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2022-06-30 - Colloque/Présentation - communication orale - Anglais - page(s) (A publier)

Henry Kevin , "A bird’s-eye view: On the translations of Maeterlinck and "The Blue Bird" in China" in 4th East Asian Translation Studies Conference, Paris, France, 2022

  • Codes CREF : Littérature comparée (DI5356), Linguistique appliquée (DI5320), Langues et littératures d'Asie du sud et du sud-est, chinois (DI536Q), Langue et littérature françaises (DI5365), Histoire de la littérature (DI5359), Histoire de l'extrême orient (DI5153), Linguistique comparée (DI5327), Traduction (DI5326), Linguistique appliquée (DI5323)
  • Unités de recherche UMONS : Communication écrite (T203)
  • Instituts UMONS : Institut de recherche en sciences et technologies du langage (Langage)
  • Centres UMONS : Ciéphumons (CIEPH)

Abstract(s) :

(Anglais) Our paper, which intersects the fields of literature, translation and Chinese studies, is part of a research project of the CELTRAD research unit (Written Communication, Literature, Translation and Discourse Analysis) in the University of Mons. This initiative, financed by the National Fund for Scientific Research of French-speaking Belgium (FNRS), aims at investigating the position of French-speaking Belgian literature in the global cultural heritage, through the lens of translation. In a first step, we will introduce the genesis and the main lines of this enterprise, which includes setting up a bibliographic database and a text corpus online that will provide an exhaustive list of the translations of works by French-speaking Belgian writers. That tool, which fills a major gap, intends to offer a collection of relevant quantitative data to answer the following questions: Which works by Belgian authors have been translated? Thanks to which mediators have they been produced? Based on these premises, we will outline our personal project, devoted to the influence of the symbolist playwright Maurice Maeterlinck, to date the only Belgian Nobel Prize winner for literature (1912), within the Chinese world. We will show that, from the 1920s onwards, this prominent figure of Belgian symbolism was well known, translated and appreciated in China. Thus, during the so-called Republican period (1911–1949), more than twenty translations of his plays were issued, some of them by major authors such as Mao Dun, Dai Wangshu and Tian Han. After the Maoist interlude, two new anthologies of Maeterlinck’s works were then released in 1982 (theatre) and 1997 (all genres); subsequently, between 2000 and 2018, translations of the playwright’s essays were the subject of at least 37 publications (in the form of monographs or anthologies). In the last section, we will discuss the case of the play L’Oiseau bleu (The Blue Bird), which, after three Chinese versions during the Republican period, gave rise to more than 150 translations or (intersemiotic) adaptations from the 1980s onwards, in a very wide variety of formats. Using a model combining translation criticism, qualitative corpus analysis and sociology of translation, we will show that the so-called retranslation hypothesis is not confirmed when we see the evolution of The Blue Bird in China, towards a complete reappropriation of the fictional material of the play. At the end, we will try, through the assessment of two renditions of this “fairy play”, to understand its exceptional fate in China.