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Frontiers of Literary Studies in China

Front Liter Stud Chin    2011, Vol. 5 Issue (4) : 600-609     DOI: 10.1007/s11702-011-0143-9
research-article |
Modern Chinese Poetry: Translation and Translatability
Michelle YEH()
Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616-8601, USA
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This paper is divided into two parts. Part I gives a brief survey of English translations of modern Chinese poetry in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The select translations—their foci and chronology—not only delineate a historic trajectory but also suggest broader geopolitical and sociocultural implications. Part II proposes that we understand “translatability” as “elective affinity.” Borrowed from German letters and science, “elective affinity” is an essential component of translation across cultures, and it is illustrated with two sets of examples: the encounters between classical Chinese poetry and modern American poets, and those between modern Chinese poetry and Anglo-American translators.

Keywords modern Chinese poetry      translation      translatability      elective affinity     
Corresponding Authors: Michelle YEH,   
Issue Date: 05 December 2011
 Cite this article:   
Michelle YEH. Modern Chinese Poetry: Translation and Translatability[J]. Front Liter Stud Chin, 2011, 5(4): 600-609.
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