1st Edition

Transcultural Poetics Chinese Literature in English Translation

Edited By Yifeng Sun, Dechao Li Copyright 2023

    This book examines many facets of transcultural poetics in the English translation of Chinese literature from 12 different expert contributors.

    Translating Chinese literature into English is a special challenge. There is a pressing need to overcome a slew of obstacles to the understanding and appreciation of Chinese literary works by readers in the English-speaking world. Hitherto only intermittent attempts have been made to theorize and explore the exact role of the translator as a cultural and aesthetic mediator informed by cross-cultural knowledge, awareness, and sensitivity. Given the complexity of literary translation, sophisticated poetics of translation in terms of literary value and aesthetic taste needs to be developed and elaborated more fully from a cross-cultural perspective. It is, therefore, necessary to examine attempts to reconcile the desire for authentic transmission of Chinese culture with the need for cultural mediation and appropriation in terms of the production and reception of texts, subject to the multiplicity of constraints, in order to shed new light on the longstanding conundrum of Chinese-English literary translation by addressing Chinese literature in the multiple contexts of nationalism, cross-cultural hybridity, literary untranslatability, the reception of translation, and also world literature.

    The book will be of great interest to students and scholars of translation studies, Chinese literature, and East Asian studies.

    1. Chinese Text and World Literature

    Yifeng Sun

    2. Chinese Literature in Translation, World Literature as Genre

    Todd Foley

    3. The Translator’s Individual Approach: English Translation of Chinese Poetry

    Audrey Heijns

    4. On the "Clamour of Voices" in Translation Anthologies of Contemporary Chinese Literature

    Xiulu Wang

    5. Repositioning The Injustice to Dou E in a Global Generic Context

    Ersu Ding

    6. Translating Traditional Chinese Opera for the Stage: The Cult of Qing and the English Script of The Peony Pavilion (The Young Lovers’ Edition)

    Wenjing Li

    7. The Silence of Anxiety and Trauma in the English Translation of Selected Stories of Xi Ni Er

    Yi-Chiao Chen

    8. Silenced Interstitiality: Translated Hong Kong literature in English and French anthologies

    Maialen Marin-Lacarta

    9. Cultural Untranslatability of Heteroglossia: Hong Kong Poetry in Colonial Time

    Chris Song

    Chapter 10. Translating Hybrid Texts in Hong Kong: A case study of the English translation of Chan Koon Chung’s Kamdu cha canting

    Dechao Li

    11. "Big Translation" and Cultural Memory: The Construction and Transmission of National Images

    Xuanmin Luo

    12. The Function of Literary and Cultural Communication of English

    Ning Wang


    Yifeng Sun is Chair Professor of Translation Studies at the University of Macau and Editor-in-Chief of Babel: International Journal of Translation. His recent publications include Translational Spaces (2021) and Translating Foreign Otherness (2018).

    Dechao Li is Associate Professor in the Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Translation Quarterly, the official journal of the Hong Kong Translation Society.

    "This is a new and thought-provoking volume on transcultural poetics that focuses on the Chinese>English language pair but should be of interest to all those working in, reading or investigating literary translation, in any context."

    Professor Jeremy Munday, University of Leeds, UK