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Tang shi xi chuan shi lun: Yi Tang shi zai Ying Mei de chuan bo wei zhong xin 唐诗西传史论 (review)

Tang shi xi chuan shi lun: Yi Tang shi zai Ying Mei de chuan bo wei zhong xin 唐诗西传史论 (review) 76 ChinaReviewInternational:Vol.18,No.1,2011 PoliticalThoughtintheRepublicanEra (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010). NOTES 1. SeeAndrewJ.Nathan,Chinese Democracy(NewYork:Knopf/RandomHouse,1985), pp. 51­58. 2. ThearticleandthecontroversyitstirreduparediscussedinBaiJi'an,Zhang Shizao zhuan(Beijing:Zuojiachubanshe,2004),chapter18. JiangLan.Tang shi xi chuan shi lun: Yi Tang shi zai Ying Mei de chuan bo wei zhong xin.Beijing:Xueyuanchubanshe,2009.325 pages.Paperbackrmb40.isbn978-7-5077-3425-6. Thisisathoroughaccount,aswellasastudy,oftheEnglishtranslationofTang dynastypoetryfromthenineteenthcenturytolatetwentiethcentury.Itsfifteen chaptersincludeallmajorfiguresandworksonthesubjectduringthislonghistoricalperiod.Toassistreadersandresearchersintheirreadingandstudy,the authoralsoaddedtwoappendixes.Onelistschronologicallythemajorpublicationsonthesubject,andtheotherprovidestheChinesenamesofthemajor translatorsofChinesepoetry.Curiously,though,thelatterseemstohavebeen arrangedrandomly,whichmakesitinconvenienttouse.Thesamemaybesaidof thereferencesatthebackofthebook,fortheyarenotlistedaccordingtotheir alphabeticorderastheynormallyareinscholarlybooks. RoyEarlTeeleoncewroteabriefhistoryofEnglishtranslationofChinese poetry,entitledThrough a Glass Darkly: A Study of English Translations of Chinese Poetry(AnnArbor:UniversityofMichiganPress,1949),whichJiangseemsnotto havecomeacrossinherresearch.Jiang'sbook,however,isnotonlymoreup-todate,forobviousreasons,butalsolesssketchyinheraccountofthevarioustranslators'careersandinheranalysisoftheirtranslations.ThechapteronArthur Waley,forexample,istwenty-sevenpageslong.IttouchesuponWaley'spersonal background,hisviewsofChinesepoetry,hismajorpublications,histranslations ofBaiJuyiandLiBai,thegeneralcharacteristicsofWaley'srenderingofTang poetry,and,finally,acriticalevaluationofWaley'stranslationofTangpoetry.Jiang givesthesametreatmenttonearlyallmajorfiguresofhersubject;theresultisa bookthatprovidesnotjustadetailedhistoricalsurveyofEnglishtranslationof Tangpoetry,butalsoasensitiveinterpretationofit. WhileJiangmustbepraisedforheroverallconscientiousanalysisandforher apparentpassionforthesubject,thereareplaceswhereherChinesetranslationsof © 2012 by University of Hawai`i Press Reviews 77 Englishworksunderdiscussionareinaccurateenoughastocausedoubtabouther judgmentsontheissuesinquestion.Forexample,inherdiscussionofWaley's viewsofChinesepoetry,shestatesthat" (philosophicliterature)"(p.116).Waley,infact,said,"Her[China's]philosophic literatureknowsnomeanbetweenthetraditionalismofConfuciusandthenihilismofChuang-tzu."1Here,WaleyisrecountingoneoftheprejudicesintheWest againstChinesephilosophicaltradition."Literature"herewasusedinthesenseof "writing",andWaleywasnotdiscussingthe"literature"ofChina.One thesamepage,WaleydidmakeacommentonChineseliterature.Hesaysthat"the literatureofthecountryshouldexcelinreflectionratherthaninspeculation,"and this,inJiang'stranslation,becomes" "(p.116).Needlesstosay,"speculation"heremeanstheactof "theorizing"inthinking,not,whichreferstobehaviorin financialdealings.Jiang'sChineserenderingofapassageofPound's"Canto LXXXV"isparticularlytroubling.Theoriginalreads Ourdynastycameinbecauseofagreatsensibility. AlltherebythetimeofIYin AllrootsbythetimeofIYin AnyonewithabasicknowledgeofChinesehistorywillrealizethatwasa ministeroftheShangdynasty.PoundoftenusedChinesecharactersinhispoems forvariousreasons,butherehewasmerelyrepeatinginChinesecharacterswhat hewroteinEnglish,orviseversa.Inotherwords,"IYin"wastheromanizationof theChineseminister'sname.ButhereiswhatwehaveinJiang'sChinesetranslationofthesethreelines: (p.211) OnecanonlywonderwhetherJianghasunderstoodthispassage. Inrecentyears,translationstudieshasgainedmomentumbothinChinaand theWest.ChinesescholarsseemincreasinglyinterestedintheWesterntranslation ofChinesepoetrybecauseitprovidesanalternativeviewoftheirownpoetic tradition.Jiang'svolumeisawelcomecontributiontothisnewdirectioninthe studyofTangpoetry. FushengWu Fusheng Wu is a professor of Chinese literature/comparative literary and cultural studies at the University of Utah. He is the author of two books on Chinese poetry as well as numerous essays on Chinese literature and comparative literature. NOTE 1. ArthurWaley,A Hundred and Seventy Chinese Poems(London:Constable,1918),p.17. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Review International University of Hawai'I Press

Tang shi xi chuan shi lun: Yi Tang shi zai Ying Mei de chuan bo wei zhong xin 唐诗西传史论 (review)

China Review International , Volume 18 (1) – Aug 9, 2011

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Abstract

76 ChinaReviewInternational:Vol.18,No.1,2011 PoliticalThoughtintheRepublicanEra (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010). NOTES 1. SeeAndrewJ.Nathan,Chinese Democracy(NewYork:Knopf/RandomHouse,1985), pp. 51­58. 2. ThearticleandthecontroversyitstirreduparediscussedinBaiJi'an,Zhang Shizao zhuan(Beijing:Zuojiachubanshe,2004),chapter18. JiangLan.Tang shi xi chuan shi lun: Yi Tang shi zai Ying Mei de chuan bo wei zhong xin.Beijing:Xueyuanchubanshe,2009.325 pages.Paperbackrmb40.isbn978-7-5077-3425-6. Thisisathoroughaccount,aswellasastudy,oftheEnglishtranslationofTang dynastypoetryfromthenineteenthcenturytolatetwentiethcentury.Itsfifteen chaptersincludeallmajorfiguresandworksonthesubjectduringthislonghistoricalperiod.Toassistreadersandresearchersintheirreadingandstudy,the authoralsoaddedtwoappendixes.Onelistschronologicallythemajorpublicationsonthesubject,andtheotherprovidestheChinesenamesofthemajor translatorsofChinesepoetry.Curiously,though,thelatterseemstohavebeen arrangedrandomly,whichmakesitinconvenienttouse.Thesamemaybesaidof thereferencesatthebackofthebook,fortheyarenotlistedaccordingtotheir alphabeticorderastheynormallyareinscholarlybooks. RoyEarlTeeleoncewroteabriefhistoryofEnglishtranslationofChinese poetry,entitledThrough a Glass Darkly: A Study of English Translations of Chinese Poetry(AnnArbor:UniversityofMichiganPress,1949),whichJiangseemsnotto havecomeacrossinherresearch.Jiang'sbook,however,isnotonlymoreup-todate,forobviousreasons,butalsolesssketchyinheraccountofthevarioustranslators'careersandinheranalysisoftheirtranslations.ThechapteronArthur Waley,forexample,istwenty-sevenpageslong.IttouchesuponWaley'spersonal background,hisviewsofChinesepoetry,hismajorpublications,histranslations ofBaiJuyiandLiBai,thegeneralcharacteristicsofWaley'srenderingofTang poetry,and,finally,acriticalevaluationofWaley'stranslationofTangpoetry.Jiang givesthesametreatmenttonearlyallmajorfiguresofhersubject;theresultisa bookthatprovidesnotjustadetailedhistoricalsurveyofEnglishtranslationof Tangpoetry,butalsoasensitiveinterpretationofit. WhileJiangmustbepraisedforheroverallconscientiousanalysisandforher apparentpassionforthesubject,thereareplaceswhereherChinesetranslationsof © 2012 by University of Hawai`i Press Reviews 77 Englishworksunderdiscussionareinaccurateenoughastocausedoubtabouther judgmentsontheissuesinquestion.Forexample,inherdiscussionofWaley's viewsofChinesepoetry,shestatesthat" (philosophicliterature)"(p.116).Waley,infact,said,"Her[China's]philosophic literatureknowsnomeanbetweenthetraditionalismofConfuciusandthenihilismofChuang-tzu."1Here,WaleyisrecountingoneoftheprejudicesintheWest againstChinesephilosophicaltradition."Literature"herewasusedinthesenseof "writing",andWaleywasnotdiscussingthe"literature"ofChina.One thesamepage,WaleydidmakeacommentonChineseliterature.Hesaysthat"the literatureofthecountryshouldexcelinreflectionratherthaninspeculation,"and this,inJiang'stranslation,becomes" "(p.116).Needlesstosay,"speculation"heremeanstheactof "theorizing"inthinking,not,whichreferstobehaviorin financialdealings.Jiang'sChineserenderingofapassageofPound's"Canto LXXXV"isparticularlytroubling.Theoriginalreads Ourdynastycameinbecauseofagreatsensibility. AlltherebythetimeofIYin AllrootsbythetimeofIYin AnyonewithabasicknowledgeofChinesehistorywillrealizethatwasa ministeroftheShangdynasty.PoundoftenusedChinesecharactersinhispoems forvariousreasons,butherehewasmerelyrepeatinginChinesecharacterswhat hewroteinEnglish,orviseversa.Inotherwords,"IYin"wastheromanizationof theChineseminister'sname.ButhereiswhatwehaveinJiang'sChinesetranslationofthesethreelines: (p.211) OnecanonlywonderwhetherJianghasunderstoodthispassage. Inrecentyears,translationstudieshasgainedmomentumbothinChinaand theWest.ChinesescholarsseemincreasinglyinterestedintheWesterntranslation ofChinesepoetrybecauseitprovidesanalternativeviewoftheirownpoetic tradition.Jiang'svolumeisawelcomecontributiontothisnewdirectioninthe studyofTangpoetry. FushengWu Fusheng Wu is a professor of Chinese literature/comparative literary and cultural studies at the University of Utah. He is the author of two books on Chinese poetry as well as numerous essays on Chinese literature and comparative literature. NOTE 1. ArthurWaley,A Hundred and Seventy Chinese Poems(London:Constable,1918),p.17.

Journal

China Review InternationalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Aug 9, 2011

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