2018/2019 School of Chinese Research Student Seminar
Knowledge Production about China: Translation and Commentaries of Yan Lianke’s Serve the People!
程邦策 Mr. Cheng Bangce
May 27, 2019 (Monday); 5:30-6:45pm
Room 730, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus
Yan Lianke (b. 1958) is among the world’s most renowned Chinese writers. His work was first introduced to the English-speaking readership by British translator and scholar Julia Lovell, who translated Wei Renmin Fuwu (English: Serve the People!). This 2005 fiction about the adultery between a General Orderly and the Division Commander’s wife is commonly read as a bitter satire of revolutionary politics and its corruption. In the translation process, Lovell made certain adjustments to the original to ensure its proper functioning in the target culture. Meanwhile, the dissemination of Serve the People! in the West is intimately associated with the commentaries surrounding the translated piece in the forms of book reviews, translator’s notes, and advertising messages. This talk addresses the understudied issue of how the textual practices of translating and commenting on this fiction participate in the construction of a discursive China, thereby contributing to Western knowledge production about the PRC.
ALL ARE WELCOME!