Translation networks in Republican China: four novels by British women, 'Cranford', 'Jane Eyre', 'Silas Marner' and 'Pride and Prejudice'
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Kan, Ka Ian
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This thesis examines four translations and retranslations of novels by British female writers. They are Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, George Eliot’s Silas Marner, and Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. The translations and retranslations, eight target texts in total, are mapped onto the sociopolitical and sociocultural milieu of China from the late 1920s to 1930s. During the span of time when the eight translations were published, China was undergoing a special period of political turbulence intertwined with literary vibrancy. With the literary field of China segmented into various literary societies or political organizations subscribing to their respective doctrines and principles, Chinese intellectuals including translators from various backgrounds produced literature and translation within the agenda of their respective literary or political societies. The heart of this thesis’s theoretical framework is the role of agents of translation involved the practice of translation production. The interaction amongst the human and nonhuman agents: translators, patrons, intellectuals, literary institutions, publishers and more, are examined in order to identify the translation motivations of the translators. The seven translators covered in the present study are categorized into three distinctive groups: the leftists, the humanists and the commercial translators. A collective analysis of the translators’ behaviour should shed light on the general understanding of the intended social functions of these translated novels written by British female writers published during Republican China.