跨文化的際遇:芮譯《金瓶梅》研究

A Cross-Cultural Encounter: David Roy's Translation of Jin Ping Mei (The Plum in the Golden Vase)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

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Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Tze Ki HON (Supervisor)
  • Feng Yang (External person) (External Supervisor)
Award date21 Jul 2021

Abstract

作為明代四大奇書之一,《金瓶梅》歷經歷時與共時的雙重闡釋。翻譯作為譯者闡釋的主要手段,一直以來備受關注。在《金瓶梅》英譯本的闡釋中共產生4種譯本,本文以最後一個全譯本,即芮效衛譯本,為主要研對象,既着眼於微觀層面的譯本語言特色,又從宏觀層面把握譯本在譯入語中的接受與傳播,以期闡明譯者翻譯的社會歷史語境,重塑譯者與《金瓶梅》的跨文化際遇。

早在上世紀20年代,《金瓶梅》已經以節譯的形式出現在紐約市場。隨後全譯本的出版更是加快了原文在異域世界的傳播。因此,本文先以英語世界兩個全譯本為開端,借用語料庫手段,檢視兩譯本在語言微觀層面的差異。基於此,本文繼續探究造成譯本差異的譯者主體因素、社會、文化語境因素。

作為歐美傳統漢學的繼承者,芮效衛充分浸潤在二戰後的漢學研究的學術氛圍中,行成自己獨特的漢學文化觀。這種文化觀深刻影響了譯者餘生的翻譯事業,為其後續翻譯實踐奠定了學術基調。具體體現在研與譯相結合的翻譯模式上,無所不譯的翻譯原則,以及「忠實於原作」「背離於傳統」「再現於讀者」三位一體的翻譯觀的形成上。在這種獨特文化翻譯觀的主導下,譯本呈現出獨特的體例特色。文本之外的副文本方面,譯者借助引言、插圖、注釋、人物表等副文本空間,展示其對原文的跨文化解讀與呈現。而文本內的敘事層面,譯者以隱性的姿態呈現原作的敘事視角,話語表達方式,敘事時間等,最大化地再現中國古典小說的敘事模式。而在飽受爭議的性描寫部分,芮效衛也以「忠實原作」的方式對原作進行闡釋與考證。詩詞方面,芮效衛捨棄韻律,以詩體譯詩體,盡量保持形式上的對等。同時借助陌生化手段對詩行進行排列,以突出語體的不同。這種處理方式不僅保留了原作韻散結合的敘事特質,也在某種程度上突顯了詩歌在中國古典小說中的敘事功用。

再者,本文從學術評價、讀者反應及主流媒體三個面向探討芮譯本的接受和影響,把握西方讀者對該書的審美接受,並由此評價芮效衛翻譯的貢獻與得失。譯本的接受與傳播證明僅管芮譯本是全譯時代的產物,但在跨文化交際的語境下全譯並非傳播文化的最佳策略。而在一批漢學家兼翻譯家中,芮效衛也屬於後進啟動者,其翻譯聲勢與效果自是不如先前譯者。同時,經典化的操縱手段也使得芮譯本與先前的暢銷書譯本截然不同。儘管如此,芮效衛與《金瓶梅》跨文化際遇的意義在於既給原作提供另一重解讀空間,又構成了《金瓶梅》文本旅行的重要一環。
As one of the Four Great Books of the Ming Dynasty, the Jin Ping Mei has undergone both diachronic and synchronic interpretations. Translation, as the main means of interpretation by the translator, has attracted great attentions. Up to now, there are four translated versions in the Anglophone world, among which the last full translation, namely, David Tod Roy's translation, is chose as the main object of study. This dissertation focuses on the linguistic characteristics of the translation at the micro level and pays special attention to the reception and transmission of the translation in the target language at the macro level. Besides, it intends to elaborate the sociohistorical context of the translator's interpretation and reshapes the cross-cultural encounter between the translator and the Jin Ping Mei.

As early as the 1920s, the abridged translation of the Jin Ping Me had appeared in the New York book market. The subsequent publication of the full translation accelerated the spread of the original text in the Anglophone world. Therefore, by comparing the two full translations in the English-speaking world by means of corpus, this dissertation examines the differences between them at the linguistic and cultural level. Based on this, it continues to explore the factors that result in so many differences, such as translators' subjectivity and different social and cultural contexts.

As a successor of traditional Sinology, Roy has been fully immersed in the academic atmosphere of post-World War II Sinological studies, forming his own unique cultural view of Sinology. This cultural outlook profoundly influenced the translator's translation career for his rest life and set the academic tone for his subsequent translation practice and helped the formation of the translator's unique cultural translation thought. Such cultural translation thought could be represented by the general principle of translating everything, the strategy of foreignization, and the translation mode of researching and translating and the trinity of translation thought, that is, "being faithful to the original text", "deviating from tradition", and "reproducing for the reader".

This study takes Roy's The Plum in the Golden Vase as the object, aiming at exploring its translation features, and the principles and cultural translation thoughts of David Roy's. First of all, based on the comparison between Clement Egerton's version and that of Roy's, it explores the linguistic and cultural characteristics of the latter's and concludes Roy's translation strategies. Second, it elaborates Roy's particular interpretation and understanding of the original text from four dimensions: paratexts, narration, sexual descriptions, and poetry. In terms of paratexts, Roy fully demonstrates his interpretation and representation of the original text by dint of paratextual spaces such as introductions, illustrations, notes, and character lists. As for narrative characteristics, Roy reproduces narrative perspectives, discourse manners, narrative times in the original work in an implicit manner, without evaluating or interfering with the work, so as to duplicate the narrative mode of classical Chinese novel to the maximum. For these controversial sexual depictions, Roy abides by the principle of "being faithful" to the original text. In response to those poetries, the translator generally abandons rhyme and translates poetic style with poetic style, trying to maintain formal equivalence". Meanwhile, the lines are purposely arranged in a defamiliarized way to highlight the difference in style. In so doing, it not only keeps the narrative mode, where the form of verse is interwoven with the prose in the original text, but also stresses the importance of the narrative function of prose in classical Chinese novels. Third, this study examines the aesthetic reception of the book by Western readers from three aspects: academic evaluation, general readers' reactions, and mainstream media's reports, and thus evaluates the successes and losses of Roy's translation.

The dissemination and acceptance of the translated text indicates that, as a product of the full-translation era, Roy's translation is not the optimal choice in the context of cross-cultural communication. Besides, among sinologists and translators, Roy is a belated starter, who received a less warm-hearted welcome than his predecessors. At the same time, the attempt to classicize this edition results in a Roy's version, so disparate from the previous bestselling translations that fail to meet its prospective success. Nonetheless, the significance of Roy's cross-cultural encounter with the Jin Ping Mei lies in that it gives another interpretation of the Jin Ping Mei while constitutes an important part of the Jin Ping Mei's global travel.

    Research areas

  • David Roy, Jin Ping Mei, translation thought, reception