Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Translation

Manifestation of Translator’s Subjectivity from the Perspective of George Steiner’s Fourfold Translation Motion Theory-A Case Study of Sun’s Chinese Version of Pride and Prejudice

Author SongAiQing
Tutor XinLing
School Central China Normal University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Hermeneutics George Steiner’s Fourfold Translation Motion Sun Zhili translator’s subjectivity
CLC H315.9
Type Master's thesis
Year 2008
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Jane Austen was a great woman writer in the early 19th century England. She had written 6 novels including Pride and Prejudice, Among them, Pride and Prejudice was her most loved novel. Pride and Prejudice has delighted academic and general readers alike with its intricate narrative structure, sparkling prose, and witty dialogues for nearly two hundred years. From as early as the 1950s, Mr. Wang Key’s translated version of Pride and Prejudice has gained much preference from readers. Therefore, any person who attempts to retranslate the novel will face more and greater difficulties. As far as the translation and style are concerned he has to avoid duplicating the former version and to display the characteristics of his own. Otherswise, any translation of the book can not be accepted. Therefore, Sun Zhili, before he began to retranslate, made three demands for himself: the first is to reproduce the content faithfully and accurately; the second is to transfer the artistic quality vividly; third, to ensure that the language goes clearly and smoothly. In consequence, his version aroused a great echo in press and in academic circles as soon as it was published in August, 1990.This thesis will apply the theory of hermeneutics to examine the Sun Zhili’s translation of Pride and Prejudice and to manifest Sun’s subjectivity in his version. Based on the hermeneutic translation theory, the thesis will illustrate the representative of hermeneutics, George Steiner’s, Fourfold Translation Motion, namely, initiative trust, aggression, incorporation and compensation. A translator’s trust in the original book comes first because "All understanding, and the demonstrative statement of understanding which is translation, starts with an act of trust." (Steiner, 1998: 312) This is the representation of a translator’s subjectivity. After the trust comes the translator’s aggression, the "’incursive and extractive’ move of the translator". For the translator "invades, extracts and bring home" the work he translates. (ibid: 314) Steiner’s third move, incorporation, refers to the ST meaning, extracted by the translator in the second movement, and being brought into the TL, which is already full of its own words and meanings. The crucial point Steiner makes is that the importing of the meaning of the foreign text "can potentially dislocate or relocate the whole of the native structure." (ibid: 315) Steiner describes the aggressive appropriation or incorporation of the meaning of the ST as a process that "leaves the original with a dialectically enigmatic residue." (ibid: 316) Although there has been a loss for the ST, the residue is positive. From the above interpretation, we know that George Steiner’s fourfold motion is closely related to the translator’s subjectivity. The author will apply George Steiner’s Fourfold Translation motion to illustrate Sun’s subjectivity reflected in his translation of the novel Pride and Prejudice.Structually, the thesis will be divided into six chapters. Chapter One introduces the topic, Chapter Two gives a general introduction to Pride and Prejudice, and the existing translation of the book, a brief illustration of Jane Austen’s life and work, then some unnecessary related to Sun Zhili and his version of Pride and Prejudice. The visibility and invisibility are carefully studied in Chapter Three. The intrinsic relationship among hermeneutic, George Steiner’s fourfold translation motion and translator’s subjectivity are discussed in this chapter. Chapter Five is the analysis of Sun’s subjectivity reflected in his version of Pride and Prejudice. Under the guidance of George Steiner’s Fourfold Translation Motion Theory, the author will focus on the aspects of Sun’s trust in Pride and Prejudice, Sun’s appropriation of Pride and Prejudice, Sun’s aggression in and compensation for Pride and Prejudice in his translation, which will show Sun’s subjectivity specifically.From the above analysis, this thesis focuses on the translator’s subjectivity systematically will offer referential meaning for the later research.

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