Dissertation > Literature > Literary Theory > Literary Creation > Literary Translation

A Study on the Rewriting of the Western Fiction in Lin Shu's Translations

Author LinXuWen
Tutor LouHanSong
School Zhejiang University
Course Ancient Chinese Literature
Keywords Lin Shu’s Translations Rewriting Ethics Cultural Mentality Poetics
CLC I046
Type PhD thesis
Year 2011
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This dissertation presents a comprehensive study of Lin Shu’s Translations from a cultural perspective. It demonstrates how Lin rewrited some of the Western fiction in his translations through detailed textural analyses, and thus explores the underlying causes for Lin’s rewriting and his motives of reproducing the fiction at a culture level. Through the case study of Lin Shu’s Translations, the research aims to investigate the reconstruction of the Western culture in the context of Chinese literature, and Chinese readers’response to the presence of heterogenic cultures and their efforts of self-construction confronting the Western impact. Moreover, the study is also to provide new insights into the multiple perceptions of the historical truth in the late Ch’ing Dynasty and the early period of the Republic of China.This study consists of six chapters, demonstrating that Lin’s rewriting was mostly constrained by political ideas, ethics, cultural mentality, cultural script and language.Chapter One shows how Lin’s political ideas and positions affected his translations. Lin Shu expressed his earnest national concerns in the translations, depicted a blueprint for the nation’s reconstruction, called on the transformation of Chinese national characteristics and offered political perceptions of the Western fiction.Chapter Two investigates how Lin’s ethical criteria and moral concepts intervened the translations. Lin interpreted the Western fiction in light of Confucian ethics, portrayed "ideal" female images and also represented his privileged masculine point of view. In terms of his attitude towards love, Lin sympathized with the natural affections, emphasized the priority of ritual, and was propone to the suppression of passion in his translation.Chapter Three explores the manipulation of cultural mentality in translations. Lin imposed upon the teachings of Buddhist, the thoughts of Taoism and secular retributive ideas to distort the Christians’beliefs embodied in the Western fiction. Lin also stereotyped the foreign female characters with the typical images of women in Chinese cultural traditions, such as dangerous beauties and grumbling women. Due to the differences of mindset between the Western and Chinese cultures, the sensational register of the original texts got transformed in Lin’s translations.Chapter Four discusses how poetics influences the translations. Trying to bridge Chinese and Western literary traditions, Lin made considerable adaptations in his translations in line with the criteria of adequacy and acceptability. Chapter Five and Six analyze the constraints of cultural script and language and how they influenced Lin’s translations respectively.

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