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

A Study of the Style of Hu Shi’s Poetry Translation from the Perspective of Poetics Theory

Author HuangYuanJun
Tutor LiaoQiYi
School Sichuan International Studies University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Hu Shi poetry translation style evolution poetics
CLC I046
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Hu Shi pioneered the poetry translation history in China. His poetry translation in vernacular Chinese, which“set the fashion”, opened a way for“the application of vernacular in poetry”, having established an everlasting monument both in the literary and in the translation history of China. An overall view of the style of Hu Shi’s poetry translation tells that before the year 1918 the application of old poetic form and classical Chinese is the main style, whereas after that year the use of free poetic form and vernacular language is dominant. The uniqueness of the style of his poetry translation is also reflected in such three aspects as the theme, narrative pattern and punctuation. The poetry translation with totally different styles during the two periods is a fairly valuable object for this research.The thesis firstly elaborates the concept of poetics in literary field, aiming to supply a reasonable theoretical framework for the description of Hu Shi’s poetry translation. Then, what is discussed is the use of poetics in translation studies, including the prescriptive viewpoints of several former Czechoslovakian scholars and“the manipulation of poetics”in Lefevere’s rewriting theory. Based upon Hu Shi’s poetry translation, the thesis raises further thoughts on the poetics theory in translation studies: namely, translation always conforms to the mature poetics in the target language, but will promote the construction of the new poetics when the evolution of the poetics in the target language occurs and the mature poetic standards are absent, thus different translation strategies will be employed.The emphases of the thesis lie in the description of the style and its evolution of Hu Shi’s poetry translation, and in the exploration of the cause as well. Hu Shi during the first-period poetry translation made the theme, language and form, narrative pattern, punctuation all conform to the poetics of the target language, a manifestation of the poetics’manipulation over the translator. During the second period, Hu Shi fundamentally subverted the translation strategies in dealing with the theme, language and form, narrative pattern, punctuation of the poetry translation. The research discovered that the second-period poetry translation was not produced to conform to the immature poetics’standards in the target language, but to promote the construction of the new modern poetics. When the style evolution of the poetry translation occurred, the poetics in the target language also began to evolve from the tradition to modernity. Obviously the style evolution of the poetry translation is under the control of the poetic characteristics and evolution in the target language.The thesis draws such a conclusion: Hu Shi’s poetry translation is distinctive in the theme, language and form, narrative pattern, punctuation; during the first period the poetry translation conformed to the poetics in the target language; when the poetics’evolution in the target language occurred in the second period, the poetry translation then mainly promoted the construction of the new poetics, thus the poetry translation underwent a fundamental change in style.

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