Inventing Enemies: Translation, Reference and Criticism in New Tide (1919-1922)
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AbstractThis paper takes its cue from the view of the 20th-century China as a “literary field” (Hockx 1999), the May Fourth era as a “project” of “appropriation of cultural capital” (Doleželová-Velingerová and Král eds. 2001), and the relationship between popular and elite literature in this period as a result of “the narcissism of small differences” (Rojas 2008). It is concerned in particular with the role of translation in the canonization of the May Fourth discourse, with a study of the journal New Tide (新潮, or The Renaissance, 1919-1921).
By “translation”, the paper refers to not only full and abridged renditions of foreign texts, but also “unmarked” and partial translations in the form of citations, parenthesized gloss and endnotes that filled visually marginal textual spaces throughout the journal. The enlarged set of translations presents two trajectories for the continuing re-interpretation of “May Fourth”. As a whole, it generates a macroscopic and complex picture of the journal editors’ basis of knowledge, contravening the current historiography of May Fourth translation that has been based primarily on selected translations of canonical texts. As individual yet interconnected rewrites, the translations – especially the “unmarked” and partial ones - prompt us to consider their surrounding linguistic contexts, rhetorical strategies and journalistic discourse, which are infused with references to and criticism of prior translations done by the co-existing, traditional-minded intellectuals. The signs of canonizing an elusive May Fourth “self” and of marginalizing its “other” are also found in the mention of its contemporary periodicals in China across the issues of New Tide. Combining the distant and close reading, the paper seeks to understand New Tide translation as a field and a mode of canonization in the May Fourth era.
All Author(s) ListMichelle Jia Ye
Name of ConferenceInternational Conference: 4 May 1919: History in Motion - A Political, Social and Cultural Look at a Turning Point in the History of Modern China
Start Date of Conference02/05/2019
End Date of Conference04/05/2019
Place of ConferenceUniversité de Mons, Belgium
Country/Region of ConferenceBelgium
Year2019
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
KeywordsNew Tide, translation, canonization.

Last updated on 2019-20-06 at 16:49