Book review翻译与现代中国 [Translation and Modern China]. Shanghai: Fudan University Press, 2018. 310 pp. .
Reviewed by Jiyong Geng and Qiang Pi
Beijing Jiaotong University | Tongji University
Translation Studies (TS) is a relatively new field of research, and it was not until the end of the twentieth century that TS began to develop and take hold in China. For any new research field to grow, a joint force of researchers from related fields is a prerequisite, and this is especially true with respect to the interdisciplinary nature of TS. As defined by Werner Koller (translated from the German and quoted by James Holmes in his important paper of 1972), TS “is to be understood as a collective and inclusive designation for all research activities taking the phenomena of translating and translation as their basis or focus” (Holmes  1988, 71). This definition has opened up a myriad of opportunities for researchers in varied fields to work together on the common problems in translation. This is the case with the author of this book, Zhao Xifang, who has set translation as his focus and presents the reader with a different history of modern Chinese literature. He truly represents the spirit of Koller’s definition as a modern and contemporary Chinese literature scholar, making a difference in a research domain traditionally dominated by foreign language researchers. Translation and Discourse Practice in the New Era from 2003 was his debut in examining Chinese literature through the lens of translation. The effort continued in 2009 when he contributed a volume to the series History of Chinese Translated Literature in the 20th Century and in 2012 when he published Translating Modernity – Translation from Late Qing Dynasty to the May 4th Movement. His latest work, Translation and Modern China, brings together what he has written over the past fifteen years and presents it in a clear, convincing, and insightful way.