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English Translations of Shen Congwen’s Stories

Xu, Minhui

English Translations of Shen Congwen’s Stories

A Narrative Perspective

Year of Publication: 2013

Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2013. 207 pp.
ISBN 978-3-0343-1405-3 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.310 kg, 0.683 lbs

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Book synopsis

This book investigates the English translations of Shen Congwen’s stories. Shen Congwen (1902–1988) is one of the most acclaimed writers in modern Chinese literature. His works have been translated into more than ten languages and his 44 stories count with 70 different English translations. Adopting a case study method within the framework of Descriptive Translation Studies, the author selects and compares the most translated stories, those with three or more translations, totalling fifteen translations from four stories. The analysis of the texts focuses on Shen’s narrative style – his narrative commentaries and his lyrical narrative mode – to see how his style was re-presented in translation. In addition, the translators’ overt narrative intrusions – their added notes – are also examined.
Further, on the basis of Bourdieu’s sociological concepts, especially habitus, this study makes an attempt to interpret the different strategies adopted by different translators, including scholar/non-scholar translators, L1/L2 translators, and translators of the 1930s and 40s and those of the 1980s onwards.


Contents: Introduction to Shen Congwen’s Life and Works – Scope and Approach of this Study – Narrative Commentaries – Lyrical Narrative Style – Paratexts in Narration – Translators’ Notes – Findings and Discussions.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

Minhui Xu is professor of the English Department of Ocean University of China, and is currently working as a postdoctoral fellow at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Her main research interest is Translation Studies. She has published articles in refereed journals both in and out of China.