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A Comparative Study of the Translating Strategies of Han-shan’s Zen Poems

Author: LiuKun
Tutor: HuangLi
School: Southwest University for Nationalities
Course: Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords: Cold Mountain Zen Poems Translating strategies
CLC: H315.9
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2012
Downloads: 52
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Abstract


In China, Buddhism has always been closely connected to poetry. Both monkswho learn to compose poems and poets who study Buddhism like to express their Zenphilosophy in their poems. And this is the very feature of poetry in T’ang Dynasty.Among all the Zen poets, Han Shan, also known as Cold Mountain, is a representative.However, he doesn’t enjoy a status as high as other poets like Li Po (李白) in literaryworld in China. And his real existence still remains a mystery. In spite of beingnobody in literary world, he is widely quoted in Buddhism. His poems are studied byBuddhist and used by so many masters of Zen to help enlighten the monks. Moreover,around1950s, his poems were introduced to the English world through the efforts ofJapanese scholars and intrigued the American people. Thus, a Cold-Mountain-feverappeared and lasted for about thirty years. Then it started in China and arousedscholars’ enthusiasm about Cold Mountain Poems in Taiwan, China. There are,certainly, many explanations to this phenomenon, among which the translation ofCold Mountain poems is an indispensable one. Therefore, researches on thetranslation of his poems will definitely help arouse the interest of Chinese scholarsand conduce to promoting the popularity of his poems. Nevertheless, most of theresearches on the translation of Han Shan’s poems conducted in the academic worldof China are limited to Gary Snyder’s translation. Studies of the identity of Han Shanin history, the linguistic features of Han Shan’s poems as well as causes of Han ShanFever overseas are scholars’ favorite. For this reason, I selected Red Pine’s and RobertG. Henricks’ translations as my research subject. And based on the previous studies, Iconducted a comparative study of the translating strategies used by the translators,regarding Han Shan’s Zen poems.This thesis will be mainly divided in the following5parts:The first chapter is introduction part. It briefs the purpose, significance and theframe work of this thesis. The second chapter is literature review. In this chapter, HanShan and his poems, reception of Han Shan in the United States, existing translations in the English world, two translations used in this thesis as well as their translators areintroduced. Chapter three analyzes the translating strategies of Han Shan’s Zen poemsfrom four aspects, namely, Zen-teaching poems, Zen-mind poems, Buddhist allusionsand images. Chapter four further discusses the two versions of the translations andthen I give my reflections on the two translations. The last chapter is the conclusion ofthis thesis. It states the finds and limitations of this thesis. And it also providessuggestions for future studies.

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