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A Study of Lin Shu's Translation from the Perspective of Manipulation Theory

Author: XuZuoLin
Tutor: HeAiJun
School: Ningbo University
Course: English Language and Literature
Keywords: Manipulation Theory Lin Shu’s translation Ideology Poetics Patronage
CLC: H059
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2013
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Lin Shu is a distinguished writer and translator in the modern Chinese literaturehistory. According to statistics, Lin Shu has translated more than163works written by98writers from11countries throughout his whole lifetime. It is Lin Shu who has introducedmany world famous writers’ works into China for the first time, such as Balzac’s andCharles Dickens’, to name but a few. Lin Shu’s translation works opened a window forChinese literature to learn from the foreign literature. Lin Shu’s translation career hasmade valuable contribution towards the development of Chinese literature. There havebeen great many researches on Lin Shu and his translation both at home and abroad.However, the majority of the previous researches have evaluated Lin Shu’s translationfrom the traditional linguistic perspective, which is based on a comparison between theoriginal works and the translation works at the linguistic level. As a result, most of thesestudies criticize Lin Shu’s translation for its unfaithfulness. However, the author of thisthesis holds that it is unlikely to correctly assess the value of Lin Shu’s translation inChinese literature history by the traditional translation standard, which emphasizes thesimilarity between the source text and the target text.Therefore, this thesis tries to use André Lefevere’s manipulation theory to probe intoLin Shu’s translation, discussing how ideology, poetics and patronage influence Lin Shu’stranslation. The author of this thesis first analyzes the variation and rewriting in Lin Shu’stranslation from the language level, and then study them in the macro social context of thattime. As far as ideology is concerned, there are two prominent features about Lin Shu: onthe one hand, Lin Shu has harbored strong patriotic emotion; on the other hand, Lin Shu isdeeply influenced by Chinese traditional culture. Therefore,in the process of translation,Lin Shu adopted such translation strategies as deletion, addition and the rewriting oforiginal text. The adoption is not due to his ignorance of foreign languages, but out of theinfluence of his political ideology and cultural ideology. Besides ideology, Lin Shu’stranslation is also under the influence of poetics. Tong Cheng School was the dominant school in the literary world at Qing Dynasty. Tong Cheng School is famous for its elegantessays written in literary Chinese. For intellectuals of that time, literary Chinese was amust in writing essays. Therefore, Lin Shu’s choice of literary Chinese as his tool oftranslation is out of the influence of the dominant poetics of that time. Last but not the least,under the impact of his patron, Liang Qichao, Lin Shu translated foreign literature worksof different genres into fictions. To use fictions as a tool of his political propaganda, LiangQichao worked hard to raise the status and prestige of fictions. Through the above analysis,we can draw the conclusion that the unique features of Lin Shu’s translation are due to themanipulation of the joint forces of ideology, poetics and patronage.

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