Unfortunately, we have been making slow progress, far slower than we envisaged.
We had chosen last year, after rapidly transforming two of Bill's dictionairies (No27 Myths and and No28 Allusions) into Ebooks, that a play would be suitable addition to the offerings. In December 2015 we opted to work on the No29 translation of, 'Lasting-life Palace-hall by Hung Sheng (1654-1705)'.
Not soon after, we found more than a few issues which have impeded our progress considerably. We found that the necessary (latest) word files were missing, digitally lost forever, and we neither had the correct software or fonts to read the Chinese charachters in the rescued older files. We also found out that this particular volume contained many errors (style, spelling and grammar), included numerous question marks and self-queries, which leads us to beleive that this particular volume, despite being published, was still a work in progress.
However, our determination is that the 95% of the book that was complete is an extremely worthwhile publication in its own right and that through our own research and correction we can transform what we have into an excellent translation. We are therefore persevering but at the current rate it will be a few more months before we can present this as a finished product.
Thanks for your patience and understanding: we are working hard behind the scenes and ensuring that the kind donations are being put to good use.
We have checked previous translatiions in the 'Chinese Culture Series' and note that these are considered 'complete' and without the errors found in this particular volume. Therefore, the going should be easier.
We are also pleased to report on our excellent progress of donation of Bill's books to various libraries aroound the world. Over Christmas 2015 and until today we have, with the very kind assitance of Dr. Xiaohuan Zhao, Senior Lecturer in Chinese Literature at the University of Sydney, to donate near-whole sets to various libraries in China, Australia and Hong Kong. The current list of libraries who have received donations follow:
1. Cambridge, Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
2. Edinburgh University, Main Library, East Asian Studies
3. Leeds University, Brotherton Library
4. University of Oxford, Bodleian China Centre and Korean Collections
5. Nanjing University School of Liberal Arts
6. Peking University, Overseas Sinologist Research and Learning Base
7. Royal Shakespeare Company
8. Institute of Theatrical Relics, Shanxi Normal University
9. Sun Yat-sen University, Chinese Hall
10. University of Sydney, Fisher Library
11. University of Washington, East Asian Library
12. Shanxi Normal University
13. SOAS, University of London
And we are still working on Lingnan University Library in Hong Kong, the National Library Board, Singapore (Asian Collection), the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the University of Melbourne, Australia. It is though a lengthy task, not in physically sending the books, but in locating the correct people to talk to. Most of our query emails go unanswered, our letters vanish into the ether and the months are rapidly becoming years. However, with the fantastic assitance that we have so far received, we remain hopeful that the word will spread. And, as long as we have the print books to donate, we will persevere in our task of distributing them.
Of course, any persons with connections at universities or libraries who maybe interested in receiving a selection of Bill's publications then please do get in touch with us.
From us, please have a great Easter.
Ieuan Dolby and Wu Chin Ling