A Book Cover Archive
(for Chinese Fiction)
In late 2019 as I found myself back in Portugal after a decade away, and having just spent a few years reading a lot of (mostly Chinese) fiction translated to English, I become fascinated with finding out which ones of these works get translated to Portuguese. Of the few works that were translated, the cover design was so different than anything I had encountered so far.
Was this the same in other countries? Could this add anything to our understanding of how this literature is received abroad and to publishing practices?
Unable to break free from the curse of an education in graphic design, keen to find a place where 'research' (whatever that means?) can be conducted outside of an unaffordable post-graduate degree, and knowing that there is little (perhaps none?) research that specifically looks at modern Chinese literature from a cover-design perspective... CFBCA was born.
It stands for Chinese Fiction Book Cover Archive, and it does what it says on the tin.
CFBCA is an online, open access archive of book covers of Chinese language fiction published after 1911 and that have been translated to at least one other language. It aims to gather in one place the publishing information and cover design of fiction works which fall under the general umbrella of “Modern Chinese Literature”.
I designed it, coded it, and maintain it. Kia very kindly provided the typeface.
There are a number of features that need to be added, and its usefulness will rely on receiving contributions from as many people as possible (Do you have some Chinese literature books at home? Do you have access to a scanner? Would you like to contribute? I'd like that). It is very much a work in progress.