Yesterday you were a scholar, today you’re a thug, tomorrow you’ll be talking in your sleep and turn into a philosopher. Could that really be what life is all about? Could it really be that cell phones won’t come through but airplanes can just strut about in public, scratching brittle skies? Go out, together with the ox, prince of demons, go see that God — a year should be enough for you to learn to be silent, observe, go live in iron-n-clay caves and sob. Winter is coming to an end, you must believe your memories.
You Jump to Another Dream is the first full-length collection of poetry in English from one of China’s breakout experimental writers and musicians. Drawing together work from the early 1990s to the present, this collection presents in full Yan Jun’s distinctive reworking of lyricism against the backdrop of consumerism and globalism. From Beijing, to Shanghai, Taipei, New York, Tokyo and on, his poetry navigates the nodal points of transnational culture, exploring the complexity and disjunctions of the contemporary moment while ‘trapped in the supermarket of language’. His poetry sings in the junctures and disjunctions of the cosmopolitan and the mundane, the limits of emotion and the irrepressible nature of desire with a subtle surrealism and muted and deft humour. Yan Jun is a distinctive new voice on the international scene; the penetrating strangeness of his poetry collapses boundaries and borders, bringing the other, the global and the everyday into intimate proximity.
You Jump to Another Dream is a refreshing breeze of a book, alive with yearning and exuberance, moving in its emotion and care.
— William Lychack
Yan Jun was born in Lanzhou, China where he began writing at age 14. He graduated from Northwest Normal University with a degree in Chinese Literature in 1995. He now lives and works in Beijing, where he has made a name for himself principally as an underground music critic, organizer, producer, and experimental sound artist. His work has been translated into English, German, Dutch, and French. He has published three collections and attended the Rotterdam International Poetry Festival as well as the Berlin International Poetry Festival. You Jump to Another Dream is his first full-length collection in English.
Glenn Stowell (editor & translator) was born in Massachusetts, United States of America. He began studying Chinese at Phillips Academy in Andover and continued through college at Wesleyan University. His first collection of poetry was published in spring 2012.
Yan Jun, You Jump To Another Dream
(With an introduction by editor & translator Glenn Stowell.)
112pp. 2012. ISBN 978 1 922181 00 8
Front cover image: Chen Ping, General, 2007
oil on canvas 182.8 x 152.5 cm (www.chenping.com.au)