OBITUARY

Patrick Dewes Hanan

January 4, 1927April 26, 2014

Patrick Hanan of Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Chinese Literature, Emeritus, at Harvard University, passed away peacefully on April 26, 2014. He is the author of The Chinese Short Story, The Chinese Vernacular Story (a history of the genre), Essays on Chinese fiction of the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries, and The Invention of Li Yu, and the translator of many works of Chinese traditional fiction including The Carnal Prayer Mat and The Sea of Regret. Mirage, his latest translation of Chinese fiction, was published earlier this year by the Chinese University of Hong Kong Press.

As his colleagues and ex-graduate students will attest, his scholarship was extraordinary in its breadth, its focus, and its attention to the details of a culture very different from his own. Equally extraordinary, as many of his students have expressed, was his unique ability to nurture and encourage would-be successors to grow and learn with him. Clearly all who worked alongside him and under his tutelage had great respect for his vast knowledge of, and enthusiasm for his chosen field. These same people expressed great sadness at the loss of a fine gentleman and a kind and gentle mentor.

Professor Hanan was born on January 4th, 1927 in Morrinsville, New Zealand. At the age of five his father retired from dentistry and moved the family to a farm near Omahu in the Waikato. His first education came in a nearby one-room school house that he reached by horseback. The family soon learned their young son needed a broader education than local schools could provide and sent him as a boarder to the Dilworth School in Auckland. Apart from the routine scrapes young boys often find themselves involved in, young Hanan thrived in this environment and went on to study English at Auckland University.

Leaving New Zealand for ever broader challenges, Professor Hanan travelled to England and worked a series of short-term jobs such as teaching illiterate prisoners and making ice cream before returning to school to learn Chinese at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Languages (SOAS). While a struggling student, he met and married Anneliese Drube in 1951 and one year later they celebrated the birth of their son, Guy. After completing his degree in 1953, he began teaching at SOAS and simultaneously beginning his doctoral program there. While on sabbatical during the 1957-58 school years, he was fortunate enough to spend more than six months in Beijing at a time when China was closed to all but a few Western scholars.

He received his doctorate from SOAS in 1961 and a few months later he was contacted by Donald Shively for a six-month visiting appointment at Stanford University in California. After vigorously touring the state thinking the family would return to England after six months, he was pleased to be offered a full-time position as a member of the Stanford faculty in 1963. By 1968 Donald Shively had relocated to Harvard and once again recruited Professor Hanan for Harvard where he worked until his retirement at age 70 in 1997. During that period he held a number of positions including department chair and Director of the YenChing Library.

With retirement came time and freedom. Professor Hanan immediately returned to research and translation. He was exceptionally good at identifying century old and more modern Chinese novels deserving translation into English, ones that would make valuable contributions towards the understanding of Chinese society. In his later years he was able to complete and publish numerous works before ill health began to slow him down in 2013. In 2005 he travelled to New Zealand to accept an OBE for his services to higher education. In 2011 he celebrated his 60th wedding anniversary with Anneliese and several family members and friends. Toward the end he would talk warmly about his early years on a farm in New Zealand and as a student, almost without regard to how far away he had travelled.

Professor Hanan is survived by his wife and son and daughter-in-law and three grandchildren.

REMEMBERING

Patrick Dewes Hanan

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Catherine Swatek

June 24, 2014

I did not have many opportunities to speak with Professor Hanan, but had a pleasant conversation with him during a tour of the new library at the University of Chicago, on the occasion of a symposium marking David Roy's completion of his translation of Jin Ping Mei. We spoke about his translation of Fengyue meng (Courtesans and Opium) and teaching it to undergraduates. His books and articles, especially the studies of the vernacular short story, have been a mainstay for me and also for my students. More recently I have enjoyed his translations of late Qing fiction, which he took up largely after retiring. My sympathy to his family.

Guy Hanan

May 28, 2014

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the University of Auckland, at http://www.nycharities.org/donate/c_donate.asp?CharityCode=3649.

Tim Feldman

May 22, 2014

What a lovely biography of what clearly must have been a fascinating and remarkable man. My thoughts and heart go out to Guy and the entire Hanan family at this difficult time.

guy hanan

May 14, 2014





Memorial Service for Patrick Dewes Hanan


Please join us for a Memorial Service to honor and share memories of our much-loved husband, father, grandfather, friend and colleague, Patrick Hanan, on Saturday, May 24, 2014. The service will be held at the Swedenborg Chapel, 50 Quincy Street, in Cambridge, MA, at 1:30 pm.

Please join Anne Hanan and her family for a light dinner, at 5:00 pm, at Belmont Manor, 34 Agassiz Ave, Belmont, MA. Ask the concierge to be directed to the Trellis Room.





Directions from Swedenborg Chapel to Belmont Manor

Take Brattle St , Belmont St and Trapelo Rd to Moraine St in Belmont. Turn left onto Moraine St. Take the first right onto Agassiz Ave.

Guy Hanan

May 14, 2014

Patrick Hanan of Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Chinese Literature, Emeritus, at Harvard University, passed away peacefully on April 26, 2014. He is the author of The Chinese Short Story, The Chinese Vernacular Story (a history of the genre), Essays on Chinese fiction of the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries, and The Invention of Li Yu, and the translator of many works of Chinese traditional fiction including The Carnal Prayer Mat and The Sea of Regret. Mirage, his latest translation of Chinese fiction, was published earlier this year by the Chinese University of Hong Kong Press.

As his colleagues and ex-graduate students will attest, his scholarship was extraordinary in its breadth, its focus, and its attention to the details of a culture very different from his own. Equally extraordinary, as many of his students have expressed, was his unique ability to nurture and encourage would-be successors to grow and learn with him. Clearly all who worked alongside him and under his tutelage had great respect for his vast knowledge of, and enthusiasm for his chosen field. These same people expressed great sadness at the loss of a fine gentleman and a kind and gentle mentor.

Professor Hanan was born on January 4th, 1927 in Morrinsville, New Zealand. At the age of five his father retired from dentistry and moved the family to a farm near Omahu in the Waikato. His first education came in a nearby one-room school house that he reached by horseback. The family soon learned their young son needed a broader education than local schools could provide and sent him as a boarder to the Dilworth School in Auckland. Apart from the routine scrapes young boys often find themselves involved in, young Hanan thrived in this environment and went on to study English at Auckland University.

Leaving New Zealand for ever broader challenges, Professor Hanan travelled to England and worked a series of short-term jobs such as teaching illiterate prisoners and making ice cream before returning to school to learn Chinese at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Languages (SOAS). While a struggling student, he met and married Anneliese Drube in 1951 and one year later they celebrated the birth of their son, Guy. After completing his degree in 1953, he began teaching at SOAS and simultaneously beginning his doctoral program there. While on sabbatical during the 1957-58 school years, he was fortunate enough to spend more than six months in Beijing at a time when China was closed to all but a few Western scholars.

He received his doctorate from SOAS in 1961 and a few months later he was contacted by Donald Shively for a six-month visiting appointment at Stanford University in California. After vigorously touring the state thinking the family would return to England after six months, he was pleased to be offered a full-time position as a member of the Stanford faculty in 1963. By 1968 Donald Shively had relocated to Harvard and once again recruited Professor Hanan for Harvard where he worked until his retirement at age 70 in 1997. During that period he held a number of positions including department chair and Director of the Yen-ching Library.

With retirement came time and freedom. Professor Hanan immediately returned to research and translation. He was exceptionally good at identifying century old and more modern Chinese novels deserving translation into English, ones that would make valuable contributions towards the understanding of Chinese society. In his later years he was able to complete and publish numerous works before ill health began to slow him down in 2013. In 2005 he travelled to New Zealand to accept an OBE for his services to higher education. In 2011 he celebrated his 60th wedding anniversary with Anneliese and several family members and friends. Toward the end he would talk warmly about his early years on a farm in New Zealand and as a student, almost without regard to how far away he had travelled.

Professor Hanan is survived by his wife and son and daughter-in-law and three grandchildren.

Jeffrey Kinkley

May 7, 2014

Patrick Hanan has inspired generations of scholars of Chinese literature. In the 1970s he even taught classical Chinese to some of us at the elementary level. One of the texts he presented was the one about the farmer who saw a rabbit run into a stump and knock itself out. The silly farmer decided to keep on watching that stump, in case another rabbit just might come by and accidentally offer himself up to the farmer. I'm afraid that for us to watch the Chinese and literary studies professions, waiting for another Patrick Hanan to come by (and indeed "knock himself out" for us), is to expect the same sort of miracle. He will be missed.

Douglas St.George

May 5, 2014

Pat Hanan was the second-youngest of a family of six, he grew up on a New Zealand dairy farm and attended Dilworth School in Auckland. While he became a scholar on the world stage, he was always a much-loved "Uncle Pat," to a big group of my generation. A humble and gentle man, he was always interested in what we were doing, and on visits back to N.Z., was as happy sitting on the floor and talking with our children, as with the adults.
The thoughts and prayers of their N.Z. family go out to Anne, to Guy and Iris, and to the grandchildren, whom sadly we have never met.
Douglas St.George, New Zealand.

Kenny NG

May 1, 2014

In early 2000 when I was studying at Harvard I had a chance of consulting Professor Hanan on my conference paper about the late Qing translations of Edward Bellamy. Already a retired professor, Professor Hanan was never short of visitors and admirers lining up outside his 'office'. Later I made a couple of visits and talks with him during my study. His generosity and refined scholarly demeanor has been fondly remembered.

April 30, 2014

As a scholar and as friend and colleague, Pat Hanan will be sorely missed. His good cheer and support are irreplaceable.

Robert E. Hegel, Washington University, St. Louis