-kai, Encore plus loin que Pluton, L'Asiathèque, 2018
Lao Ma, Tout ça va changer, Philippe Picquier, 2015 Wang Ting-kuo, « La faille », Hors-série n°1, Jentayu, 2016
Mia Yun, Les âmes des enfants endormis, Denoël, 2017 Huang Bei et Philippe Postel (dir.), Lectures chinoises de Victor Segalen, Honoré Champion éditeur, 2017
Tsai Suh-fen, « Le pêcheur », Nouvelles de Taiwan, Magellan & Cie, 2018
Lucie Modde received the 2016 Pierre-François Caillé Prize for Translation for the novel Tout ça va changer.