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Title: A critical study of the reception and translation of the poetry of Wang Wei in English
Author: Liao, Chia-hui
ISNI:       0000 0004 2704 9285
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis explores how Wang Wei 王維(701-761), a Chinese Tang-dynasty poet, was received and represented through the twentieth century in the Anglophone world and what images of him different translators have created at different times for different readers in the receiving context. Wang Wei, like some of his contemporaries, notably Li Bo 李白(701-762) and Du Fu 杜甫 (712-770), is one of the most translated Chinese poets. The translation and reception of Wang Wei’s poetry have been dominated by emphasis on imagery, landscape, and Zen over the past one hundred years although his poetry also includes other themes. The hypothesis is that Wang Wei was more discussed for his contribution to Chinese landscape art at the beginning of the twentieth century, then began to be connected with Zen Buddhism around the mid-century. In the post-war period and beyond, his nature poetry associated with eco-spirituality has been widely explored. Starting with an introductory chapter, which explores critical debates about Wang Wei’s life and establishes a theoretical framework based on systemic approaches, this thesis will discuss the following elements chapter by chapter: classical Chinese poetry in English translation, Chinese imagery traditions and the development of Imagism, Wang Wei’s poetry about landscape and Zen, and difficulties of and patterns in translating Wang Wei. The concluding chapter will stress that the sustainability of Wang Wei’s poetry in English lies in its constant interactions with various literary, political, and social factors in the polysystem of the target culture. Thus, the translation of a foreign literary figure, like Wang Wei, goes beyond the linguistic and takes into account contextual relationships.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PI Oriental languages and literatures