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Title: Seeing Forests and Trees: A Preliminary Exploration of the Research Methodology in the Study of Late Qing Translations
Authors: 李歐梵
Lee, Leo Ou-Fan
Keywords: 晚清小說;類型;翻譯研究方法;言情;煽情劇;跨文化研究
late Qing fiction;genre;methodology for translation studies;romance;melodrama;transcultural study
Date: 2017-06
Issue Date: 2018-03-30 16:38:21 (UTC+8)
Abstract: 本文認為目前晚清小說的翻譯研究,多從個案文本細讀,少數文本分析,或推及跨文化和跨地區之間的流動,但此種方法往往「見樹不見林」。然而,通俗小說之「林」正是由幾棵大樹,即小說「類型」所構成。本文借用莫萊悌(Franco Moretti)的文學理論,以類型中的成規手法和技巧,宏觀地觀察晚清民初翻譯的言情小說,如何「接枝」英國言情小說的原型;並分析中文譯者如何透過翻譯和改寫的活動,使文本在中土衍生出錯綜相連的新枝葉,讓翻譯小說的研究在跨文化流動中「見林又見樹」。本文首先觀察晚清小說分類繁多的現象,將小說加上各色各樣的欄目,即以言情小說而言,就有寫情、奇情、哀情、苦情、豔情等類別,往往溢出中國傳統才子佳人的框架,似乎在揭櫫新題材、以反映新形勢與開闢新市場,亦可與英國小說相匹配。其次,在小說雜誌所作戰刊載的英國著名小說家名單中,以「家庭小說」的作者最多,此類維多利亞時代小說所描寫的英國家庭、婚姻與以及其中女性自覺等主題, 在「接枝」中土的過程中,和中國傳統小說的因素混在一切,在翻譯文本中,使「煽情劇」的骨幹做出中國式的變形;中國譯者又從傳統才子佳人小說的辭藻中找尋資源,替原文增色。最後,本文提出了有待進一步研究的大綱,希冀為晚清小說翻譯研究,勾勒出一棵「跨文化」言情小說之樹的可能。
The current research on the Chinese translated fiction in the late Qing period mostly relies on closed reading of individual texts, though there are a few studies that extend the circulation of texts across transcultural and trans-regional boundaries. However, if we consider popular fiction as a forest composed of many trees, i.e. sub-genres of fiction, this kind of research often has the drawback of "seeing the trees but not the forest." By applying the literary theory of Franco Moretti, this paper explores a method of examining how the acts of translating Western fiction show a process of appropriating the prototypical themes and conventions of the targeted genres and "grafting" the Western branches (i.e. technical traits) onto homegrown "trees", thereby producing new interlocking "leaves." As a result, we can see both forests and trees in such a "transplantation" process in the transcultural movement of textual translation and circulation. This research first examines the the phenomenon of the multiplicity of subgenres in late Qing fiction-with such new brands as novel of sentiment, novel of sensation, novel of melancholy, novel of distress and suffering, erotic novel etc.-that seem to overflow beyond the generic limits of traditional Chinese scholar-beauty romance. These works not only took on new themes, but also served as a reflection of the social changes and the needs of a new book market. Moreover, through the investigation of a favorite subgenre of the English family novel, called "sensation novel," this paper illustrates how Chinese translators and readers received and interpreted the values of family and marriage, as well as the message of female subjectivity as embedded in Victorian novels. It further suggests that, by adorning the translated texts with rhetorical elements of Chinese traditional fiction such as those commonly found in scholar-beauty stories, the foreign sensation novels were transformed and transfigured in the Chinese versions. Finally, this article proposes an outline for the future research of late-Qing translation with an eye to drawing a more comprehensive picture of the "transcultural" tree of the romance novel.
Relation: 東亞觀念史集刊, 12, 3-44
Data Type: article
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Appears in Collections:[東亞觀念史集刊] 期刊論文

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