A missing link in Itamar Even-Zohar’s theoretical thinking

Nam Fung Chang

Abstract

According to Itamar Even-Zohar, for a large social entity to be maintained, a culture repertoire must be invented to create internal cohesion and external differentiation, and from this repertoire certain items are chosen to build a collective identity. In contrast, imported items, if regarded as threats to this identity, may meet with resistance. This theory may shed light on Even-Zohar’s hypotheses that the “normal” position assumed by translated literature in the literary polysystem tends to be a peripheral one, and that translation tends towards acceptability when it is at the periphery.

Keywords:
Table of contents

In his seminal paper “The position of translated literature within the literary polysystem”, first published in 1978 (Even-Zohar 1990a), Itamar Even-Zohar puts forward two interrelated hypotheses: first, that the position assumed by translated literature tends to be a peripheral one except in three special situations—when the literary polysystem is young, weak, or in a crisis; and second, that translation tends towards acceptability when it is at the periphery, and towards adequacy when it is at the centre. He has not explained in detail the basis of these hypotheses, and has turned to culture research since the 1990s.

Full-text access is restricted to subscribers. Log in to obtain additional credentials. For subscription information see Subscription & Price. Direct PDF access to this article can be purchased through our e-platform.

References

Bassnett, Susan and Harish Trivedi
1999 “Introduction: Of colonies, cannibals and vernaculars”. Susan Bassnett and Harish Trivedi, eds. Post-colonial translation: Theory and practice. London and New York: Routledge 1999 1–18.Google Scholar
Cai Huizhen
2001Lu Xun xiaoshuo yanjiu [A study of Lu Xun’s fiction]. Gaoxiong: Gaoxiong tushu chubanshe.Google Scholar
Chang Nam Fung
2004Criticism of Chinese and Western translation theories [in Chinese]. Beijing: Tsinghua University Press.Google Scholar
Cheng guangwei, Wu Xiaodong, Kong Qingdong, Gao Yuanbaoand Liu Yong
eds. 2000Zhongguo xiandai wenxue shi [History of modern Chinese literature]. Beijing: Zhongguo renmin daxue chubanshe.Google Scholar
Even-Zohar, Itamar
1990 “Polysystem theory”. Polysystem studies [=Poetics today 11:1]. 9–26.Google Scholar
1990a “The position of translated literature within the literary polysystem”. Polysystem studies [=Poetics today 11:1]. 45–51.Google Scholar
[ p. 146 ]
1997 “The making of culture repertoire and the role of transfer”. Target 9: 2. 355–363.   CrossrefGoogle Scholar
1997a “Factors and dependencies in culture: A revised outline for polysystem research”. Canadian review of comparative literature 3. 15–34.Google Scholar
2000 “Culture repertoire and the wealth of collective entities”. Dirk De Geest et al., eds. Under construction: Links for the site of literary theory. Essays in honour of Hendrik Van Gorp. Leuven: Leuven University Press 2000 389–403.Google Scholar
2002 “Culture planning and cultural resistance in the making and maintaining of entities”. Sun Yat-Sen journal of humanities 14. 45–52.Google Scholar
2002a “Literature as goods, literature as tools”. Neohelicon XXIX: 1. 75–83.   CrossrefGoogle Scholar
2004 “Culture planning”. Itamar, Even-Zohar. Papers in culture research. 82–103. Available online: http://​www​.tau​.ac​.il​/~itamarezGoogle Scholar
Fu Sinian
1984 (first published in 1919). “Yi shu gan” yan [Reflections on the translating of books]. Translator’s notes itoria lDepartment, ed. Fanyi yanjiu lunwenji (1894–1948) [Selected papers in Translation Studies (1894–1948)]. Beijing: Waiyu jiaoxue yu yanjiu chubanshe 1984 59–63.Google Scholar
Gao Chang Fan
1989 “Cultural barriers in translation”. New comparison 8. 3–12.Google Scholar
Jiang Shuxian
ed. 2002Zhongguo xiandai wenxue shi [History of modern Chinese literature]. Beijing: Kexue chubanshe.Google Scholar
Lao Long
1996 “Diudiao huanxiang lianxi shiji—Jiepo fanyi (ke) xue de mimeng” [My view on translatology]. Chinese translators journal 2. 38–41.Google Scholar
Li Dazhao
1959Li Dazhao xuanji [Selected Works of Li Dazhao]. Beijing: Renmin chubanshe.Google Scholar
OufanLi
(Leo Ou-fan Lee) tr. Yin Hui 1991Tie wu zhong de nahan [Voices from the iron house]. Hong Kong: Joint Publishing.Google Scholar
Luo Xinzhang
1984 “Woguo zicheng tixi de fanyi lilun” [Chinese ranslation theory: A system of its own]. Translator’s notes editorial department, ed. Fanyi yanjiu lunwen ji (1949–1983) [Selected papers in Translation Studies (1949–1983)]. Beijing: Waiyu jiaoxue yu yanjiu chubanshe 1984 588–604.Google Scholar
Mao Zedong
1956 “Chairman Mao’s talk to music workers”. Available online: http://​www​.reference​/archive​/mao​/selected​-works​/volume​-7​/mswv7​_469​.htmGoogle Scholar
Minshi Xinwenwang
1983 “Long de chuanren Hou Dejian jinru Beijing” [Decendant of the Dragon Hou Dejian enters Beijing]. 4 June. Available online: http://​www​.ftvn​.com​.tw​/Topic​/CaringTW​/TWnotes​/0604​.htmGoogle Scholar
Nakamura Hajime
1957 “The influence of Confucian ethics on the Chinese translations of Buddhist Sutras”. Kshitis Roy, ed. Liebenthal Festschrift: Sino-Indian studies v, Parts 3 & 4. Santiniketan: Visvabharati University 1957 156–170.Google Scholar
Nanfangwang
2003 “Mao Zedong wenhua jiaoyu sixiang: gu wei jin yong, yang wei Zhong yong” [Mao Zedong’s thought on culture and education: Make the past serve the present and make foreign things serve China]. 22 December. Available online: http://​big5​.southcn​.com​/gate​/big5​/www​.southcn​.com​/news​/community​/shzt​/mzd​/thought​/200312220715​.htmGoogle Scholar
Norwegian book clubs association, The
2001 “The 100 greatest literary works”. Available online: http://​station05​.qc​.ca​/csrs​/bouscol​/anglais​/book​_report​/links8​.htmlGoogle Scholar
Siu Wingyip
2001 “Makesizhuyi gainian fanyi zai Zhongguo” [Translation of Marxist concepts in China]. M.Phil thesis, Lingnan University, Hong Kong.Google Scholar
Ta Kung Pao
2004 “Zhongyang gaodu guanzhu Gang zhengzhi fazhan: Tang Jiaxuan chi Li Zhuming ‘bai yang miao’” [Central government deeply concerned about HK’s constitutional reform: Tang Jiaxuan Blasts Martin Lee for “Worshipping at a foreign temple”]. March 5: A08.Google Scholar
[ p. 147 ]
Toury, Gideon
1995Descriptive Translation Studies and beyond. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.   CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Venuti, Lawrence
1995The translator’s invisibility: A history of translation. London: Routledge.   CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Wallerstein, Immanuel
1991 “The national and the universal: Can there be such a thing as world culture?”. Antony D. King, ed. Culture, globalization and the world-system: Contemporary conditions for the representation of identity. Basingstoke: Macmillan 1991 91–105. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Wang Xiaoyuan
2006 “Translation, ideology and discourse: Literary translation in China 1895–1911” [in Chinese]. Lingnan University, Hong Kong. [PhD thesis.]Google Scholar
WangYan
1998 “Wan Qing Xianzheng de xianqu—Zhang Zhidong yu Zhong ti xi yong” [Pioneer of constitutional reform in the Late Qing: Zhang Zhidong and Chinese learning as the body, Western learning for practical application]. October. Available online: http://​www​.chinalawedu​.com​/news​/2004​_4%5C8%5C1732531137​.htmGoogle Scholar
Wen Wei Po
2004 “‘Xiandai Wu Sangui’ fu Mei lingjiang” [“Modern Wu Sangui” to receive award in the US]. October 21: A14.Google Scholar
Wright, Arthur F.
1959Buddhism in Chinese history. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
Xiaolin Sunren
2006 “Qing mo jian bian shi” [History of pigtail cutting in the late Qing]. July 19. Available online: http://​www​.crossmedia​.com​.hk​/f​/index​.php​?showtopic​=26464​&hlGoogle Scholar
Xie Tianzhen
1999Medio-translatology [in Chinese]. Shanghai: Shanghai waiyu jiaoyu chubanshe.Google Scholar
Xu Yuanchong
2003 “Tan Zhongguo xuepai de fanyi lilun—Zhongguo fanyixue luohou yu xifang ma?” [On the translation theory of the Chinese school—Is Chinese translatology behind West translatology?]. Foreign languages and their teaching 1. 52–54.Google Scholar
Zhang Jinghao
1999 “Fanyixue: yige wei yuan qie nan yuan de meng” [Translatology: A dream that has not and will hardly ever come true]. Foreign languages and their teaching 10. 44–48.Google Scholar
Zhongguo Qingnian Bao
[China youth daily] 2001 “Yuwen kaoshi: zuowen yao ganqing zhenzhi” [Chinese language examination: There must be sincerity in composition]. March 28. Available online: http://​www​.people​.com​.cn​/BIG5​/kejiao​/41​/20010328​/427748​.htmlGoogle Scholar
Zhu Jinshun,
ed. 1996Zhongguo xiandai wenxue shi [History of modern Chinese literature]. Beijing: Beijing shifan daxue chubanshe.Google Scholar
[ p. 148 ]