Audience Attitude and Translation Reception
The case of Genji Monogatari
This article proposes a skopos-based analysis of the English translations of the eleventh century Japanese literary work, Genji monogatari (“The Tale of Genji”) as a means of understanding the basis for the translations’ differing receptions among their target audiences. The translations, by Suematsu Kenchō, Arthur Waley, Edward Seidensticker and Royall Tyler, are widely spaced chronologically, being published between 1888–2001, and were each produced with differing audiences and aims, thus making them a useful corpus for this analysis. In addition, all of the translators have written, with varying degrees of explicitness, about their motivations and purposes in conducting their translations. First, through an analysis of the translators’ writings, introductions, and individual circumstances, the article will demonstrate how the skopos for each translation can be determined. Second, through an analysis and comparison of text excerpts, it will demonstrate how the skopos influenced the translation choices of the individual translators, with material being, for example, omitted, changed in psychological tone, or rendered more explicit, depending upon the individual translator’s overriding purpose in their work. Finally, through an analysis of the reviews of the various translations, it will consider the extent to which each translator was successful in achieving a positive and intended response to his translation in the target audience.
Keywords: audience, skopos, reception, Genji monogatari, Japanese
Published online: 29 October 2015
Cited by 1 other publications
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 09 may 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.
de Gruchy, John Walter
Deane, Sharon L.
2011 Confronting the Retranslation Hypothesis: Flaubert and Sand in the British Literary System, University of Edinburgh.
Gürçağlar, Şehnaz Tahir
Hasegawa Masaharu, Itō Hiroshi, Imanishi Yuichirō, and Yoshioka Hiroshi
Martin de Leon, Celia
Maynard, Senko K.
Miner, Earl, Hiroko Odagiri, and Robert E. Morrell
Nida, Eugene A., and Charles Russell Taber
Niimura, Janice P.
2001 Courtly Lust. The New York Times, [http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/02/books/courtly-lust.html?scp=25&sq=Tale%20of%20Genji&st=cse ].
Paloposki, Outi, and Kaisa Koskinen
Refsing, Kirsten, and Lita Lundquist
2006 “Consuming Narratives.” The Guardian, [http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2006/apr/01/featuresreviews.guardianreview27 ]
St. André, James
2003b Translating The Tale of Genji. (20 June 2013), [http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/tylerlecture.html ]
2009 “The Disaster of the Third Princess: Essays on the Tale of Genji.” Canberra: ANU E Press. [http://epress.anu.edu.au?p=109191 ]