Article published in:Translation and Translanguaging in Multilingual Contexts
Vol. 7:2 (2021) ► pp. 200–223
An exploration of poetological manipulation on Howard Goldblatt’s translation of Mo Yan’s Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out
Drawing on André Lefevere’s rewriting theory, this paper explores how Howard Goldblatt translates Mo Yan’s novel Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out (hereafter referred to as L&D) with regard to poetological manipulation. The paper analyses in detail how the translator rewrites the novel’s poetological features, including its unique linguistic, stylistic and narrative features, to produce a translation which is accessible to the intended audience. On the basis of this analysis, the paper identifies three characteristics of Goldblatt’s poetological rewriting: (1) macro-stylistic consistency with the source text, i.e. overall stylistic conformity to the original work; (2) simplification principle; (3) typical features of authentic English writing. The analysis reveals poetological manipulation in the translation process, from which we infer that rewriting in favour of the target poetological currents is the best way to achieve reader acceptance.
Keywords: rewriting, manipulation, poetological currents, Howard Goldblatt’s translation, macro-stylistic consistency, simplification principle, authentic English writing
Published online: 19 July 2021
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