Translation as Rewriting: A Descriptive Study of Wang Jizhen’s Two Adapted Translations of Hongloumeng

Jin QIU, Daodan Qu, Fenggang Du

Abstract


Applying André Lefevere’s theory of rewriting to a descriptive study of the two adapted translations of Hongloumeng by Wang Jizhen published respectively in 1929 and 1958, this paper attempts to investigate the effects the dominant ideology and poetics in a given society at a given time have on the translator’s choice of strategies in the translation process. A diachronic study of the two adapted versions of Hongloumeng as rewritings shows that most of the time the translator has to submissively adapt to the ideological and poetical power structures at different periods of time, yet it is possible for the translator to actively subvert the constraints. However, a comparison of Wang’s translations with the two complete versions of Hongloumeng indicates that ideologically a translation is first, if not foremost constrained by the dominant ideology of the society where it is initiated and published before it is read, rather than that of the receiving society only. Moreover, when poetical factors are involved, the influence from a source culture where the original enjoys a prestigious status often cannot be ignored. Wang’s rewritings of Hongloumeng also confirm the possibility for translators to go against the conditioning factors, although not so much on the ideological level as on the poetical level.

Keywords


rewriting, descriptive study, adapted translation, Hongloumeng, ideology, poetics

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968%2F4005

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