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Modern Selfhood in Translation

A Study of Progressive Translation Practices in China (1890s–1920s)

  • Limin Chi
Book

Part of the New Frontiers in Translation Studies book series (NFTS)

About this book

Introduction

This book examines the development of Chinese translation practice in relation to the rise of ideas of modern selfhood in China from the 1890s to the 1920s. The key translations produced by late Qing and early Republican Chinese intellectuals over the three decades in question reflect a preoccupation with new personality ideals informed by foreign models and the healthy development of modern individuality, in the face of crises compounded by feelings of cultural inadequacy. The book clarifies how these translated works supplied the meanings for new terms and concepts that signify modern human experience, and sheds light on the ways in which they taught readers to internalize the idea of the modern as personal experience. Through their selection of source texts and their adoption of different translation strategies, the translators chosen as case studies championed a progressive view of the world: one that was open-minded and humanistic. The late Qing construction of modern Chinese identity, instigated under the imperative of national salvation in the aftermath of the First Sino-Japanese War, wielded a far-reaching influence on the New Culture discourse. This book argues that the New Culture translations, being largely explorations of modern self-consciousness, helped to produce an egalitarian cosmopolitan view of modern being. This was a view favoured by the majority of mainland intellectuals in the post-Maoist 1980s and which has since become an important topic in mainland scholarship.

Keywords

Modern Selfhood Character Building Chinese Identity Late Qing New Culture Translated Literature Translators' Agency

Authors and affiliations

  • Limin Chi
    • 1
  1. 1.Kiangsu-Chekiang CollegeHong KongHong Kong

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-1156-7
  • Copyright Information Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019
  • Publisher Name Springer, Singapore
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-981-13-1155-0
  • Online ISBN 978-981-13-1156-7
  • Series Print ISSN 2197-8689
  • Series Online ISSN 2197-8697
  • Buy this book on publisher's site