I was planning to read a paper on Plath's reception (and mis-reading) in China, and this is a book cover I would like to illustrate. The poetry book is entitled Haizi (and) Luo Yihe Work, which was published in 1991 in Nanjing. Haizi was a graduate from Peking University, a poet, born on March 26, 1964, and committed suicide on the same day at his 25 birthday in 1989 by lying on a railroad. His suicide is the most celebrated suicide and he is now a poet martyr.
He had nothing to do Plath, but when this book was published, with his friend Luo Yihe who died from heart attack three months after Haizi's death, the book cover related them to Plath in a strange way. On the back cover, there are two lines of words, with the author's country and name, which literally reads:
death is an art, poet's death
actually equals to poet's rebirth.
-----[US] Sylvia Plath
As there is no distinction between "dying" and "death" in Chinese translation (and there is no distinction between singular and plural forms of "poet" here), the first half line should be a "faithful" translation from Plath, but no one knows how come there are the following one and a half lines. Still, these two lines were once quite popular and much quoted.
In terms of "dying," misquotes include "suicide is an art," and the story goes that Plath was fascinated by "suicide" that she did it ten times. Ten, of course, is another misreading of "I have done it again. One year in every ten."
Her (and Hughes) publication in Chinese includes The Bell Jar (three versions already in the Mainland and one in Taiwan) and Anne Stevenson's Bitter Fame, Hughes's Birthday Letters (with quite a few notes from his sister, probably on the condition of copyright arrangement).
There is not a Plath poetry book in Chinese, and about forty poems have appeared in official publications (books and magazines with ISBN).
Fan indicated that later this summer Plath's poems - translated into Chinese - will be published in two or three issues of a privately published and circulated magazine. This includes all the poems in 1961, 1962 and 1963 section in her Collected Poems (except for Three Women).
He also told me about a book which talks much about Sylvia Plath's influence on contemporary Chinese women poetry:
Zhang, Jeanne Hong. The Invention of a Discourse: Women's Poetry from Contemporary China. Leiden: CNWS Publication. 2004. pp.304 (ISBN 978-90-5789-096-3). This book is perhaps the first and only one that focuses on Sylvia Plath's influence on Chinese women's poetry. Copies can be found at libraries throughout the US and internationally. From my perspective it is so refreshing - and important - to know that Plath has made an impact outside of English speakers.