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Running Head: Dream of Red Mansions
Dream of Red Mansions
Name of Student :
Institution Name:
Name of Course:
Number:
Name of the Instructor:
Date:
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Part 1 Introduction…………………………………………………….
1.1 Need for the Study……………………………………….
1.2 Literature Review…………………………………………….
1.2.1 Research Developments Abroad………………………
1.2.2 Research Developments in China………………………..
Part 2 Basic Concepts and Theories…………………………………………
2.1The Circulation of A Dream of Red Mansions in Western Countries…..
2.1.1 The circulation in the 19th century……………………………
2.1.2 The Circulation in Modern Times………………………………
2.2 Factors Influencing the Circulation ………………………………….
Part 3 Structure of the Thesis……………………………………………………….
3.1 The Role of Translation in the Transnational Circulation……………………
3.1.1 Translator…………………………………………………..
3.1.2 Translator Invisibility……………………………………..
3.2 Use of Translation to triangulate………………………………………
3.2.1 The story of stone……………………………………………
3.2.2 Phonetic rhythm…………………………………………
3.3 “Summer pavilions” or “Winter pavilions”………………………….
3.3.1 Comparative speaking………………………………….
3.3.2 Objectives………………………………………………………
Part 4 Conclusion…………………………………………………………………
Part 5 Works Cited………………………………………………………………
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Part 1Introduction
It tells a story about the wax and wane of a traditional Chinese feudal family
and how the fall of the family affects the characters' destiny. The main theme of the
novel is the relation between appearance 1 and reality, and "man maintains an
attachment to appearance through the agency of 'feeling' 2". Raised in a declining
noble family in the Qing Dynasty, the author Cao Xueqin experiences the great honor
as well as the endless suffering given by the feudal monarchy, and he writes down
much of his reflections on life and society in the novel.
Based on this situation, scholarly study of the textual archaeology and
criticism of this novel, known as Redology, appeared in the late Qing Dynasty. In the
next century, the novel was translated and introduced to Western countries in different
translations. With the appearance of this translation, the scholarly study of the novel
develops fast in Western countries. However, the circulation of the novel in Western
countries is within minority circles, mostly within sinologists and Chinese language
learners.
In recent years, even though along with the development of globalization, the
study in the field of transnational/transcultural circulation in literature progresses
rapidly, the study on a single text between Chinese and English translation decreases
compared to the situation in the 20th century. And it is difficult to find an essay
systematically analyzing the transnational reception of a text-based on the translation
of a Chinese traditional classic between these two languages. The essay will be
arranged in the following sequence: Part 1 will give a brief introduction to the
motivation, the purpose of writing the thesis, and the expected conclusion. Part 3 will
first introduce the circulation of the book in Western countries since the 19th century,
mainly focusing on the development of English translation of the novel and how the
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translation accelerates the scholarly study of the book. It turns out that in the
circulation of a book, translation plays an extremely important role. So part 3 will
focus on the study of the role translation plays in the transnational circulation of the
novel. So it is extremely important to study transnational literary text from the
perspective of translation. At last, Part 4, will summarize the previous analysis, clarify
the logic of the whole essay and finally make a conclusion.
1.1 Need for the Study
Chinese traditional fiction appears in the Tang dynasty and peaks in Ming and
Qing Dynasty. But in ancient China, poetry and prose are elite literature while fiction
represents the civil culture for pastimes. They often tell stories of legendary heroes or
affection between gifted scholars and beautiful ladies, which are regarded by
intellectuals as vulgar literature. However, in Tang Dynasty, some intellectuals such
as Han Yu and Liu Zongyuan began the Classical Prose Movement, which first put
forward the idea that articles were responsible for transmitting Confucianism. This
idea was later developed by an intellectual Zhou Dunyi in the Northern Song Dynasty
into the theory of " 4". It means that the texts should play the role of delivering ethics
and the "Way" refers to Confucius ethics.
The content of those ancient fictions did not burden this mission, thus the
fiction was looked down upon by the intellectuals. What is more, in ancient China, a
limited amount of people was able to read and write, and most of them were men,
only a very small portion of women from rich or noble families could learn to read.
Therefore, lacking the favor from elite intellects, traditional Chinese fiction develops
slow and without systematic structure and specific classification, not to mention the
development of criticism.
1.2 Literature Review
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In China, A Dream of Red Mansions is worshiped as "the summit of Chinese
traditional culture" and "the encyclopedia of Chinese feudal society". First of all,
from the historical standpoint of Marxism, the book is a masterpiece that shows the
consciousness of anti-feudalism by exposing the evil of the feudal system. The novel
was written in the year of Qianlong reign in the Qing Dynasty when the commodity
economy developed and the seeds of capitalism appeared in references to Compton,
Robert (2017).
Although China was still one of the most powerful and wealthy countries in
Asia at the time, the feudal system based on the agricultural economy and feudal
landlord class faced the impact of a newly-born productive mode commodity
economy. With the development of the commodity economy, humanistic thought
(such as the pursuit for freedom) appears in China and affects the shackle of feudal
domination on human nature.
Because withinside the first bankruptcy of A Dream of Red Mansions, the
writer writes withinside the 1/3 individual: "In scripting this tale of the Stone the
writer desired to document positive of his beyond desires and illusions, however he
attempted to cover the records of his enjoy with the aid of using the usage of the
allegory of the jade of 'Spiritual Understanding'" in step with Damrosch and
David,(2003). He noticed thru the disaster mendacity beneathneath the phantasm of
prosperity in fact thru disclosing the extravagant and putrid lifestyles of the Rongguo
own circle of relatives and Ningguo own circle of relatives, unmasking the distortion
of human nature beneathneath the oppression of the feudal system. For hundreds of
years in China, due to the fact Wu-di of the Han Dynasty, the rulers of every feudal
dynasty take benefit of and maintain intensifying Confucianism because the Orthodox
way of life to bolster their ruling in the direction of Damrosch and David, (2017).
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In the book, the maximum succesful individual who's in price of all the overall
affairs withinside the huge own circle of relatives is a lady Wang Xifeng10. However,
in step with the ancient point of view of Marxism, because of the immature
improvement of the commodity economic system and humanistic thoughts, the
progressiveness on anti feudalism withinside the novel isn't thorough enough.
Considering Cao Xueqin's non-public enjoy, it's far herbal for him to be suffering
from Taoism and the "Lust and Emptiness", specially on the cease of the tale, Baoyu
selected to end up a monk.
It is not possible to matter the range of variations and circulations of A Dream
of Red Mansions which have been posted due to the fact cutting-edge instances in
China. In 1987, a TV collection made and broadcasted with the aid of using CCTV
popularized the tale to hundreds of households. The TV collection is real to the
unique tale and has been rebroadcasted extra than one thousand instances due to the
fact then. Thanks to special varieties of pop way of life, together with the opera,
movie, and TV collection, many Chinese audiences recognize approximately the
testimonies withinside the book, however handiest a small component examine the
book.
1.2.1 Research Developments Abroad
As mentioned earlier, A Dream of Red Mansions was written in the 18th
century. Before the May Fourth Movement19, most of the Chinese literature works
except for some fiction are written in classical Chinese, which is a written language
and not easy to understand even for not well-educated people in ancient China. In
1917, a Chinese intellectual Hu Shi published an article on New Youth, a journal
established and developed by a group of intellectuals who studied abroad and received
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western democratic thoughts in the Republican period of China, symbolizing the
beginning of the Vernacular Chinese Movement.
From then on, more and more intellectuals including Lu Xun, Fu Sinian, and
Yu Pingbo begin to publish articles in the journal to support the innovation of
classical Chinese. Through their efforts, in 1920, the then Ministry of Education had
to announce the vernacular Chinese as the national language. Then with the
improvement in several decades, the language used in modern China gradually comes
into being.
The language used in A Dream of Red Mansions is not classical Chinese
because it is written in spoken language and easy for most people to read (except for
some poetry in the book) at the time, which explains why, in the year of Qianlong and
Jiaqing reign, "almost every household has one book". But after hundreds of years,
the spoken language in the Qing dynasty is quite different from modern Chinese.
1.2.2 Research Developments in China
However, the most obscure part of the book does not consist of the language,
but the content. The complex rules of the feudal rank system lie in almost every
respect of daily life in the book. For example, the description of the architectural
structure, the costume, the process of having a meal, and the rituals are intended to
show the extravagant life of the family members and the strict rank system, but they
became obscure content for today's Chinese readers to read because those things are
no longer existing in modern life.
Moreover, the book contains almost all the traditional literary genres, the
poems in chapter 38 are up to 15, not to mention the number in the whole book. The
poems either reflect the personality of the characters or imply their destiny, so it is
essential to know the meaning of the poems. Besides, maybe because of the anti-
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feudalism property of the book, in order to avoid the political sensitivity of the Qing
government, Cao sets the story in an imaginary dynasty beginning with mythology.
The dialogues include a lot of expressions in Taoist and Buddhist phrases,
which is another elusive part of the book. For instance, according to the radiologist's
research, Cao deletes part of the story of an important character Qin Keqing, the story
deleted is about the adultery between her and her father-in-law. So in the book, the
whole story related to Qin Keqing is abrupt and strange.
Most of the content in the copies are the same, but some of the copies lost one
or more plots. This part is missing in all other copies, thus affecting the logic of the
story. It is also scarce in China for a fiction generating the establishment of a school,
which shows its important status and research values in China.
Part 2 Basic Concepts and Theories
2.1 The Circulation of A Dream of Red Mansions in Western Countries
2.1.1 The circulation in the 19th century
The book, he believes, completely demonstrates "the coarseness of the author's
thought" and contains "barely anything except the tittle-tattle of the female
apartments," with the only benefit being the opportunity to acquire "the spoken
language of the upper classes in the northern province." What led him to this
conclusion is unknown, but one possibility is that the author only read bits of the
original work because the criticism simply recaps the overview of the first seven
chapters and recounts a few plot sequences.
Like many other Chinese ancient intellectuals, Karl takes Confucianism as the
orthodox thought, which may explain why he ignores the progressiveness of the novel
and thinks it merely contains "the tittle-tattle of the female apartments" and Cao
Xueqin's mind is coarse. Also, Karl's opinion represents the mainstream of comments
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on the traditional Chinese fiction as well as A Dream of Red Mansions, for China is
an unfamiliar and mysterious country to Westerners at the time and his comments are
the very limited material that they can read in references to Compton, Robert (2017).
In the preface of the translation, Joly says that the motivation to translate the
book is that he has a confusing experience when reading the book and he hopes that
his translation can help those who study Chinese at the time or in the future. Joly's
explanation may reflect a common problem for Western readers in reading the book:
the novel is quite difficult to understand, even for Joly, who is capable of reading and
translating the original text.
Edkins explains: "What the pornographic sculptures and mural decorations of
Pompeii are, compared with the reverence inspiring nudities of classic Greece, such
are the scenes of Chinese Zenana life which the Red Chamber Dream depicts, as
compared with the moral realism of the ordinary Chinese novel".Whether Joly adapts
some content in translation for the purpose of eliminating immoral depiction is
unknown, it is surprising that Edkins defines A Dream of Red Mansions as a
pornographic work and denies its literary values.
Moreover, Edkins thinks that "the author's mind is utterly 24 devoid of any
trace of Confucian ethics, and conscience is to him a factor absolutely of no account...
As a British missionary who receives a Western education, it is unexpected that he
judges a book by whether it fulfills the standard of Confucian ethics. However, it is
possible that Western readers like Edkins and Karl at the time lack of anti-feudal
thoughts either. What is more, both Edkins and Giles affirm that the fiction includes
the specific description of Chinese social life. This situation, which is regarding
reading the novel as a way of learning Chinese traditional culture and Chinese,
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remains the motivation for most ordinary Western readers to read the book until
recent years.
2.1.2 The Circulation in Modern Times
Entering the 20th century, the translation and study of A Dream of Red
Mansions experience a flourishing period and develops fast in Western countries.
Although the translation is still an incomplete version, it is the first time that the book
is introduced to Western countries, because the English translations and criticisms
made by missionaries and colonist officials earlier in the 19th century are published
mainly in Chinese publications in Hong Kong and Macao.It is translated with the aid
of using a British sinologist David Hawkes, collectively together along with his son-
in-regulation John Minford, with a exclusive identify The Story of the Stone. The
translation will become the maximum often used supply cloth for the instructional
take a look at of A Dream of Red Mansions in addition to the maximum famous
model for ordinary readers in Western countries. For "deliver to the reader even a
fragment of the pride this Chinese novel has given me", he commonly makes use of
domestication in translation. So despite the fact that foreignization can also
additionally have an effect on the clarity and fluency of the unique textual content
sometimes, it's far higher to undertake this method for it grants the lifestyle withinside
the unique textual content. In 1961, the ebook of a Chinese pupil Wu Shichang On the
Red Chamber Dream with the aid of using Oxford University Press "marks a turning
factor" of the take a look at of the radical in Western countries. Because "for the
primary time, a severe Chinese scholarly take a look at of the radical (although from a
textual, not literary, standpoint), containing crucial new facts and insights, appeared in
English before it appeared in Chinese." This remark implies that, in contrast to
scientific examinations of China's internal affairs, which specifically specializes in the
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textual criticism, the take a look at of the radical outdoor is "past the answer of textual
criticism" and "an unresolved clash of attitudes in the author". The changes in the
critical methodology of A Dream of Red Mansions is not a single case.
In the sixties, as New Criticism sweeps over the American academe, the study
of traditional Chinese fiction also faces a major change and switches to literary
criticism. This situation might also be one of the reasons that the study of A Dream of
Red Mansions is cooling off gradually in the late 20th century in Western countries.
2.2 Factors Influencing the Circulation
Although the translation and criticism of the fiction grow fast in the 20th
century, the book has limited influence in Western countries and is popular in
minority groups mostly Western sinologists and language learners. Hsia says the
fiction is "the only work of Chinese fiction that invites valid comparisons with the
tragic masterpieces of Western literature. Hawkes praises the book in the preface to
his translation: "The Story of the Stone is an amazing achievement and the
psychological insight and sophisticated humor with which it is written can often
delude a reader into judging it as if it were a modern novel".
The book has already become the representative in the study of Chinese
Classical Literature that almost no scholar can avoid. Not surprisingly, both
Goldblatt's and Wood's point receives quite much agreement in the comment of the
article as well as the book comments in Amazon25. Besides, as mentioned earlier, this
novel is not easy to understand even for Chinese readers because of its obscurity in
the content and language. Due to these reasons, the development of Chinese fiction
fell behind in the process of joining world literature.
Through analyzing the circulation of A Dream of Red Mansion, it is not hard
to see that the transnational diffusion of literature greatly depends on many factors:
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the translator's ability, the limitation of the time, the quality of translations, the
translation strategy, and the general developing conditions of the book. Among all
these factors, the development of the translation in accelerating the circulation of the
novel in Western countries. From the development of relevant literary criticism to the
transmission in the ordinary audience, they all to a great extent rely on the appearance
of a good translation.
Part 3 The Role of Translation in the Transnational Circulation
3.1 Translator
With the development of globalization, the relations between different
countries in almost every field become closer. One of the key factors in the circulation
of literary works in translation. Sometimes, criticizing an original work equals
commenting on a translation because no one is capable of reading all the original texts
in the world.
3.1.2 Translator Invisibility
According to Lawrence and Venuti, the foreignizing strategy is "an
ethnodeviant push on those values to register the linguistic and cultural peculiarities
of the foreign text," and the domesticating method is "an ethnocentric reduction of the
foreign text to prevailing cultural values" (2017). In reference to Hightower and
Rober, the definition demonstrates that foreignization relies on the linguistics of the
source language and the cultures of the original environment (2017). Domestication
focuses on decreasing the original text's foreignness, converting it to domestic
expressions, and contributing to the target audiences' reading experience.
3.2. Use of Translation to triangulate
As to the translation of A Dream of Red Mansions, there is also controversy
on which method to take in translation toward Idema, (2017). Moreover, the novel is
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written in classical Chinese, which increases the difficulty to understand and translate
it. This method is especially important in the scholarly research of transnational
literature because it helps the researcher to leave the expression habit in the native
language and acquired a way of thinking, and dig out furthest the context of the
original text in references to Goldblatt and Howard,(2017). As to A Dream of Red
Mansions, other than Hawkes's translation, the most widely circulated translation is
Yang Xianyi and Gladys Yang's version published by Chinese Foreign Languages
Press in 1978. Unlike Hawkes's translation, Yang's translation receives high
recognition among most Chinese scholars, for they think that this translation sticks to
the original text, accurately reflects the cultural spirit, and benefits the transmission of
Chinese traditional culture according to Cao, and Gao (1978).
3.2.1 The story of stone
The stone refers to jade, which is captivated by the prosperity of the human
world and transforms into a man to experience affluence. In the preface of his
translation, Hawkes says that "the pervading redness of the Chinese novel" is missing
in the translation towards Cao (1973). Chinese ancient poetry is among one of the
most difficult literary genres to translate. But the death of her parents destroys this
hope because, in a feudal society, 37 it is immoral for young men and women to fall
in love privately or pledge to marry without the permission of their parents.
3.2.2 Phonetic rhythm
Regarding the rhythm, it is possible to use rhyme in each line with the same
word in modern-style poetry, but in a pre-Tang poem, there is only one rhyme in
poem 38 with different characters and except for the first line, each even line must use
rhyme. Both of the translations break the limitation of word numbers and the form of
rhythm. For instance, in the first, second, and the last line, Hawkes uses the
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alliterations of "f", "b", and "s" respectively. Another property lost in both
translations is the match of the part-of-speech patterns in Chinese in references to
Wang and Jing, (2017). Therefore, regarding the translation of ancient Chinese
poetry, if the translator insists on using foreignization in translation, the consequence
might be a loss of melody. And some properties of the original poem (such as the
rhythm in Chinese, the character number, and the corresponding part-of-speech)
cannot be delivered either since Chinese has a different phonetic system than English.
The use of allusions is an according to legend, the Emperor of the Eastern Han
Dynasty Emperor Wang turned into a cuckoo after death. And in Chinese culture,
spring is believed to be the most wonderful season, indicating a brand new start to a
year.
3.3 “Summer pavilions” or “Winter pavilions”
The word "appear" not only literally translates the word " Jian" in the source
text, but also corresponds to the story in the allusion that the wives' bloody tears drop
and stain on the bamboo. Daiyu is the daughter of Granny Jia's daughter, so according
to the general thought in ancient China, she is inferior to the daughter of Granny Jia's
son.
3.3.1 Comparative speaking
But the truth is even for such audiences, Yang's translation is not easy to
understand and less readable towards Zhang and Longxin, (2017). The fact that some
Chinese scholars regard spreading original culture as the chief task or even the main
judging criterion of a good translation is understandable, but not objective and fair
enough. Because the translation is to circulate the original text.
3.3.2 Objectives
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Therefore, it is within the circle of world literature. Of course, it burdens the
original history and culture, but it exists in this world not primarily as a cultural-
exchange ambassador.
Part 4 Conclusion
In conclusion, the literary and cultural values of A Dream of Red Mansions
make it a great novel. But due to the fact that it contains a wide range of knowledge
(especially Chinese traditional culture) and many obscurities (regarding both language
and content), this book is not easy to read even for many Chinese readers. Thus even
though the story is popular in China, the circulation of the text is less prevalent in
modern China than in Qing Dynasty.
With the development of English translations, the novel is transmitted to
Western countries, which promotes the circulation of the novel. Until the appearance
of David Hawkes's translation does the circulation of the novel in Western countries
develop faster and wider. Therefore, a complete and good translation plays a very
important role in the circulation of a text, because it is the approach for most readers
from different countries and backgrounds to know about the original text. However, in
the process of translation, translators face the choices of the different strategies:
foreignization and domestication, especially important and difficult in translating A
Dream of Red Mansions since it is an encyclopedia of Chinese traditional culture.
But no matter what strategy to choose in translation, the main problem is how
to maximally deliver the content and culture in the original text while keeping the
translation fluent and readable to the target audiences. It is almost impossible to have
it both ways, so the translators have to strike a balance and make compromises
sometimes. Therefore, it is not fair and objective enough to judge the quality of a
translation simply by the translation strategies it adopts, not to mention regarding the
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literature as a utilitarian tool to transmit national culture. So the translation strategy is
not only a choice of the translators but also the audiences. But foremost, when reading
a transnational/transcultural literary work, one should 45 try to ignore his own cultural
and educational background, ignore the acquired criteria according to Wood and
Michael, (2017).
It is very important and necessary to understand the context of the original text
and try to analyze its values in that context. Because without this, the comprehension
of a text (based on either the original text or the translations) can be biased or even
incorrect. Even though translations burden the property of transmitting culture, they
are foremost for transmitting the original literature, but not for delivering original
culture.
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Work Cited
Cao, X. Q. and E. Gao, A Dream of Red Mansions. translated by X.Y. Yang and
Gladys Yang. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1978. Print.
Cao, X. Q. The Story of the Stone. translated by David Hawks. London: Penguin,
1973. Print.
Compton, Robert. “The Prospects for the Teaching of Chinese Literature in the United
States.” Mahfil, 6.1 (1970): 23-31. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.
Damrosch, David. How to Read World Literature. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell,
2009. EBook Collection. Web. 14 June. 2017.
Damrosch, David, What Is World Literature? Princeton U.P, 2003. Print.
Goldblatt, Howard. “An Interview of Goldblatt.” translated by G. Q. Shi. Chinese
Comparative Literature, 94.1 (2014): 37-50. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.
Hightower, James Robert. “Chinese Literature in the Context of World Literature.”
Comparative Literature, 5.2 (1953): 117-124. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.
Idema, Wilt and Lloyd Haft. A Guide to Chinese Literature. Amsterdam: Amsterdam
University Press, 1996. EBook. Web. 29 June. 2017.
Lawrence, Venuti. The Translator’s Invisibility: A History of Translation. New York:
Routledge, 1995. EBook Collection. Web. 14 June. 2017.
Wang, Jing. “The poetics of Chinese Narrative: An Analysis of Andrew Plaks’
‘Archetype and Allegory in the Dreams of the Red Chamber’.” Comparative
Literature Studies, 26.3 (1989): 252-270. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.47
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Wood, Michael. “Why is China’s greatest novel virtually unknown in the west?” The
Guardian, 12 Feb. 2016 the-red- chamber-Cao-sequin-chinas-favourite-novel-
unknown-west. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.
Zhang, Longxin. “The Changing Concept of World Literature.” World Literature, in
Theory, edited by David Damrosch, UK: Wiley Blackwell, (2014): 513-523.
EBook Collection. Web. 20 May. 2017

Unformatted Attachment Preview

Running Head: Dream of Red Mansions Dream of Red Mansions Name of Student : Institution Name: Name of Course: Number: Name of the Instructor: Date: 1 Part 1 Introduction……………………………………………………. 1.1 Need for the Study………………………………………. 1.2 Literature Review……………………………………………. 1.2.1 Research Developments Abroad……………………… 1.2.2 Research Developments in China……………………….. Part 2 Basic Concepts and Theories………………………………………… 2.1The Circulation of A Dream of Red Mansions in Western Countries….. 2.1.1 The circulation in the 19th century…………………………… 2.1.2 2.2 The Circulation in Modern Times……………………………… Factors Influencing the Circulation …………………………………. Part 3 Structure of the Thesis………………………………………………………. 3.1 The Role of Translation in the Transnational Circulation…………………… 3.2 3.3 3.1.1 Translator………………………………………………….. 3.1.2 Translator Invisibility…………………………………….. Use of Translation to triangulate……………………………………… 3.2.1 The story of stone…………………………………………… 3.2.2 Phonetic rhythm………………………………………… “Summer pavilions” or “Winter pavilions”…………………………. 3.3.1 Comparative speaking…………………………………. 3.3.2 Objectives……………………………………………………… Part 4 Conclusion………………………………………………………………… Part 5 Works Cited……………………………………………………………… 1 Part 1Introduction It tells a story about the wax and wane of a traditional Chinese feudal family and how the fall of the family affects the characters' destiny. The main theme of the novel is the relation between appearance 1 and reality, and "man maintains an attachment to appearance through the agency of 'feeling' 2". Raised in a declining noble family in the Qing Dynasty, the author Cao Xueqin experiences the great honor as well as the endless suffering given by the feudal monarchy, and he writes down much of his reflections on life and society in the novel. Based on this situation, scholarly study of the textual archaeology and criticism of this novel, known as Redology, appeared in the late Qing Dynasty. In the next century, the novel was translated and introduced to Western countries in different translations. With the appearance of this translation, the scholarly study of the novel develops fast in Western countries. However, the circulation of the novel in Western countries is within minority circles, mostly within sinologists and Chinese language learners. In recent years, even though along with the development of globalization, the study in the field of transnational/transcultural circulation in literature progresses rapidly, the study on a single text between Chinese and English translation decreases compared to the situation in the 20th century. And it is difficult to find an essay systematically analyzing the transnational reception of a text-based on the translation of a Chinese traditional classic between these two languages. The essay will be arranged in the following sequence: Part 1 will give a brief introduction to the motivation, the purpose of writing the thesis, and the expected conclusion. Part 3 will first introduce the circulation of the book in Western countries since the 19th century, mainly focusing on the development of English translation of the novel and how the 2 translation accelerates the scholarly study of the book. It turns out that in the circulation of a book, translation plays an extremely important role. So part 3 will focus on the study of the role translation plays in the transnational circulation of the novel. So it is extremely important to study transnational literary text from the perspective of translation. At last, Part 4, will summarize the previous analysis, clarify the logic of the whole essay and finally make a conclusion. 1.1 Need for the Study Chinese traditional fiction appears in the Tang dynasty and peaks in Ming and Qing Dynasty. But in ancient China, poetry and prose are elite literature while fiction represents the civil culture for pastimes. They often tell stories of legendary heroes or affection between gifted scholars and beautiful ladies, which are regarded by intellectuals as vulgar literature. However, in Tang Dynasty, some intellectuals such as Han Yu and Liu Zongyuan began the Classical Prose Movement, which first put forward the idea that articles were responsible for transmitting Confucianism. This idea was later developed by an intellectual Zhou Dunyi in the Northern Song Dynasty into the theory of " 4". It means that the texts should play the role of delivering ethics and the "Way" refers to Confucius ethics. The content of those ancient fictions did not burden this mission, thus the fiction was looked down upon by the intellectuals. What is more, in ancient China, a limited amount of people was able to read and write, and most of them were men, only a very small portion of women from rich or noble families could learn to read. Therefore, lacking the favor from elite intellects, traditional Chinese fiction develops slow and without systematic structure and specific classification, not to mention the development of criticism. 1.2 Literature Review 3 In China, A Dream of Red Mansions is worshiped as "the summit of Chinese traditional culture" and "the encyclopedia of Chinese feudal society". First of all, from the historical standpoint of Marxism, the book is a masterpiece that shows the consciousness of anti-feudalism by exposing the evil of the feudal system. The novel was written in the year of Qianlong reign in the Qing Dynasty when the commodity economy developed and the seeds of capitalism appeared in references to Compton, Robert (2017). Although China was still one of the most powerful and wealthy countries in Asia at the time, the feudal system based on the agricultural economy and feudal landlord class faced the impact of a newly-born productive mode commodity economy. With the development of the commodity economy, humanistic thought (such as the pursuit for freedom) appears in China and affects the shackle of feudal domination on human nature. Because withinside the first bankruptcy of A Dream of Red Mansions, the writer writes withinside the 1/3 individual: "In scripting this tale of the Stone the writer desired to document positive of his beyond desires and illusions, however he attempted to cover the records of his enjoy with the aid of using the usage of the allegory of the jade of 'Spiritual Understanding'" in step with Damrosch and David,(2003). He noticed thru the disaster mendacity beneathneath the phantasm of prosperity in fact thru disclosing the extravagant and putrid lifestyles of the Rongguo own circle of relatives and Ningguo own circle of relatives, unmasking the distortion of human nature beneathneath the oppression of the feudal system. For hundreds of years in China, due to the fact Wu-di of the Han Dynasty, the rulers of every feudal dynasty take benefit of and maintain intensifying Confucianism because the Orthodox way of life to bolster their ruling in the direction of Damrosch and David, (2017). 4 In the book, the maximum succesful individual who's in price of all the overall affairs withinside the huge own circle of relatives is a lady Wang Xifeng10. However, in step with the ancient point of view of Marxism, because of the immature improvement of the commodity economic system and humanistic thoughts, the progressiveness on anti feudalism withinside the novel isn't thorough enough. Considering Cao Xueqin's non-public enjoy, it's far herbal for him to be suffering from Taoism and the "Lust and Emptiness", specially on the cease of the tale, Baoyu selected to end up a monk. It is not possible to matter the range of variations and circulations of A Dream of Red Mansions which have been posted due to the fact cutting-edge instances in China. In 1987, a TV collection made and broadcasted with the aid of using CCTV popularized the tale to hundreds of households. The TV collection is real to the unique tale and has been rebroadcasted extra than one thousand instances due to the fact then. Thanks to special varieties of pop way of life, together with the opera, movie, and TV collection, many Chinese audiences recognize approximately the testimonies withinside the book, however handiest a small component examine the book. 1.2.1 Research Developments Abroad As mentioned earlier, A Dream of Red Mansions was written in the 18th century. Before the May Fourth Movement19, most of the Chinese literature works except for some fiction are written in classical Chinese, which is a written language and not easy to understand even for not well-educated people in ancient China. In 1917, a Chinese intellectual Hu Shi published an article on New Youth, a journal established and developed by a group of intellectuals who studied abroad and received 5 western democratic thoughts in the Republican period of China, symbolizing the beginning of the Vernacular Chinese Movement. From then on, more and more intellectuals including Lu Xun, Fu Sinian, and Yu Pingbo begin to publish articles in the journal to support the innovation of classical Chinese. Through their efforts, in 1920, the then Ministry of Education had to announce the vernacular Chinese as the national language. Then with the improvement in several decades, the language used in modern China gradually comes into being. The language used in A Dream of Red Mansions is not classical Chinese because it is written in spoken language and easy for most people to read (except for some poetry in the book) at the time, which explains why, in the year of Qianlong and Jiaqing reign, "almost every household has one book". But after hundreds of years, the spoken language in the Qing dynasty is quite different from modern Chinese. 1.2.2 Research Developments in China However, the most obscure part of the book does not consist of the language, but the content. The complex rules of the feudal rank system lie in almost every respect of daily life in the book. For example, the description of the architectural structure, the costume, the process of having a meal, and the rituals are intended to show the extravagant life of the family members and the strict rank system, but they became obscure content for today's Chinese readers to read because those things are no longer existing in modern life. Moreover, the book contains almost all the traditional literary genres, the poems in chapter 38 are up to 15, not to mention the number in the whole book. The poems either reflect the personality of the characters or imply their destiny, so it is essential to know the meaning of the poems. Besides, maybe because of the anti- 6 feudalism property of the book, in order to avoid the political sensitivity of the Qing government, Cao sets the story in an imaginary dynasty beginning with mythology. The dialogues include a lot of expressions in Taoist and Buddhist phrases, which is another elusive part of the book. For instance, according to the radiologist's research, Cao deletes part of the story of an important character Qin Keqing, the story deleted is about the adultery between her and her father-in-law. So in the book, the whole story related to Qin Keqing is abrupt and strange. Most of the content in the copies are the same, but some of the copies lost one or more plots. This part is missing in all other copies, thus affecting the logic of the story. It is also scarce in China for a fiction generating the establishment of a school, which shows its important status and research values in China. Part 2 Basic Concepts and Theories 2.1 The Circulation of A Dream of Red Mansions in Western Countries 2.1.1 The circulation in the 19th century The book, he believes, completely demonstrates "the coarseness of the author's thought" and contains "barely anything except the tittle-tattle of the female apartments," with the only benefit being the opportunity to acquire "the spoken language of the upper classes in the northern province." What led him to this conclusion is unknown, but one possibility is that the author only read bits of the original work because the criticism simply recaps the overview of the first seven chapters and recounts a few plot sequences. Like many other Chinese ancient intellectuals, Karl takes Confucianism as the orthodox thought, which may explain why he ignores the progressiveness of the novel and thinks it merely contains "the tittle-tattle of the female apartments" and Cao Xueqin's mind is coarse. Also, Karl's opinion represents the mainstream of comments 7 on the traditional Chinese fiction as well as A Dream of Red Mansions, for China is an unfamiliar and mysterious country to Westerners at the time and his comments are the very limited material that they can read in references to Compton, Robert (2017). In the preface of the translation, Joly says that the motivation to translate the book is that he has a confusing experience when reading the book and he hopes that his translation can help those who study Chinese at the time or in the future. Joly's explanation may reflect a common problem for Western readers in reading the book: the novel is quite difficult to understand, even for Joly, who is capable of reading and translating the original text. Edkins explains: "What the pornographic sculptures and mural decorations of Pompeii are, compared with the reverence inspiring nudities of classic Greece, such are the scenes of Chinese Zenana life which the Red Chamber Dream depicts, as compared with the moral realism of the ordinary Chinese novel".Whether Joly adapts some content in translation for the purpose of eliminating immoral depiction is unknown, it is surprising that Edkins defines A Dream of Red Mansions as a pornographic work and denies its literary values. Moreover, Edkins thinks that "the author's mind is utterly 24 devoid of any trace of Confucian ethics, and conscience is to him a factor absolutely of no account... As a British missionary who receives a Western education, it is unexpected that he judges a book by whether it fulfills the standard of Confucian ethics. However, it is possible that Western readers like Edkins and Karl at the time lack of anti-feudal thoughts either. What is more, both Edkins and Giles affirm that the fiction includes the specific description of Chinese social life. This situation, which is regarding reading the novel as a way of learning Chinese traditional culture and Chinese, 8 remains the motivation for most ordinary Western readers to read the book until recent years. 2.1.2 The Circulation in Modern Times Entering the 20th century, the translation and study of A Dream of Red Mansions experience a flourishing period and develops fast in Western countries. Although the translation is still an incomplete version, it is the first time that the book is introduced to Western countries, because the English translations and criticisms made by missionaries and colonist officials earlier in the 19th century are published mainly in Chinese publications in Hong Kong and Macao.It is translated with the aid of using a British sinologist David Hawkes, collectively together along with his sonin-regulation John Minford, with a exclusive identify The Story of the Stone. The translation will become the maximum often used supply cloth for the instructional take a look at of A Dream of Red Mansions in addition to the maximum famous model for ordinary readers in Western countries. For "deliver to the reader even a fragment of the pride this Chinese novel has given me", he commonly makes use of domestication in translation. So despite the fact that foreignization can also additionally have an effect on the clarity and fluency of the unique textual content sometimes, it's far higher to undertake this method for it grants the lifestyle withinside the unique textual content. In 1961, the ebook of a Chinese pupil Wu Shichang On the Red Chamber Dream with the aid of using Oxford University Press "marks a turning factor" of the take a look at of the radical in Western countries. Because "for the primary time, a severe Chinese scholarly take a look at of the radical (although from a textual, not literary, standpoint), containing crucial new facts and insights, appeared in English before it appeared in Chinese." This remark implies that, in contrast to scientific examinations of China's internal affairs, which specifically specializes in the 9 textual criticism, the take a look at of the radical outdoor is "past the answer of textual criticism" and "an unresolved clash of attitudes in the author". The changes in the critical methodology of A Dream of Red Mansions is not a single case. In the sixties, as New Criticism sweeps over the American academe, the study of traditional Chinese fiction also faces a major change and switches to literary criticism. This situation might also be one of the reasons that the study of A Dream of Red Mansions is cooling off gradually in the late 20th century in Western countries. 2.2 Factors Influencing the Circulation Although the translation and criticism of the fiction grow fast in the 20th century, the book has limited influence in Western countries and is popular in minority groups mostly Western sinologists and language learners. Hsia says the fiction is "the only work of Chinese fiction that invites valid comparisons with the tragic masterpieces of Western literature. Hawkes praises the book in the preface to his translation: "The Story of the Stone is an amazing achievement and the psychological insight and sophisticated humor with which it is written can often delude a reader into judging it as if it were a modern novel". The book has already become the representative in the study of Chinese Classical Literature that almost no scholar can avoid. Not surprisingly, both Goldblatt's and Wood's point receives quite much agreement in the comment of the article as well as the book comments in Amazon25. Besides, as mentioned earlier, this novel is not easy to understand even for Chinese readers because of its obscurity in the content and language. Due to these reasons, the development of Chinese fiction fell behind in the process of joining world literature. Through analyzing the circulation of A Dream of Red Mansion, it is not hard to see that the transnational diffusion of literature greatly depends on many factors: 10 the translator's ability, the limitation of the time, the quality of translations, the translation strategy, and the general developing conditions of the book. Among all these factors, the development of the translation in accelerating the circulation of the novel in Western countries. From the development of relevant literary criticism to the transmission in the ordinary audience, they all to a great extent rely on the appearance of a good translation. Part 3 The Role of Translation in the Transnational Circulation 3.1 Translator With the development of globalization, the relations between different countries in almost every field become closer. One of the key factors in the circulation of literary works in translation. Sometimes, criticizing an original work equals commenting on a translation because no one is capable of reading all the original texts in the world. 3.1.2 Translator Invisibility According to Lawrence and Venuti, the foreignizing strategy is "an ethnodeviant push on those values to register the linguistic and cultural peculiarities of the foreign text," and the domesticating method is "an ethnocentric reduction of the foreign text to prevailing cultural values" (2017). In reference to Hightower and Rober, the definition demonstrates that foreignization relies on the linguistics of the source language and the cultures of the original environment (2017). Domestication focuses on decreasing the original text's foreignness, converting it to domestic expressions, and contributing to the target audiences' reading experience. 3.2. Use of Translation to triangulate As to the translation of A Dream of Red Mansions, there is also controversy on which method to take in translation toward Idema, (2017). Moreover, the novel is 11 written in classical Chinese, which increases the difficulty to understand and translate it. This method is especially important in the scholarly research of transnational literature because it helps the researcher to leave the expression habit in the native language and acquired a way of thinking, and dig out furthest the context of the original text in references to Goldblatt and Howard,(2017). As to A Dream of Red Mansions, other than Hawkes's translation, the most widely circulated translation is Yang Xianyi and Gladys Yang's version published by Chinese Foreign Languages Press in 1978. Unlike Hawkes's translation, Yang's translation receives high recognition among most Chinese scholars, for they think that this translation sticks to the original text, accurately reflects the cultural spirit, and benefits the transmission of Chinese traditional culture according to Cao, and Gao (1978). 3.2.1 The story of stone The stone refers to jade, which is captivated by the prosperity of the human world and transforms into a man to experience affluence. In the preface of his translation, Hawkes says that "the pervading redness of the Chinese novel" is missing in the translation towards Cao (1973). Chinese ancient poetry is among one of the most difficult literary genres to translate. But the death of her parents destroys this hope because, in a feudal society, 37 it is immoral for young men and women to fall in love privately or pledge to marry without the permission of their parents. 3.2.2 Phonetic rhythm Regarding the rhythm, it is possible to use rhyme in each line with the same word in modern-style poetry, but in a pre-Tang poem, there is only one rhyme in poem 38 with different characters and except for the first line, each even line must use rhyme. Both of the translations break the limitation of word numbers and the form of rhythm. For instance, in the first, second, and the last line, Hawkes uses the 12 alliterations of "f", "b", and "s" respectively. Another property lost in both translations is the match of the part-of-speech patterns in Chinese in references to Wang and Jing, (2017). Therefore, regarding the translation of ancient Chinese poetry, if the translator insists on using foreignization in translation, the consequence might be a loss of melody. And some properties of the original poem (such as the rhythm in Chinese, the character number, and the corresponding part-of-speech) cannot be delivered either since Chinese has a different phonetic system than English. The use of allusions is an according to legend, the Emperor of the Eastern Han Dynasty Emperor Wang turned into a cuckoo after death. And in Chinese culture, spring is believed to be the most wonderful season, indicating a brand new start to a year. 3.3 “Summer pavilions” or “Winter pavilions” The word "appear" not only literally translates the word " Jian" in the source text, but also corresponds to the story in the allusion that the wives' bloody tears drop and stain on the bamboo. Daiyu is the daughter of Granny Jia's daughter, so according to the general thought in ancient China, she is inferior to the daughter of Granny Jia's son. 3.3.1 Comparative speaking But the truth is even for such audiences, Yang's translation is not easy to understand and less readable towards Zhang and Longxin, (2017). The fact that some Chinese scholars regard spreading original culture as the chief task or even the main judging criterion of a good translation is understandable, but not objective and fair enough. Because the translation is to circulate the original text. 3.3.2 Objectives 13 Therefore, it is within the circle of world literature. Of course, it burdens the original history and culture, but it exists in this world not primarily as a culturalexchange ambassador. Part 4 Conclusion In conclusion, the literary and cultural values of A Dream of Red Mansions make it a great novel. But due to the fact that it contains a wide range of knowledge (especially Chinese traditional culture) and many obscurities (regarding both language and content), this book is not easy to read even for many Chinese readers. Thus even though the story is popular in China, the circulation of the text is less prevalent in modern China than in Qing Dynasty. With the development of English translations, the novel is transmitted to Western countries, which promotes the circulation of the novel. Until the appearance of David Hawkes's translation does the circulation of the novel in Western countries develop faster and wider. Therefore, a complete and good translation plays a very important role in the circulation of a text, because it is the approach for most readers from different countries and backgrounds to know about the original text. However, in the process of translation, translators face the choices of the different strategies: foreignization and domestication, especially important and difficult in translating A Dream of Red Mansions since it is an encyclopedia of Chinese traditional culture. But no matter what strategy to choose in translation, the main problem is how to maximally deliver the content and culture in the original text while keeping the translation fluent and readable to the target audiences. It is almost impossible to have it both ways, so the translators have to strike a balance and make compromises sometimes. Therefore, it is not fair and objective enough to judge the quality of a translation simply by the translation strategies it adopts, not to mention regarding the 14 literature as a utilitarian tool to transmit national culture. So the translation strategy is not only a choice of the translators but also the audiences. But foremost, when reading a transnational/transcultural literary work, one should 45 try to ignore his own cultural and educational background, ignore the acquired criteria according to Wood and Michael, (2017). It is very important and necessary to understand the context of the original text and try to analyze its values in that context. Because without this, the comprehension of a text (based on either the original text or the translations) can be biased or even incorrect. Even though translations burden the property of transmitting culture, they are foremost for transmitting the original literature, but not for delivering original culture. 15 Work Cited Cao, X. Q. and E. Gao, A Dream of Red Mansions. translated by X.Y. Yang and Gladys Yang. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1978. Print. Cao, X. Q. The Story of the Stone. translated by David Hawks. London: Penguin, 1973. Print. Compton, Robert. “The Prospects for the Teaching of Chinese Literature in the United States.” Mahfil, 6.1 (1970): 23-31. Web. 28 Apr. 2017. Damrosch, David. How to Read World Literature. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. EBook Collection. Web. 14 June. 2017. Damrosch, David, What Is World Literature? Princeton U.P, 2003. Print. Goldblatt, Howard. “An Interview of Goldblatt.” translated by G. Q. Shi. Chinese Comparative Literature, 94.1 (2014): 37-50. Web. 28 Apr. 2017. Hightower, James Robert. “Chinese Literature in the Context of World Literature.” Comparative Literature, 5.2 (1953): 117-124. Web. 26 Apr. 2017. Idema, Wilt and Lloyd Haft. A Guide to Chinese Literature. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1996. EBook. Web. 29 June. 2017. Lawrence, Venuti. The Translator’s Invisibility: A History of Translation. New York: Routledge, 1995. EBook Collection. Web. 14 June. 2017. Wang, Jing. “The poetics of Chinese Narrative: An Analysis of Andrew Plaks’ ‘Archetype and Allegory in the Dreams of the Red Chamber’.” Comparative Literature Studies, 26.3 (1989): 252-270. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.47 16 Wood, Michael. “Why is China’s greatest novel virtually unknown in the west?” The Guardian, 12 Feb. 2016 the-red- chamber-Cao-sequin-chinas-favourite-novelunknown-west. Web. 27 Apr. 2017. Zhang, Longxin. “The Changing Concept of World Literature.” World Literature, in Theory, edited by David Damrosch, UK: Wiley Blackwell, (2014): 513-523. EBook Collection. Web. 20 May. 2017 Name: Description: ...
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