Transcreating Memes: Translating Chinese Concrete Poetry
This self-reflexive case study by Lee and Chan proposes the idea of textual memes, defined as the thematic and/or formal economy of the source text fossilised in a particular configuration of signifying resources in the source language. Textual memes are abstract; they constitute the aesthetic logic or motif underlying a piece of writing, and are instantiated by concrete discursive units. As far as concrete poetry is concerned, translation responds to its source text by developing and extrapolating textual memes built into the latter, and does so by way of activating resources in the target language. The chapter illustrates this by responding to four concrete poems by Taiwanese poet Chen Li by way of advancing the authors’ own English translations.
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