Even though I’ve lived in this country for many years, I still, naturally, prefer Chinese food. Lydia knew my preference, so she always suggested that we go to a Chinese restaurant, and for quite a few years, our Monday dinner restaurant was the Great Wall – almost exclusively. Several times I suggested that we eat in a restaurant of a Western style, but she would always reply that SHE preferred Chinese food. However, I knew that she was only accommodating me.
We talked about a wide range of topics, including culture, politics, language, literature and, of course – translation. Lydia liked to emphasize the importance of language and literature and said several times that even though our students are not going to work in the area of literature, some amount of literary training is still necessary. She liked to unpack condensed language in difficult texts and I am so grateful that I have benefited so much from those language talks.
Once, when we were stepping out of the restaurant, we looked up to see a bright full moon in the deep blue sky. ‘The Postmodern Moon’, I exclaimed. Lydia was so happy to see the moon and agreed with my description of the moon. Yet later, neither of us had any idea how I could link this moon with postmodernism. There must be some reason, perhaps over the dinner, our topic was postmodernism, or perhaps we talked about some postmodern guys and mentioned deconstruction. There is no way for us to recover that memory. But that is not important. The important thing is that since that night, whenever we saw a bright moon together, we would say to each other “The ‘Postmodern Moon’. Lydia, if by any chance, you now know that ‘something’ that linked that bright moon to postmodernism, I would like one last chance to discuss it.
Thank you, Lydia.”
~ Excepts from a memorial speech given by T&I Professor Zinan Ye