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Transcultural novels and translating cultures : François Cheng's Le Dit de Tianyi and L'éternité n'est pas de trop

Li, Shuangyi LU (2017) In Forum for Modern Language Studies 53(2). p.179-199
Abstract

This article examines the two French-language novels by the Franco-Chinese migrant writer François Cheng, Le Dit de Tianyi (1998) and L'éternité n'est pas de trop (2002), and proposes to conceptualize them as two novelistic models of cultural translation. Cheng's engagement with, and departure from, canonical Western novelistic models such as Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu in Le Dit reveals his 'comparatist' ambition to reorient Western cultural heritage by putting it into dialogue with that of the East. L'éternité, on the other hand, is primarily concerned with a translingual rewriting of Chinese literary traditions such as that of classical romance. While the first model applies principles of analogy, the second reflects a... (More)

This article examines the two French-language novels by the Franco-Chinese migrant writer François Cheng, Le Dit de Tianyi (1998) and L'éternité n'est pas de trop (2002), and proposes to conceptualize them as two novelistic models of cultural translation. Cheng's engagement with, and departure from, canonical Western novelistic models such as Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu in Le Dit reveals his 'comparatist' ambition to reorient Western cultural heritage by putting it into dialogue with that of the East. L'éternité, on the other hand, is primarily concerned with a translingual rewriting of Chinese literary traditions such as that of classical romance. While the first model applies principles of analogy, the second reflects a more traditional conception of translation that emphasizes faithfulness and authenticity. The two models are mutually complementary rather than exclusive. The study pays special attention to Cheng's 'Chinese-inked' French language and style, highlighting the aesthetic innovations and challenges in Cheng's transcultural writings.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
cultural translation, Franco-Chinese literature, François Cheng, Marcel Proust, transcultural writing
in
Forum for Modern Language Studies
volume
53
issue
2
pages
179 - 199
publisher
Oxford University Press
external identifiers
  • scopus:85027411430
ISSN
0015-8518
DOI
10.1093/fmls/cqw058
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e3d8ea10-be6e-499c-8102-9cc2b39f4d0f
date added to LUP
2018-01-26 17:42:41
date last changed
2018-05-29 10:35:31
@article{e3d8ea10-be6e-499c-8102-9cc2b39f4d0f,
  abstract     = {<p>This article examines the two French-language novels by the Franco-Chinese migrant writer François Cheng, Le Dit de Tianyi (1998) and L'éternité n'est pas de trop (2002), and proposes to conceptualize them as two novelistic models of cultural translation. Cheng's engagement with, and departure from, canonical Western novelistic models such as Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu in Le Dit reveals his 'comparatist' ambition to reorient Western cultural heritage by putting it into dialogue with that of the East. L'éternité, on the other hand, is primarily concerned with a translingual rewriting of Chinese literary traditions such as that of classical romance. While the first model applies principles of analogy, the second reflects a more traditional conception of translation that emphasizes faithfulness and authenticity. The two models are mutually complementary rather than exclusive. The study pays special attention to Cheng's 'Chinese-inked' French language and style, highlighting the aesthetic innovations and challenges in Cheng's transcultural writings.</p>},
  author       = {Li, Shuangyi},
  issn         = {0015-8518},
  keyword      = {cultural translation,Franco-Chinese literature,François Cheng,Marcel Proust,transcultural writing},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {179--199},
  publisher    = {Oxford University Press},
  series       = {Forum for Modern Language Studies},
  title        = {Transcultural novels and translating cultures : François Cheng's Le Dit de Tianyi and L'éternité n'est pas de trop},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/fmls/cqw058},
  volume       = {53},
  year         = {2017},
}