Ethics and aesthetics are one
Creative literary translation in the post-modern world
In the post-modern world where thinking of pluralism and relativism is prevalent (Honeysett 2002), fundamental values such as respect for life pertinent to the health and welfare of humanity should remain unchanged in order to preserve the culture from corrosion. In this paper, through examining creativity in translation and creative writing (Zawawy 2008; Perteghella and Loffredo 2006), macro- and micro- strategies of translating a Chinese prose into an English play will be discussed, with the aim to explore the notion, “creativity is culturally variable” (Carter 2016) in literary translation. I would concur with Ludwig Wittgenstein who stated, “ethics and aesthetics are one” (1961), and argue that genres and forms of expression might vary in cross-cultural translation, semantic content and message should still be unaltered. Literary translators can act as cultural mediators to advocate peace. So to “develop an understanding of translation strategies and of the vital role that creativity plays throughout the translation/interpreting process” (Levý in Beylard-Ozeroff, Králová and Moser-Mercer 1998) can help translators build bridges rather than promote violence, to foster diversity rather than divisiveness. As such, I would explore how a translator can translate cultures with respect, integrity and creativity in the midst of tensions, confrontations and conflicts due to misunderstandings linguistically and culturally. As Vezzaro (2010: 10) put it, “to come closer to feeling compassion, which is what writing and translating is ultimately all about.” This will call for efforts to translate texts with faithfulness and the right degree of creativity (Grassilli 2014), making good decisions at individual levels and beyond. This will also require cultural understanding and collaboration at national and even international levels.
Keywords: creativity, cultural mediators, faithfulness, post-modern, translator’s role
Keywords: créativité, médiateurs culturels, fidélité, post-moderne, rôle du traducteur
Published online: 23 April 2019
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