Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Translation

A Study on Translation from the Perspective of Ecocriticism

Author SunXiaoPeng
Tutor RenHuaiPing
School Shandong University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Ecocriticism translation The Old Man and the Sea ecological thoughts
CLC H315.9
Type Master's thesis
Year 2012
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Nowadays, ecological crisis is the most serious global problem tormenting human beings. It poses a major threat to the human civilization, and as a result, human beings need to establish a new cognition of the relationship between man and nature and to evaluate their culture and life style. In the evaluation, various scholars propose their opinions about the essence of the problem and the possible solutions. Among them, literary critics are particularly active and conduct researches to remedy the situation. Ecocriticism is the achievement of their researches."As a kind of theoretical paradigm of literature, Ecocriticism explores literature and literary texts from a special angel to inquire into the life style of mankind and the development model of civilization based on the pulse of the times of development of literature."1An object of the study is the philosophical thought about ecology in literary creation; anti-anthropocentrism is placed at the first position in order to construct a harmonious co-existence pattern between man and nature; besides, natural ecology, social ecology and spiritual ecology are also contents involved in ecological criticism. Furthermore, appraisal method variety, interdiscipline and openness are the features of Ecocriticism. It is a literary critical theory. Scholars have reviewed literary works from the ecological point of view, but they rarely combine the ecology with translatology or put the ecological criticism into practice in translation studies.The thesis is a study of translation from the perspective of Ecocriticism with a comparative study on the two versions of Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. It is a new theoretical model which makes a thorough inquiry into its application only in literary translation and explicates the effect of ecological awareness on the translation quality. Ecological criticism requires that a translator should be guided by the ecological thoughts through the whole translation process to avoid mistranslation. At the same time, the translator should correct the anti-ecological consciousness in the source text, thus promoting the construction and development of ecological culture. Ernest Hemingway is an outstanding novelist in American modern history. His novella—The Old Man and the Sea received welcomes from readers and helped him achieve a prominent position in world literature, for he had won the Pulitzer Prize in1953and the Nobel Prize for Literature in1954. Over the past decades, experts and scholars at home and abroad have showed their positive attitude towards Hemingway’s works. In spite of many remarks about the "Iceberg principle","code hero" and "tragic sense" emerged in systematic studies, there is little analysis conducted in terms of ecological criticism. Under the background of ecological crisis, deeply mining the ecological wisdom and nature as the central theme of his writing meets the requirement of the times and corresponds with his writing characteristics. With these reasons, the author carries out the research by way of ecological criticism to guide the practice. In this thesis, the author tries to probe into the natural ecology and spiritual ecology involved in the work:nature is always the central theme of Hemingway’s creation and he is good at describing the nature and the harmonious relations between man and nature. In The Old Man and the Sea. he depicts the hard fishing process of the old fisherman—Santiago by means of reality. Fishes and birds are his company on the ocean and the old man calls them his brothers and friends. It shows us a close relationship between man and nature. The old man has communication with others in his own ways which is a unity between man and nature as well. The analysis above is a revelation of the ecological thoughts implied in the work. Hemingway did it either intentionally or unintentionally, which serves as a basis for the comparison of the two Chinese versions of The Old Man and the Sea. Thus it not only enriches the study on Hemingway and his works, but also widens the application of this theory—Ecocriticism.In this thesis, a comparison is made with the two Chinese versions of The Old Man and the Sea as a case study. The author makes a thorough inquiry about the underlying reason for the difference in the translation quality, namely, the translator’s ecological thoughts. Two Chinese translation versions of The Old Man and the Sea are involved in the study:Yu Guangzhong’s version and Wu Lao’s version. The former is not as good as the latter for lackins of guidance of ecological thoughts while translating. Hence, it is necessary to do the research and provide references for the translators in their translating the works of nature writing.

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