Book reviewReview of A Century of Chinese Literature in Translation (1919–2019): English Publication and Reception London and New York: Routledge, 2021. xi, 187 pp.
Reviewed by Quangong Feng
Driven and encouraged by the Chinese government’s initiative of ‘Chinese Culture Going Global’ at the beginning of the twenty-first century, more and more Chinese scholars have turned their attention to the translation of Chinese literature and its dissemination and reception abroad. This has resulted in a huge number of publications in Chinese in the past two decades, such as Yao (2016), Feng and Lu (2018), and Xu and Li (2018), to name just a few anthologies. However, compared with the booming situation in China, there are far fewer English contributions in this field, especially in the form of monographs or anthologies. To bridge this gap, Leah Gerber and Lintao Qi from Monash University have edited an English anthology to probe into, as the title suggests, a century of Chinese literature in translation. This volume, part of the series Routledge Advances in Translation and Interpreting Studies, consists of an introduction and twelve chapters, contributed by both Chinese and non-Chinese scholars. It provides many insights into the complex making of a translated text and its reception, which may shed some light on the methodology of literary translation research at large, especially the so-called ‘archival research’ described in the first chapter. The twelve chapters are grouped into three parts: Part I entitled “Theoretical and historical reflections” (Chapters 1–4), Part II entitled “Translations for the page and stage” (Chapters 5–10), and Part III entitled “Voice of translators” (Chapters 11–12).