A Revised Print Version of Taiwan's 400 Year History Is in the Works
A revised print version of the English version of Su Beng’s book, Taiwan’s 400 Year History is in the works. I’ve been wrestling with editing it, mainly because I decided to extend the timeline that appears at the end of the book from 1986 (the year it was published) to early 2016.
Turns out I grossly underestimated the research and work involved in adding 30 years to the timeline. The timeline might end up being three times as long as the original one! Now that I’ve added 30 years onto the timeline, it’s been hard for me to be objective about what to cut.
My thinking is that having a more current and comprehensive timeline could be a selling point for the book, and serve to introduce new readers to Su Beng and his work.
For the past year I’ve been working on and off on editing the English version of Su Beng’s book. The book, which was published in 1986, is now out of print. However, the company that published the Chinese language version of Su Beng’s book 台灣人四百年史 (The Taiwanese People’s 400 years of history) has agreed to put out the revised English version in print.
Before I started another edit of the main manuscript for the print version, I thought it would be a good idea to update the timeline of events that appears at the end of the book. A lot has happened in the 30 plus years that have passed since 1986- martial law was lifted, Taiwan had its first direct presidential election, there have been numerous social movements and Taiwan transitioned from authoritarianism to democracy.
In editing the timeline I decided two things: 1) Aside from minor copyediting issues, I would not make any major changes to the existing timeline (from 1947 to 1986), 2) The timeline would be extended up to the election of Dr. Tsai Ing-wen in 2016. I kept the starting point of the timeline at February of 1947.
The timeline will be done by Su Beng’s birthday on November 9.
I do hope that one day there will be a more comprehensive translation of the Chinese language version of Su Beng’s book. The current English version of Su Beng’s book is extremely abridged at 150 pages compared to the 2000 pages of the Chinese language version.
To learn more about my project to document the life of the Taiwanese revolutionary Su Beng, visit www.aboutsubeng.com.