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Opening the cultural mind : translation and the modern Chinese literary canon
Modern Language Quarterly : A Journal of Literary History
  • Yifeng SUN, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
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Journal article
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Translation has played a critical role in forming the modern Chinese literary canon and continues to stimulate its change and expansion. It is instrumental to the exchange and synthesis of foreign narrative modes and aesthetic paradigms. There are obvious political, cultural, and literary reasons for the formation of a literary canon, and to a degree literary production is inseparable from cross-cultural (re)production. The literary canon appropriates and is also appropriated by translations. Many modern Chinese literary concepts derive from translations, especially of Western literary and theoretical writings. By investigating the assimilation of translations into the Chinese literary canon, this essay focuses on a hybridized political and cultural discourse that marks a radical shift in aesthetic and cultural sensibilities in modern Chinese literature. The call for reshaping the literary canon responds to changing modes of discourse in foreign literatures. The effects of canon formation reveal the patterns of the canon's manipulation and expansion in the modern Chinese political, cultural, and literary context.
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Copyright © 2008 University of Washington

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Sun, Y. (2008). Opening the cultural mind: Translation and the modern Chinese literary canon. Modern Language Quarterly: A Journal of Literary History, 69(1), 13-27. doi: 10.1215/00267929-2007-022