The Engagement of Translation in Remodeling “Root-Seeking” Literature into World Literature: A Dictionary of Maqiao as an Example

Peng Lyu, Xiaoyan Huang


The study provides an innovative insight into the engagement of translation in remodeling Chinese “root-seeking” literature into world literature. By selecting Han Shaogong’s A Dictionary of Maqiao and its English translation completed by Julia Lovell as a case, we reconceptualize the reconciling engagement of translation within the framework of translation as “re-narration” at four levels: narrative reference, narrative perspective, characterization and narrative distance. Through a textual and contextual analysis, Lovell’s “faithful recreation” witnessed by the dual subjectivity of the writer and the translator contributes to building up a textual and cultural dialogue with the target readers. It examines how narratorial voices as focalizations reshape the translator’s “re-narration” and how Lovell deals with transgression rejoining this process, and investigates how Lovell continues Han’s retelling of historical culture through characterization. Also, it analyzes narrative distance peculiarly represented by modality and sound patterns captured by Lovell, outlining Han’s resistance of “root-seeking” after historical shock and transition. This paper hopes to provide some ideas for promoting the understanding of contemporary Chinese literary works and world literature by virtue of translation, thus refining cultural exchanges and transmission.


Engagement of Translation, “root-seeking” Literature, World Literature, A Dictionary of Maqiao

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