Advertisement

Neohelicon

, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 601–621 | Cite as

World literature in and through translation

  • Yifeng SunEmail author
Article
  • 168 Downloads

Abstract

World literature has continued to draw attention in humanities research. Since the possibility of world literature rests on international circulation, translation has a pivotal role to play. However, in recent years, serious doubt has been cast on the meaningfulness of this role, foregrounding the chronic issue of untranslatability that is seen to undermine the chance of world literature. There is no denying that if the role of cross-cultural communication is played inadequately or unsatisfactorily, the circulation of national literatures is impeded to become world literature. Through the heterogeneity of different context dimensions, cross-cultural interpretations and forms of mediating cultures in various manifestations are brought to the fore about the essential need for further investigation and research. This paper attempts to frontally address the issues raised by scholars working in the field of world literature in relation to renewed challenges to translation and for that matter, Translation Studies. Translation happens at a specific location and time, which in turn govern and determine what happens to and in translation. The quality, or rather acceptability, of translation for the purpose of enabling the circulation of literary texts across national boundaries will be re-examined in connection with world literature, the success of which necessitates cross-cultural transformation as exemplified in inscribing the putative literary value into translation.

Keywords

Translation World literature International circulation Literary value 

Notes

Funding

Funding was provided by University of Macau (UM) (Grant No. SRG2018-00120-FAH).

References

  1. Apter, E. S. (2013). Against world literature: On the politics of untranslatability. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  2. Bassnett, S. (2019). Translation and world literature. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Bertacco, S. (2016). An interview with Emily Apter. The New Centennial Review,16(1), 9–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. D’haen, T. (2012). The Routledge concise history of world literature. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. Damrosch, D. (2003). What is world literature? Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Damrosch, D. (2014). Review of Against world literature: On the politics of untranslatability. Comparative Literature Studies,51(3), 504–508.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Darwish, A. (2008). Optimality in translation. Melbourne: Writescope Pty Ltd.Google Scholar
  8. Gao, E. (2014). Caose lianyun [Green on the horizon]. Beijing: China CITIC Press.Google Scholar
  9. Gould, R. R. (2018). Hard translation: Persian poetry and post-national literary form. Forum for Modern Language Studies,54(2), 191–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Han, H. (2006). Sakexunjiehou yingxionglue de wenxuejiazhi he yingxiang [Literary value and influence of Ivanhoe]. Journal of Zhejiang Normal University,31(5), 23–27.Google Scholar
  11. Harrison, N. (2014). World literature: What gets lost in translation? The Journal of Commonwealth Literature,49(3), 411–426.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0021989414535420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hayat, M. (2016). Conflict between internationalist cultural exchange and market realism in world literature. NUML Journal of Critical Inquiry,14(1), 16–30.Google Scholar
  13. Horner, C. (2016). Rising China and its postmodern fate, volume II: Grandeur and peril in the next world order. Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  14. Klein, L. (2014). Not altogether an illusion: Translation and translucence in the work of Burton Watson. World Literature Today,88(3), 57–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Klein, L. (2016). Addressed and redressed: World literature and reading contemporary poetry in translation. Comparative Literature Studies, 53(3), 611–616.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lu, X. (1941). Ah Q and others: Selected stories of Lusin (C. Wang, Trans.). New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Lu, X. (1980). Selected works (H. Yang & G. Yang, Trans.). Beijing: Foreign Language Press.Google Scholar
  18. Lu, X. (1990). Diary of a madman and other stories (W. Lyell, Trans.). Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.Google Scholar
  19. Lu, X. (2009). The real story of Ah-Q and other tales of China: The complete fiction of Lu Xun (J. Lovell, Trans.). London: Penguin Classics.Google Scholar
  20. Mao, D. (1981). Wo zou guo de lu [The way I have walked through]. Beijing: People’s Literature Press.Google Scholar
  21. Moretti, F. (2000). Conjectures on world literature. New Left Review,1, 54–68.Google Scholar
  22. Owen, S. (1990). What is world poetry? Washington, DC: Republic Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  23. Parks, T. (2010). Why translators deserve some credit. The Guardian. Retried from https://www.theguardian.com/books/2010/apr/25/book-translators-deserve-credit. Accessed 3 Jan 2019.
  24. Pernet, D. (2009). Letter to the reviews editor. The Byron Journal, 37(2), 170. https://muse.jhu.edu/article/368258/summary.
  25. Qian, Z. (1981). Lin shu de fan yi [Linshu’s translation]. Beijing: The Commercial Press.Google Scholar
  26. Sandbach-Dahlstrom, C. (2002). ‘Literature is no one’s private ground’: The critical and political reception of Virginia Woolf in Sweden. In M. A. Caws & N. Luckhurst (Eds.), The reception of Virginia Woolf in Europe (pp. 148–164). London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  27. Shields, K. (2013). Challenges and possibilities for world literature, global literature, and translation. CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture.  https://doi.org/10.7771/1481-4374.2381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Spivak, G. C. (2003). Death of a discipline. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Toury, G. (2012). Descriptive translation studies and beyond: Revised edition. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Trivedi, H. (2019). Translation and world literature: the Indian context. In S. Bassnett (Ed.), Translation and world literature (pp. 15–28). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  31. Walkowitz, R. L. (2015). Born translated: The contemporary novel in an age of world literature. New York: Columbia University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Yip, W.-L. (1969). Ezra Pound’s Cathay. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of English (E21-4066), Faculty of Arts and HumanitiesUniversity of MacauTaipaChina

Personalised recommendations