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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
Language: English

閻連科(1958—)是國際上享有盛譽的中國作家。其2005年發表后遭禁的小說《為人民服務》由英國漢學家藍詩玲(Julia Lovell)譯成英文,標誌著閻連科作品進入英語世界。此書通過描寫“文化大革命”期間師長家的公務員與師長夫人的一段性愛關係,諷刺了革命口號的虛偽和軍隊的腐敗。在翻譯過程中,譯者藍詩玲對文本進行操縱,以使其更加適合西方語境。同時,《為人民服務》在西方的傳播也離不開形形色色的評論,如書評、譯者小記、廣告語等等。本次學術報告將從文本中的中國形象入手,對藍詩玲的英文譯本和幾種評論進行解讀,以展現翻譯和評論活動如何參與西方的中國知識建構。

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.



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