Mapping the Translator : A Study of Liang Shiqiu book cover
1st Edition

Mapping the Translator
A Study of Liang Shiqiu

ISBN 9781032222912
Published April 14, 2022 by Routledge
216 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

In Mapping the Translator: A Study of Liang Shiqiu, the writer studies Liang Shiqiu (1903–1987), who was not only a famous writer and important critic but also one of the most prominent translators in China in the 20th century, most notably the first Chinese to finish a translation of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.

Based on primary sources, this research covers issues related to the historical, cultural, cognitive and sociological dimensions of translator studies. It investigates Liang’s translation poetics; the influences of possible patrons and professionals on him; the relationship between Liang’s ideology, the dominant ideology and his translation; Liang’s debates with Lu Xun about and beyond translation criteria, and whether there is inconsistency or possible contradiction in Liang’s translation poetics. This book also analyses the similarities and differences between Liang Shiqiu and Wu Mi–two followers of Irving Babbitt–in terms of translation poetics, and further explores the reasons leading to such differences.

This book is targeted at scholars and students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, in the fields of translation studies, Asian studies, Chinese studies, and literary studies.

Table of Contents


List of Figures


Chapter I Introduction

1.1 Liang Shiqiu as a Translator

1.2 "Translator Studies" as an "Emerging Subfield" of Translation Studies

1.3 Chapter Summary

Chapter II Patronage in Liang’s Shakespeare Translation

2.1 Patronage and Translation

2.2 Hu Shi’s Influence on Liang’s Translation of Shakespeare

2.2.1 Hu as the Initiator of Liang’s Translation of Shakespeare

2.2.2 The Consensus between Liang and Hu in Terms of Translation Strategies

2.3 Conclusion

Chapter III The Influence of Irving Babbitt

3.1 Professionals & Translation

3.2 Babbitt’s Influence upon Liang’s Literary Poetics

3.3 Babbitt’s Influence upon Liang’s Selection of Works for Translation

3.4 Conclusion

Chapter IV Liang Shiqiu’s Translation Poetics

4.1 A "Serious" Attitude

4.2 The Function of Translation and the Responsibility of the Translator

4.2.1 The Function of Translation

4.2.2 An "Academic Translation" for the Purpose of "Introduction"

4.2.3 The Invisibility of "Zijia" in Liang’s Translation

4.3 The Criteria of Translation

4.4 An Appropriate Degree of Literalism: The Debate with Lu Xun

4.5 Rethinking Chinese Tradition: Babbitt, a Two-way Mirror

4.6 Conclusion

Chapter V The Performability of Shakespeare

5.1 Liang’s Views on Drama and Stage

5.1.1 The Definition of Drama

5.1.2 The Relationship between Drama and Stage

5.2 Liang’s Translation Methods

5.3 Conclusion

Chapter VI The Translation of Strindberg’s Married

6.1 Introduction to Liang’s Translation of Strindberg’s Married

6.2 The Reasons for Liang’s Choice

6.3 An Analysis of the Themes of the Stories not Translated by Liang

6.4 Conclusion

Chapter VII The Translation of George Orwell’s Animal Farm

7.1 Ideology, Translation and the Use of Pseudonym

7.2 The Similarities and Differences between Li Qichun’s Translation of Animal Farm and Liang’s Version of Shakespeare

7.3 The Translator’s Ideology and the Dominant Ideology

7.4 Conclusion

Chapter VIII The Use of Translations for the War of Words

8.1 The Use of the Works of Rousseau, Sinclair and More for the Debates

8.1.1 Rousseau’s Emile and Sinclair’s Mammonart

8.1.2 Paul Elmer More’s "Property and Law"

8.1.3 The Proletarian Works

8.2 Vyacheslav Polonsky’s "Lenin’s Views of Art and Culture"

8.3 Conclusion

Chapter IX The Differences between Liang Shiqiu and Wu Mi in Terms of Translation Poetics

9.1. Wu Mi’s Translation Poetics

9.1.1 The Definition and Purpose of Translation

9.1.2 The Relationship between Translation and Imitation

9.1.3 The Selection of Materials for Translation

9.1.4 The Criteria of Translation

9.1.5 The Method of Translation

9.2 Irving Babbitt’s Influence on Wu Mi

9.3 A Summary on Wu’s Translation Poetics

9.4 The Reasons for the Differences between Liang and Wu in Terms of Literary and Translation Poetics

Chapter X General Conclusion



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Liping Bai is an assistant professor at the Department of Translation of Lingnan University. His research papers appear in international journals including Across Languages and Cultures, Archiv Orientální/Oriental Archive, Babel, Perspectives, The Translator, Neohelicon, Humanitas, Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies, and Translation Quarterly. He is also interested in practical translation and has published a number of translations between Chinese and English.


'Based on detailed analysis of first-hand research materials, this is a solid and reliable work on Liang Shiqiu, one of the greatest translators in modern China.'

Prof. Serena Jin, Emeritus Professor of Translation, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

'Bai Liping's learned and eminently scholarly study of Liang demonstrates that he was strongly influenced by Irving Babbitt. One of the many merits of this book is its firm and yet subtle grasp of Babbitt, whose work has been too often misunderstood by admirers as well as critics in China and the United States.'

Professor Claes Ryn, author of Will Imagination and Reason: Babbitt, Croce and the Problem of Reality and America the Virtuous: The Crisis of Democracy and the Quest for Empire