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