Maggots, Jawbones, and a Multilingual Archive of Decay: An Essay

What has it looked like to translate expletives and curses across languages, and what might we learn from looking closely at an example of a text that tries to do just that? I recently (and very briefly) wrote about this phenomenon in the context of a Qing-era pentaglot dictionary. My thoughts on this text and phenomenon are very much in-progress, but you can find a snapshot of them here in the form of some reflections on the relationship between cursing, materiality, and decay in Qing translation.

(If you’d like to read it and can’t access it through your institution or library, please contact me. I’m trying to be better about archiving my work on this site, so in that spirit I will be posting links to essays, etc. until I’m caught up, and then as they come out.)