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

Manipulation and Construction: Cultural Translation in Hawkes’s the Story of the Stone

Author ZhangJing
Tutor ZhangYingXian
School Central South University
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords manipulation cultural construction translator’s subjectivity cultural features cultural translation strategies
CLC I046
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
Downloads 204
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Susan Bassnett, a famous English translation theorist, thinks that on one hand, translation is manipulation, and all translations, whatever their intention, reflect a certain ideology and a poetics and as such manipulation literature to function in a given society in a given way, this is called the though of "manipulation"; on the other hand, translation can help in the evolution of a literature and a society. Translation call introduce new concepts, new genres, new devices and the history of translation is the history also of literary innovation, of the shaping power of one culture upon another, this is named the thought of "cultural construction", all are the core of her cultural translation theories.Based on the theories and taking the English version of Hawkes’s The Story of the Stone as a research object, the thesis describes and explains how the thoughts of manipulation and cultural construction are realized in English translations of cultural information of social culture and material culture in this version.By analyzing the activities in the process of Hawkes’ translating Hong Lou Meng and the cultural information in The Story of the Stone, the thesis proves that the thoughts of "manipulation" and "culture construction" are influential on translation literature. On one hand, culture can exert manipulation powers or forces on translation and a translator may not only be manipulated but also have an anti-manipulating force. There exist various manipulative forces or powers in translation practice, and they are, primarily, ideology, patronage, and poetics. These forces or powers decide to a great extent such issues as what to translate, how to translate and so on. Translator’s subjectivity has power on translation. During the process of Hawkes’ translation, the powers of ideology, poetics and patronage always accompanied him because his selecting Hong Lou Meng was decided by the ideology of the English society to understand a different culture of Chinese; adopting the strategy of domestication was influenced by the poetics at that time to let the English readers "seem to read English books in reading foreign literature"; and the patronage of Penguin House and Hawkes himself also led to manipulation. Moreover, manipulation and translator’s subjectivity appeared almost simultaneously in Hawkes’s translation activities because his subjectivity came up all the time during the period from selecting Gao’e’s script as the original text, understanding the tremendous typical Chinese cultural information till using translation strategy of domestication; all these choices and decision are made by Hawkes’s himself and are embodiments of translator’s subjectivity. On the other hand, translation plays an important role in constructing the target culture, for it could not only create image of the original text in readers’ mind, but also is a medium of transmitting cultural information and a tool of renewal or reform of cultural forms from the original to the target culture. Translation can promote the formation and development of a certain literary form of the target culture and manipulate a particular community to construct its culture. Therefore, the thoughts of "manipulation" and "culture construction" are important to the study of the nature of translation and it is necessary to emphasize on both of them in translation studies.In order to show the characteristics of source-language culture, to reflect the foreign culture and carry out "culture construction", translation strategies of cultural translation should be adopted. In translating Hong Lou Meng, Hawkes applies five strategies of go-ahead, block, annotation, integration and adaptation. Before the analysis of the strategies, the cultural differences between English and Chinese in Hong Lou Meng and The Story of the Stone have been studied in this paper. The different values, different religious beliefs, different expressions with rhetoric devices and different geographical environment will influence or manipulate translators in selecting the cultural translation strategies. Through analysis, it is clear that the five cultural translation strategies adopted in The Story of the Stone show the efforts and determination of Hawkes in constructing a literal form or making some renewal for foreign culture in the target culture.Besides introduction and conclusion, the thesis consists of four chapters. Chapter one starts with the introduction of Bassnett’s theory of manipulation and cultural construction. Chapter two introduces the cultural information in Hong Lou Meng. Chapter three explains the manipulation and cultural construction during Hawkes’s translation in The Story of the Stone. Chapter four represents the translation strategies in construction of cultural features in Hawkes’s The Story of the Stone

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