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Examining self-translation under rewriting theory : a case study of Eileen Chang's The Rice-Sprout Song

English Abstract

Self-translation, or called auto-translation, has been in a special position in Translation Studies (TS) in the way that it highlights the authority of the author-translator, which somehow stands in contrast to the notion of “faithfulness”. Though there is a long and rich history of self-translation, research on the subject has been largely neglected until the last decade, let alone the studies on self-translation between Chinese and English. The present study attempts to focus on self-translation of Eileen Chang, a famous Chinese female literary writer whose role as a translator however has received little attention. The study looks at one of her novels-The Rice-Sprout Song (《秧歌》). With the aim of examining Chang’s manipulation of ST content and the language orientation (SL emphasis or TL emphasis) in TT, the paper borrows André Lefevere’s concept of literary editing (1992) and Peter Newmark’s translation methods (1988). The rewriting theory proposed by Lefevere’s (1992), on the other hand, serves to study the possible factors, both external and internal, that primarily affect Chang’s self-translation. The study shows a large amount of literary editing in Chang’s self-translation, at the same time, her adoption of TL-oriented translation methods is significant. It is observed that Chang’s self-translation is affected to a certain extent by factors such as her own poetological motivations, her reader-orientation and consciousness as well as the ideological constraints from the publisher which is also the patron.

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Chao, Mio I


Faculty of Arts and Humanities


Department of English




Chang, Ai Ling, -- 1921-1995. -- The Rice-Sprout Song

Translating and interpreting


Venkatesan, Hari

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