Does the narrator get translated into Chinese? The literary-critical approach to the evaluation of translated fiction

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)


An attempt is made to define the literary-critical approach to evaluating translated fiction, first by showing its reverse, the language-oriented approach, and then closely analyzing three instances where it is deployed. Then attention is focused on one problem area and it is seen that shifts on a micro-structural level can create an effect on macro-structural elements, producing changes significant enough to give rise to alternative interpretations of the text. Examples from variant Chinese translations of E. M. Forster's A Passage to India, William Golding's Lord of the Flies, John Fowles's The Collector, and J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, illustrate how the failure to "translate the narrator" belies in fact a failure to tune in to the literary qualities of a fictional text. To translate a novel adequately, not just contextual meaning must be considered, but also "co-textual" or "inter-textual" meaning, the literary significance generated within the text itself. 1 Appendix. Adapted from the source document
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-64
Number of pages19
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998


Cite this