On Lin Yutang’s Translation of Text Blanks in Dream Shadows from the Perspective of Reception Aesthetics毕业论文
- Introduction 1
- Demonstration. 3
- Text blanks in Dream Shadows 3
- Text blanks in semantics 3
- Text blanks in artistic conception 5
- Lin Yutang’s translation of text blanks in Dream Shadows 6
- Literal translation 7
- Translation with amplification 8
- Omission 10
- Free translation 12
- Text blanks in Dream Shadows 3
- Conclusion 13
Works Cited 15
On Lin Yutang’s Translation of Text Blanks in Dream Shadows
from the Perspective of Reception Aesthetics
Dream Shadows is one of the excellent essays in the Ming and Qing Dynasties written by Zhang Chao, a famous novelist and poet in the early period of Qing Dynasty. It consists of more than two hundred concise sentences without characters or plot. However, the simple words and expressions are full of wisdom and life philosophy which shows the leisurely and carefree mood of the writer and the attitudes towards life. The ideas and values conveyed by Zhang Chao greatly impressed Lin Yutang, who is well known as a scholar with profound knowledge in both Chinese and western culture and linguistics. He appreciated Zhang Chao very much, highly agreeing with his attitude towards life, and in order to promote Chinese culture overseas, he translated some parts of Dream Shadows into English. Studies on translation of Dream Shadows at home have begun since the beginning of the 21st century, mainly from the aspects of Lin Yutang’s translation style, translation techniques, as well as from the perspectives of subjectivity of translator and eco-translatology, but very few has been from the perspective of reception aesthetics.
Reception aesthetics was developed by some scholars in Germany during the
late 1960s and early 1970s. Hans Robert Jauss and Wolfgang Iser are two major representative theorists, who emphasized the significance of the role of reader’s participation in reading, challenging the traditional author-centered and text-centered literary theories and shifting the focus to the text-reader relationship. The main points of reception aesthetics were introduced for the first time in Hans Robert Jauss’s lecture in 1967, which was then published under the title “Literature History as a Challenge to Literary Theory”. In the work he criticized two opposite extremes in literary theory: Marxist and Formalist methods. Jauss stated that “both the methods of the formalist school and Marxism lack the reader in his genuine role, a role as
unalterable for aesthetic as for historical knowledge; as the addressee for whom the literary work is primary destined” (Jauss 1198). The theory was further developed by Wolfgang Iser in 1970 when the book Indeterminacy and the Reader’s Response in Prose Fiction was published.
Iser’s theory relies considerably on the phenomenology of Roman Ingarden. Interested in the relationship between the reader and text, Iser pays close attention to the dynamic role of the reader in the reception of the text. He states that there is a “response-inviting structure” in the text which compels the reader to interact with the text to concretize the potential meaning. In his description of text response-inviting structure, Iser proposes the term “text blanks” or “gaps” which he defines as follows: blanks or gaps are bound to open, and offers a free play of interpretation for the specific way in which the various views can be connected with one another. These gaps give the reader a chance to build his own bridges, relating the different aspects of the object which have thus far been revealed to him (Iser 36). In addition, the uncertain meanings produced by these blanks called “indeterminacy”.