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Oriental Other: The Business of Translating Classical Chinese Culture by Dr. Qian Jun
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Topic:  Oriental Other: The Business of Translating Classical Chinese Culture by Dr. Qian Jun
posted itemPosted - 26/09/2003 :  18:10:27
Qian Jun

Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics



Dr. Qian Jun

City University of Hong Kong

Oriental Other: The Business of Translating Classical Chinese Culture

Time: 4:30 - 6:00 pm

Date: 13th October 2003 (Monday)

Venue: B7603 (CTL Multi-purpose Room), City University of Hong Kong


During a major part of the twentieth century, to the Western world and the world at large, the most well-known Chinese writer/intellectual was Lin Yutang. In a sense, Lin's success was a powerful attestation to the cosmopolitan triumph. Few seem to disagree that Lin's greatest contribution lies in his introduction and translation of Chinese culture to the world. But I will argue that Lin's literary practices during his American years offer a most interesting case for cross-cultural study as they raise many questions which must be addressed in the historical context of Chinese-American cross-cultural interpenetration. To travel from a cosmopolitan writer in Shanghai to a cosmopolitan writer in New York, is that path as smooth as it appears? What kind of role does a Chinese cosmopolitan assume, once transplanted to the Western world, in translating his native culture? What is the mode and strategy of such cross-cultural translation and what are the effects to the target culture? Aided by empirical data ---- correspondences between Lin and his publisher/friend Richard Walsh, I will examine the strategy and effects of Lin Yutang's cross-cultural translation of classical Chinese culture in relation to the problem of the cosmopolitan identity he assumed as the cross-cultural agent. This is a chapter of a book manuscript in progress.

About the Speaker

Dr. Qian Jun received his PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Berkeley. He was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at Barnard College, and had been Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at Hamilton College before he joined City University of Hong Kong in 2000.
Enquiries: 2788-8705

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Enquiry: LTenquiry@cityu.edu.hk