Translating Chinese Literature

Translating Chinese Literature

Edited by Eugene Eoyang and Lin Yao-fu
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 11/22/1995
Format: Hardback 25 b&w photos
ISBN: 978-0-253-31958-6
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There is no greater challenge to a translator than the rendering of Chinese, ancient or modern, into English. In this fascinating volume, world-famous scholar-translators talk about their craft from a variety of points of view, confronting key issues of both general and specific nature and imparting some of their joys and the successes which can be achieved.

The contributors are Cyril Birch, William H. Nienhauser, Jr., David R. Knechtges, Richard B. Mather, Glen Dudbridge, James I. Crump, Jr., Robert Joe Cutter and William G. Crowell, Stephen H. West, John Minford, Dominic Cheung, Joseph S. M. Lau, Victor H. Mair, David D. W. Wang, Michelle Yeh, Eugene Eoyang, Ching-hsi Peng, and John J. Deeney.

Author Bio

EUGENE EOYANG is Professor of Comparative Literature and of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Indiana University.

LIN YAO-FU is in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature at National Taiwan University.


““. . . will make a substantial contribution to improving recognition of the perplexities that translators have to grapple with.” —The China Quarterly There is no greater challenge to a translator than the rendering of Chinese, ancient or modern, into English. Here, reading scholar-translators talk about the craft of translating Chinese literature into English.”

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Table of Contents


Working Notes

Cyril Birch
Reflections of a Working Translator

William H. Nienhauser, JR
The Implied Reader and Translation
The Shih chi as Example

David R. Knechtges
Problems of Translation: The Wen hsuan in English

Richard B. Mather
Translating Six Dynasties "Colloquialisms into English
The Shih-shuo hsin-yu

Glen Dudbridge
A Second Look at Li Wa chuan

James I. Crump, JR.
Two Tools for the Translation of San-chu

Robert Joe Cutter and William G. Crowell
On Translating Chen Shou’s San guo zhi: Bringing Him Back Alive

Stephen H. West
Translation as Research: Is There an Audience in the House?

Cyril Birch
Translating Ming Plays: Lumudan (The Green Peony)

John Minford
xPieces of Eight: Reflections on Translating The Story of the Stone


The Parting of the Ways: Anthologies of Early Modern Chinese Poetry in English Translation

Joseph S.M. Lau
More Than Putting Things Together: The Anthologizing of Chinese Literature in Translation

Victor H. Mair
Anthologizing and Anthropologizing: The Place of Nonelite and Nonstandard Culture in the Chinese Literary Tradition

David D.W. Wang
Translating Taiwan: A Study of Four English Anthologies of Taiwan Fiction


Michelle Yeh
On English Translation of Modern Chinese Poetry: A Critical Survey

Eugene Eoyang
Speaking in Tongues: Translating Chinese Literature in a Post-Babelian Age

Ching-Hsi Peng
Translation and Individual Talent

John J. Deeney
Foundations for Critical Understanding: The Compilation and Translation of Encyclopedic Dictionaries of Chinese Literary Terminology