See and Tell of Things ‘Foreign’ to ‘Native’ Sights: Chinese Translations/Rewritings of Milton and Paradise Lost in the Early Twentieth Century
|Keywords:||翻譯;重寫;彌爾頓;失樂園;中國現代文學;translation;rewriting;John Milton;Paradise Lost;modern Chinese literature||Issue Date:||2006||Abstract:||null
This thesis aims to unravel the complex struggles and interactions of diverse cultural factors, forces, and elements that determined the translations and rewriting of John Milton and Paradise Lost in China in the 1920s and 30s. Based on the view of translation as growth, derivation, and refraction across cultural systems, it attempts to reveal the ways in which Milton and Paradise Lost were portrayed, interpreted, and transformed by the Chinese translators/rewriters in order to meet specific agenda, constraints, and needs of the Chinese literary system at the time of crisis and transformation. In the first chapter, I attempt to illustrate the idea of translation with Paradise Lost as the issue of telling and retelling provide an insight into the problem of translation. I then adopted Even-Zohar’s Polysystem Theory and the systemic approach as the theoretical framework for my investigations on the literary reception of Milton in China.
In the subsequent chapters, I tried to reveal both the diachronic and the synchronic relations established between Milton, Paradise Lost, and the diverse elements of the Chinese literary system as suggested by the numerous translations and rewritings. The second chapter traces the reception of Milton and Paradise Lost from its first occurrence in Chinese texts to 1949—the year when an era of open, unregulated foreign literary inputs ends. It shows the changing positions of Milton and his epic in China, as result of the increasing understanding about the West, shifts of attitudes toward reform, continuous emergences of new issues and concerns, and so forth. The third chapter examines the portrayals of Milton in Chinese rewritings in the 1920s and 30s and the ways in which the rewriters refashioned Milton as an ideal intellectual for the modern intellectuals. It looks at the language the rewriters used in depicting Milton and identifies its connection with traditional and modern criteria for ideal intellectuals. It also analyzes the ways in which the rewriters embellish on certain traits of Milton and interpreted Milton’s ideas out of its 17th-century political context. The fourth chapter analyzes Fu Donghua’s translation of Paradise Lost and the debates about the proper strategies for translating the epic between Fu and his critics. It unravels the complex issues of poetic innovation and the establishment of new verse forms involved in Fu’s translation and his debates with the critics. Finally, the last chapter sums up the significance of this study in the fields of Milton studies, Translation studies, and the study of Modern Chinese literature. It also points to the prospect of subsequent research on the intertextual and intercultural relations between the English, Japanese, and Chinese rewritings of Milton.
Presenting both the diachronic and synchronic pictures of Milton in China, this thesis is expected to be more than another case study of Descriptive Translation Studies with the systemic approach. With its historical and textual analyses on the reception of Milton in China, it contributed to the understanding of Milton’s influences in non-European countries—a territory still in need of exploration in Milton Studies. Showing how the issues such as Confucian ideal of scholar-statesman, modern ideal of an intellectual, canonicity, new verse forms, traditional folk literature, foreign genres, and so forth become driving factors in the translations/rewritings of Milton and Paradise Lost, it unravel the diverse relations and potentials the translated literature may have in modern Chinese literature. By so doing, it adds new understanding not only to the functions of translated literature in modern China but also to the development of modern Chinese literature.
|Appears in Collections:||外國語文學系|
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