Exhibition: Mislay Me Not, Forget Me Not: David Hawkes and The Story of the Stone. Sinologist and Translator, the Man and the Book

Date & Time
2023/10/06 to 2024/03/15

Professor David Hawkes (1923–2009) was a renowned British Sinologist, celebrated for his scholarship and creative ingenuity, and highly regarded for his masterful translations of Chinese literature.  Without doubt Hawkes’ most significant achievement as a translator was The Story of the Stone, a work to which he devoted himself fully, even resigning from the post of Professor of Chinese in Oxford in 1971 in order to focus on the project. The first 80 chapters of The Story of the Stone was published in three volumes in 1973, 1977 and 1980 respectively. His other major translation works such as The Songs of the South and A Little Primer of Tu Fu are also authoritative study and translations which demonstrate the highest standard of scholarship but also the highest standard for the art of translation.

After his death, as his Literary Executor, Professor John Minford donated Hawkes’ papers to the Chinese University of Hong Kong Library, as the basis of a Hawkes Archive in 2011. The priceless original manuscript of his Stone translation had been bought many years earlier by the Research Centre for Translation joined the Archive in 2013. With their extraordinary attention to textual and physical detail, this manuscript and the accompanying Translator’s Notebook provide a unique documentation of the working method of one of the finest literary translators of our time.

It is most fitting that the CUHK Library has chosen the 100th anniversary of Hawkes’ birth and the 60th anniversary of the University to bring before the public a selection of items from its rich and growing Archive, in an exhibition which showcases the strong connection between Professor Hawkes and the city. Exhibition talks will be held during the exhibition period. Please click here for more information about the talks.

Exhibition period:  6 October 2023 – 15 March 2024
Venue:     Exhibition Area, University Library, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Organizers:        The Chinese University of Hong Kong Library and Research Centre for Translation, The Chinese University of Hong Kong


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