Hong Kong and its Literature through a Double Lens: English and French Anthologies of Translated Literature

  • MARIN-LACARTA, Maialen (PI)

    Project: Research project

    Project Details


    While several monographs focus on the uniqueness of Hong Kong culture, often restricted to cinema, little attention has been paid to how Hong Kong literature is presented to international readers. However, literature has the ability to create powerful images of cultures that are globally transmitted through translation. By focusing on translation anthologies of Hong Kong literature, this project will investigate the translators’ agency and the way their choices shape the representation of Hong Kong and its literature. The project will therefore broaden the understanding of Hong Kong literary identity and the agency of translators, contributing to both Hong Kong literature studies and socially situated translation studies. Translation anthologies are an especially pertinent site for the study of intercultural representation because they can be considered a double rewriting: anthologizing involves selection, structuring and presentation, while translations are marked by the choices of translators. In addition, translation anthologies are typically used in comparative literature courses, influencing students’ understanding of other literatures and cultures. The study of 21 translation anthologies in English and 9 in French will help us examine both the image of the Self and the representation of the Other. The macro-level analysis (paratexts, content and reviews) will be followed by a detailed micro-level reading and translation comparison of three of these anthologies.

    The postcolonial context in which these anthologies were produced and the marginalised position of Hong Kong literature make the object of study uniquely interesting. The analysis of the paratextual elements (prefaces, notes, book covers) and reviews will inform us about the translators’ intervention at the discursive level, the way they depict Hong Kong and its literature, and the way this literature is received. Detailed analysis of a selection of translations will be conducted to study the decision-making of each translator. Special attention will be paid to translations of stories that appear both in the French and English anthologies, since they will allow us to establish a comparison. The translators’ stance will be examined in other sources, such as interviews, articles, prefaces and accounts of their own work. Interviews with the editors, publishers and a selection of ten translators who have participated in three of the anthologies will complement the data. The outcomes will be disseminated through conferences, articles and book chapters. The project’s website will give global visibility to Hong Kong literature both as an exceptional field of research and as a literature worth reading and translating
    Effective start/end date1/10/1930/09/21


    Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.