A Study of Creative Treason in Red Sorghum: From the Perspective of Rewriting Theory

Yali YU


In literary translation, the translated works always deviate from and distort the original texts to a certain extent because of the linguistic and cultural differences between nations. Therefore, Robert Escarpit,a French literature sociologist, puts forward the notion of “creative treason”. He claims that “translation is always a kind of creative treason”. Translated by Goldblatt, Red Sorghum, the English version of Hong Gao Liang Jia Zu which is written by Mo Yan and a representative of contemporary Chinese novels, is no exception. However, the traditional translation approach cannot give a full explanation to the “creative treason” in Goldblatt’s translation, let alone judge the translator and his translated work objectively and fairly. Since translation studies took the "cultural turn" in 1970s, some translation theorists have adopted a descriptive method to analyze translation from the socio-cultural perspective. During this process, Lefevere, the leading figure of Manipulation School, deserves special attention. The Rewriting Theory proposed by him expanded the horizon of translation studies. Taking this thoery as theoretical foundation, this paper aims to analyze the underlying causes for Goldblatt’s “creative treason” in Red Sorghum and explore a new route in research of Goldblatt and his translations. Meanwhile, the author hopes that this paper can bring some suggestions to the transmission of contemporary Chinese literature abroad.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/9999


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