A Study on Self-Translation of Eileen Chang’s Little Finger Up From Perspective of Translator’s Subjectivity

Jieru MENG, Changbao LI


Based on both English and Chinese texts, this paper, with the help of corpus software, attempts to make a detailed analysis of translator’s subjectivity as revealed in Eileen Chang’s self-translation of Little Finger Up in terms of passivity, subjective initiative and purposefulness (self-benefiting) as well. Thereupon, the paper comes to the following conclusions. First, as the self-translator, Eileen Chang brings her subjective initiate into play in the self-translation in regard to sentence structure, proper nouns, culture-specific items, manifestation of the theme and way of expressing feelings. Second, privileged as she is, Eileen Chang is affected by both ideology and poetics. She deliberately eschews the sensitively political and warlike topic by way of omission and retains the heterogeneous elements of the source culture in the process of translation, reflecting her translator’s subjectivity in the self-translation while suffering the passivity imposed by ideology and poetics. Third, Eileen Chang usually adopts various strategies in the self-translation so as to fulfill her translation purposes, in which she deliberately deletes the plots and rewrites the title so as to highlight the problem of Chinese marriage and reveal her own pessimistic attitude towards marriage, indicating her self-benefiting in self-translation. In a nutshell, the self-translation seems to be concise and comprehensive as well as natural and unrestrained, indicating that the translator’s subjectivity is much more involved in self-translation, compared with that in conventional translation.


Translator’s subjectivity; Little Finger Up; Self-translation

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/%25x


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