Heteroglossia, Liminality, and Literary Translation

Bo LI*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsBook ChapterResearchpeer-review


Recent scholarship has seen burgeoning interest in Bakhtinian theory’s connection to translation studies. For instance, Amith Kumar has explored the theoretical extensions and connotations of Bakhtin’s philosophical writing in relation to translation studies in order to conclude that “a Bakhtinian approach will prove to be a major step towards achieving a new theoretical perspective for an understanding of the intricacies that make translation an extremely complicated endeavor. ” Similarly, Bo Li, the first Chinese scholar to bring Bakhtinian studies and translation studies together, deploys Bakhtin’s terminology in order to illuminate some of the problems intrinsic to literary translation through interdisciplinary fertilization. Among Bakthin’s major concepts, heteroglossia has been especially popular with scholars of literature, cultural studies, and translation studies. Literary scenarios in many contexts challenge our stereotyped conceptualization of translation as the transference of one linguistic code into another. Diaspora writing in particular brings to the fore the juxtaposition of linguistic varieties, dialect, idiolect, eye-dialect, diglossia, code-switching, code-switching, code-mixing, creole, and so on. Heteroglossia in literary texts contributes to the construction of the work's liminality, while diaspora writing itself is the result of liminal writing. This chapter aims to investigate how the concepts of heteroglossia, liminality, and literary translation are interconnected with reference to the Chinese translation of Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book by the much -acclaimed Chinese American writer Maxine H. Kingston.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Art of Translation in Light of Bakhtin’s Re-accentuation
EditorsSlav GRATCHEV, Margarita MARINOVA
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
ISBN (Electronic)9781501390241, 9781501390258, 9781501390265
ISBN (Print)9781501390234
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


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