文学院学术讲座：Translations of Western and Chinese Classics in Socialist Hungary
Pater Hajdu (1966, Budapest, Hungary) studies Literature, Greek and Latin at the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary, and wrote his dissertation on late Roman epic poetry. He is academic advisor at the Institute for Literary Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, also professor at Shanghai Jiao Tang University, and editor-in-chief of Neohelicon, a major international journal on comparative literature studies. Member of advisory boards of four international journals on literary studies (Proudy, Czech Republic; Frontiers of Narrative Studies, Germany; Recherche Litteraire/Literary Research, Belgium, Primerjalna književnost, Slovenia). He did extensive research in the fields of comparative literature, theory of literature, and classical philology. From 2002 to 2009 he was a member of the International Comparative Literature Association's (ICLA) Research Committee for East- and South-East Europe, 2008-2014 he was member of the standing research committee for literary theory, and 2010-16 member of the ICLA Executive Council. 2002-2012 secretary, since 2016 president of Hungarian Comparative Literature Association. He lectured at various universities in Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, PR China, and Japan. He has published 6 books and more than 130 papers.
The Socialist period seems to have been the golden age of literary translation in Hungary. Due to the communist Enlightenment program of cultivating the masses, many state owned publishers with great resources undertook the publication of foreign high culture. On the other hand, translation was a relatively well paid and politically harmless job. There are similarities between the fate of Roman and Chinese classics: both became eventually tasks of academic scholars. With western classics this occupation did not happen without harsh debates. The 4+1 classical Chinese novelshad various success. Jin Ping Mei was a tremendous success, but it was published in an abridged translation made from German. A great sinologist translated both Water Margin and The Journey to the West in the 1960s, then he stopped translating literature. Only an 5 % fragment of Romance of the Three Kingdoms appeared in Hungarian. Business oriented, private property publishers seem to be less interested in investing in long, classical texts. Some of the old translations are re-published, but less frequently.