2016 No.1
Event: The Fourth Renditions Distinguished Lecture Series on Literary Translation, Research Centre for Translation

The Renditions Distinguished Lecture Series on Literary Translation was established by the Research Centre for Translation of the Institute of Chinese Studies in 2013, in celebration of the fortieth anniversary of Renditions, the world-renowned journal of Chinese literature in English. This lecture series is an annual event at which key figures in the field of literary translation are invited to talk about their experiences. It is the Centre's great hope that this lecture series will, together with Renditions, reinforce the journal's founding goals of promoting Chinese literature through high quality translations, and of raising the standard of the art of literary translation.

This year's lecture, entitled "Translator/Ghostwriter/Ghost Composer", was given by Brian Holton, an established translator and scholar of Chinese literature and the translator of Renditions' newly published paperback Paper Cuts. The lecture was held on 16 December 2015 at the Yasumoto International Academic Park, CUHK, and it received favourable responses from students, researchers, translators, and scholars of literary translation and related fields. The lecture lasted for two hours, including a Q&A session that offered the audience a chance to ask any questions they might have about literary translation.

Mr. Holton began the lecture with the thought-provoking question, "Whose voice are we hearing when we read a translation?" He shared with us his inspirational insights gained through his many years of translating Chinese literature. In his exploration of the relationship between the author and the translator, he challenged the conservative view that translators act as the telepathist of the author, loyally conveying old messages to new audiences. He believes that, on the contrary, translators are rather interpretive personas, ghost writers and composers, who stand between the original author and the target audience, shedding light while at the same time selectively blocking some of the beams.

Whether author- or reader-centred, objective or subjective, a translator must have responsible autonomy over a text and retain the power of decision. Drawing upon his own experience, Mr. Holton remarked that in literature, true meaning often lies beyond the language, and the interpretation of a text is unconsciously transfigured by what is unseen and hidden between the lines. Literary translation, resembling re-creation in this regard, can thus reveal what is previously unsaid and covert. Each individual translator makes a choice about which way and to what extent such revelation should be carried out in different texts and with different authors.

The Renditions Distinguished Lecture Series on Literary Translation allows translators and those interested in the practice to reflect on the whys and hows of translation through listening to the experiences of expert translators in a very casual and comfortable setting. The Research Centre for Translation hopes that through exchanging ideas and sharing experiences, the annual lecture series will serve as a source of motivation and inspiration for many translators who pursue the lonely art of literary translation.

For those who missed the lecture, the video can be found at http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/rct/. Please visit our website to find out about the Centre's latest efforts in translating Chinese literature and promoting historical translation studies.

Back to Issue
Interview with Professor Chang Song-hing: Fifty Years at CUHK
Jao Tsung-I Visiting Professor Public Lecture 2016: "The Possibilities and Limits of a Genre: Lyrical Pictures from the Ming by Professor Yuan Xingpei"
2016 Institute of Chinese Studies Luncheon I: "Deng Erya's Calligraphy: A Discourse Originating from the Collection of the Art Museum"
Event: Opening Ceremony of "Erudition in Ink: The Calligraphy of Sheung Chun-ho", Art Museum
Public Seminar: Gold Working Techniques of Ancient China, Art Museum
Event: Let's Celebrate the Year of the Monkey, Art Museum
Event: Music for CM Li and You: The Lantern Festival Concert
Event: Academic Lectures and Roundtable Discussion, Research Centre for Contemporary Chinese Culture
Event: Documentary Screening Series, Co-organised by Research Centre for Contemporary Chinese Culture and Universities Service Centre for China Studies
Event: The Fourth Renditions Distinguished Lecture Series on Literary Translation, Research Centre for Translation
Event: Translators in the Making of Chinese Translation History, The First International Conference on Chinese Translation History, Research Centre for Translation
New Publications
Young Scholars' Forum in Chinese Studies 2016, jointly organised by CUHK–Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation Asia-Pacific Centre for Chinese Studies (APC) and ICS will be held on 19–21 May 2016
Exhibition: Erudition in Ink: The Calligraphy of Sheung Chun-ho, Art Museum (27 February 2016 – 22 May 2016)
Editorial Board Committee
Past Issues
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