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Bridging the Political and the Personal

Literary Translation in Contemporary China

Xiu Lu Wang

This book examines literary translation in contemporary China from two perspectives. The first is related to the social and political dimension of translation, which is concerned with the general context of translation, translation practices, literary norms as well as the structures that support them. The second perspective focuses on the more personal dimension, which is influenced by personalities and dispositions of the individuals involved in translation. Moving along the spectrum with the political on one end and the personal on the other, this book asserts that these two are two sharply different yet intimately intertwined domains of translation. It further argues that the dialectical relationship between lived personal experience and structural power relations in translation will provide a base to recognize the centrality of human agency and the possibility of resistance through translation, to understand translation as a site of power struggle and potential change, and finally, to strive for translation research and practice that is both socially relevant and personally meaningful.
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This book is based partly on my PhD thesis, which I wrote during my study from 2005 to 2010 at the Centre for Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies, University of Warwick.

I wish to thank my thesis examiners Professor Susan Bassnett and Professor Susan Daruvala for their valuable comments and suggestions regarding the overall shape of my argument. I would like to thank my supervisor Dr. Piotr Kuhiwczak, for offering me the opportunity to start my doctoral studies in Warwick and for guiding me through this academic journey with helpful guidance and much-needed encouragement.

I am very grateful to Professor Mary Snell-Hornby of the University of Vienna for providing me with the Snell Fellowship in Translation Studies (2006) that enabled me to undertake the basic research and field work from which this project mainly derives.

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