Liberal versions : late Qing approaches to translating Aesop's fables

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

    Abstract

    In the late Qing period, from the Opium War to the 1911 revolution, China absorbed the initial impact of Western arms, manufactures, science and culture, in that order. This volume of essays deals with the reception of Western literature, on the evidence of translations made. Having to overcome Chinese assumptions of cultural superiority, the perception that the West had a literature worth notice grew only gradually. It was not until the very end of the 19th century that a translation of a Western novel (La dame aux camélias) achieved popular acclaim. But this opened the floodgates: in the first decade of the 20th century, more translated fiction was published than original fiction. The core essays in this collection deal with aspects of this influx according to division of territory. Some take key works (e.g. Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Byron’s “The Isles of Greece”), some sample genres (science fiction, detective fiction, fables, political novels), the common attention being to the adjustments made by translators to suit the prevailing aesthetic, cultural and social norms, and/or the current needs and preoccupations of the receiving public. A broad overview of translation activities is given in the introduction. To present the subject in its true guise, that of a major cultural shift, supporting papers are included to fill in the background and to describe some of the effects of this foreign invasion on native literature. A rounded picture emerges that will be intelligible to readers who have no specialized knowledge of China.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationTranslation and creation : readings of western literature in early modern China, 1840-1918
    PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Co.
    Pages57-79
    Number of pages23
    ISBN (Print)9781556197093
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 1998

    Fingerprint

    Translating
    Fable
    Aesop
    China
    Fiction
    Detective Fiction
    Translator
    Reader
    Opium War
    Acclaim
    Aesthetics
    Greece
    Superiority
    Invasion
    Novel
    Reception
    Revolution
    Social Norms
    Science Fiction

    Cite this

    CHAN, T. H. L. (1998). Liberal versions : late Qing approaches to translating Aesop's fables. In Translation and creation : readings of western literature in early modern China, 1840-1918 (pp. 57-79). John Benjamins Publishing Co.. https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.25
    CHAN, Tak Hung, Leo. / Liberal versions : late Qing approaches to translating Aesop's fables. Translation and creation : readings of western literature in early modern China, 1840-1918. John Benjamins Publishing Co., 1998. pp. 57-79
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    CHAN, THL 1998, Liberal versions : late Qing approaches to translating Aesop's fables. in Translation and creation : readings of western literature in early modern China, 1840-1918. John Benjamins Publishing Co., pp. 57-79. https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.25

    Liberal versions : late Qing approaches to translating Aesop's fables. / CHAN, Tak Hung, Leo.

    Translation and creation : readings of western literature in early modern China, 1840-1918. John Benjamins Publishing Co., 1998. p. 57-79.

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

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    CHAN THL. Liberal versions : late Qing approaches to translating Aesop's fables. In Translation and creation : readings of western literature in early modern China, 1840-1918. John Benjamins Publishing Co. 1998. p. 57-79 https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.25