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

A Study on Eileen Chang’s Feminist Consciousness Within the Framework of Feminist Translation Theory

Author YinQiuYan
Tutor ZhangYingXian
School Central South University
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords feminism consciousness gender intervene Eileen Chang’s translation
CLC I046
Type Master's thesis
Year 2010
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In the eighth decade of the last century translation study experienced its second turn in history, the Culture Turn. This turn brought people out of the limitation of bilingual transmission and started to concern about the political, social and historical culture essence in translation activities. With the flourishing development of feminism in the western countries, feminism took the gender issue as the breakthrough point and put its antenna into the field of language and culture, thus impelling the birth of feminist translation theory.Feminism was introduced to China in 1980s. But it was not until 2000 that some scholars started to pay attention to the influence of feminism on translation. On the one hand, China has never experienced the real independent women’s liberation movement like the western countries. Women’s liberation in China is the by-product of social revolution, just a symbol of fighting against feudal ideology. On the other hand, faithfulness has deeply rooted in Chinese translation actively as western feminist translators. Faithfulness is still the uttermost principle for them to follow. Their resistance to the patriarchy in the original is quite mild. Eileen Chang is one of the most famous female writers in Chinese literature history. However, few people know today that she was also a translator. The Old Man and the Sea and many of her own works (Jin Suoji and Yuannv). Though abundant researches have been done on Eileen Chang’s writings, such as novels and essays, from different perspectives, little has been done on her translations. This thesis is devoted a tentative exploration of Chang’s feminist consciousness in translation by applying the feminist translation theory. The achievements of Eileen Chang’s translation are shielded by her literary creation talents compared with western radical feminist translation theory. Chang’s feminist translation is based on the "Female Subjectivity". Western feminist translation theory is a product of the alliance between feminism and translation studies. As a branch of it, feminist translation emphasizes on how feminist translators use language as a manipulative tool to intervene in the creation of meaning in the target culture.According to Flotow, the strategies usually used by feminist translators are prefacing and footnoting, supplementing and "hijacking" The translation of Chang’s own writings, namely "The Rouge of North" "The Old man and the Sea", " "The Golden Cangue", will be deeply analyzed in this thesis on the basis of feminist translation theories. Chang’s translations are intended in the free female subjectivity. That she retranslated her works, Golden Cangue and The Rouge of the North, is a struggle to gain female subjectivity.In chapter one, there is a brief introduction of midwifery feminist translation theories by feminism, which influences the feminist translation theories, devoting to apply the theory deconstruction to the examination of the feminist translation theory.Chapter two is the major part. The main discussion is the birth of Chang’s feminist consciousness and ideas, the thought and operation of the translation policies. There is a detailed introduction that Chang revised the feminist translation concepts from the translation of her works to the effect that Chang is an incomplete feminist who is different from western feminists. Here an analysis on female subjectivity of the translation is stressed. It is, in a great extent, connected with the theory of the western feminist translators. This thesis tries to disclose the female subjectivity strategies in Chang’s translations, by contrasting both the English and Chinese versions, illustrating the instances of the translator’s "female subjectivity"Chapter Three provides a detailed analysis of "Jinsuo Ji" and its revision/translations of The Golden Cangue; "Yuannv" and The Rouge of the North so that it can achieve understanding of the feminist consciousness in Eileen Chang’s translations of her works. According to Flotow, the translation strategies, prefacing and footnoting, supplementing and "hijacking" are used by feminist translators, from which Eileen Chang’s translation works are analyzed. She used these strategies in the translation process to express her feminist consciousness.The importance and influence of the feminist translation theories to be further researched in a summary will be presented in the last chapter.

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