Chapter published in:Key Cultural Texts in Translation
Edited by Kirsten Malmkjær, Adriana Şerban and Fransiska Louwagie
[Benjamins Translation Library 140] 2018
► pp. 203–218
Reproduction and reception of the concepts of Confucianism, Buddhism and polygamy
Kuunmong in translation
This article investigates how the pre-modern Korean cultural concepts “Confucianism”, “Buddhism” and “polygamy” as represented in Kuunmong, a Korean novel supposedly published in 1689, were reproduced by two English translators with different religious backgrounds and writing in different periods, Reverend James Scarth Gale (1922) and Bishop Richard Rutt (1974); it is also my aim to examine how the concepts were introduced, explained, and received in the target culture. While Gale’s translation reveals a favorable attitude toward Buddhism and polygamy prevailing in the text, Rutt tended to reinterpret and reconstruct those practices in a more critical way. I suggest that this difference may be related to the different social milieu at the times of translating, readers’ expectations, translators’ individual opinions, as well as factors relating to the publishers, reflective of the different agential network in translation.
Keywords: Buddhism, Confucianism, Kuunmong , polygamy, translation
Published online: 16 May 2018
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