Martial arts fiction : translational migrations east and west
Mok, Olivia Wai Han (1998) Martial arts fiction : translational migrations east and west. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1359937~S1
This thesis was motivated by Robert Chard's puzzlement over the translational
phenomenon of martial arts fiction in the West. It proposes to address how the
translational migration of martial arts fiction took place, first to other Asian countries in the
1920's, but to the West only after a lapse of a few decades beginning in the early 1990's.
Adopting a descriptive approach as described by Gideon Toury, the thesis is intended to
add further to the limited inventory of case studies in urgent demand to test the polysystem
theory propounded by Even-Zohar.
The thesis is made up of two parts. Part I is a macro-level study of martial arts fiction,
intended to contribute to testing the limits of the polysystem theory. After examining
Chinese fiction as a low form in the Chinese literary polysystem and its weak function as
translated literature in the Western literary polysystem, the study explores the translational
phenomenon of martial arts fiction in the West as well as the concurrent phenomenon as to
why so little of martial arts fiction has been translated into Western languages, compared to
the copious amount into other Asian languages, to the extent of stimulating a new literary
genre or (re)writing martial arts fiction in indigenous languages in Indonesia, Vietnam and
Korea, sinicized countries or countries boasting large overseas Chinese communities.
Issues and problems related to these translational activities and cultural phenomena are
presented as tools to test the limits of the polysystem theory.
Part II is a micro-level study focussing on the specifics of rendering Fox Volant of the
Snowy Mountain by Jin Yong into English. I will argue, in the main, that many difficulties,
inherent in both the translating and reading processes, can be constructed within the
theoretical framework of Andre Lefevere's concept of "constraint", particularly that of the
universe of discourse. Lefevere's connotation of the universe of discourse will be expanded
to embrace different cultural presuppositions and literary assumptions underlying two
divergent world cultures, hence different reader expectations in the reading process.
It is hoped that the findings and results of this descriptive case history of martial arts fiction
as a literary genre in translational migrations will contribute to the accumulation of
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Martial arts fiction, Chinese -- Translations -- History and criticism, Jin, Yong, 1924- Xue shan fei hu -- Translations into English -- History and criticism|
|Official Date:||March 1998|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Centre for Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies|
|Sponsors:||City University of Hong Kong|
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