#literaryme

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10月1號星期四是整個Induction Week的最後一天,當天系上安排了一個稱作Bloomsbury bonanza的活動,讓我們以小組方式探索Bloomsbury地區的文學地圖,找一個最能夠代表自己的地方,與它合照並以文字或影像作紀錄,我想這應該是總結這一周最好的方式吧。

我和Chloe、Sherry、Linyun和Belinda結伴進行這項活動。我們造訪了George Orwell 1984一書中真理部原型的Senate House和《雙城記》、《孤雛淚》作者Charles Dickens的博物館等地,最終來到學校旁的Waterstone找尋靈感,而在水石書店一樓的旅遊書架上,我找到了最足以代表我的文學景點──一本介紹台北的旅遊書。

身為外國人,即使閱讀過這些來自英國的偉大作品,也永遠無法感受親眼見到的那種震撼,無法以這一景一物為榮;但當我看到那一層擺滿了台灣旅遊書籍的書格時,那一刻真的好驕傲。

我沒辦法和其他同學一樣對英美作家、作品如數家珍,我還搞不清那些盤踞暢銷排行榜的作品來自哪家出版社。相反地,台灣書市、出版業是我最熟悉的環境,或許我的觀察和見解仍在業餘階段,但我想我可能是班上唯一幾個知道在台灣,電子書尚不是個威脅,通路削價競爭才是待解難題的同學吧。

台灣是一個只有兩千三百萬人的小國家,我們的市場不大,但我們有自由、開放的出版環境和蓬勃的翻譯書市場,2015年台北國際書展有來自67個國家的出版社參展,吸引了56萬人次入場參觀(http://ppt.cc/vSn8L),我相信這是一個值得被注意的市場。

扯遠了….總之,Literary Bloomsbury對我而言仍是一片陌生的境域。被歐美作品環繞的台北旅遊書,就像是在倫敦生活的我一樣,期盼在開拓未知之地時,也能維持自己的樣子,隨時準備好被閱讀、被認識。

Last Thursday was the last day of our induction week and there is no better way to end the week than having a Bloomsbury bonanza! We were asked to explore the area’s literary landmarks and find the thing/place that best represents us.

I teamed up with Chloe, Sherry, Linyun and Belinda to do the project. We visited the Senate House, which is the prototype of the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, and Charles Dickens’ Museum on Doughty Street. Finally, we went to Waterstone right across the campus for more inspiration. And this was the place I found my #literaryme worth tweeting about.

I believe that nothing represents me better than a tourist guide of Taipei, where I lived in the past 21 years. As a foreigner, there was an distance I couldn’t explain between me and these buildings or museums even if I have read the great works. I found it hard to feel the thrill and connection when I saw them. By contrast, I couldn’t be more proud when the whole shelf of books about Taiwan came to my eyes.

I may not be able to tell all the European/American names and their works like most my classmates do. And I still have trouble telling the corresponding publishers of the bestsellers here. However, I know quite a lot about Taiwanese book market and its publishing industry. These ideas and knowledge may be amateur, but I am confident that I am one of the few people in the program who knows that e-book is not yet a threat in Taiwan; instead, price war is a bigger issue.

Taiwan is a small country with only 23 million people. Our market is relatively small compared to most European countries. And yet, we have an open publishing environment and we embrace all kinds of translated works from all over the world. In fact, Taipei International Book Exhibition 2015 attracted publishers from 67 countries to participate, and 560 thousand visitors. (http://ppt.cc/vSn8L) I believe it’s a country worth the attention from people in the industry.

(okay, I might be a bit too far from the topic…) Anyway, literary Bloomsbury to me is still an unfamiliar field waiting to be explored. And it is my wish to always remember who I am, where I come from when exploring the unknown. Just like the Taipei tourist guide on the shelf, always get ready to be read, to be known.

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