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Mark Twain in China$
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Selina Lai-Henderson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780804789646

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804789646.001.0001

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Translation, Appropriation, and Continuation

Translation, Appropriation, and Continuation

Huck Finn’s Chinese Adventures in the Late Twentieth Century and Beyond

(p.101) Chapter 5 Translation, Appropriation, and Continuation
Mark Twain in China

Selina Lai-Henderson

Stanford University Press

This chapter examines specific passages from Huck Finn and explores how Chinese translators approach Twain's work in the late 20th century and beyond—how they conveyed appropriate contexts and elucidated elements that were unfamiliar to Chinese readers. Drawing on a few representative works of translation from different periods, the chapter explores some of the challenges that Chinese translators have been confronted with when it comes to translating the language of a fourteen-year-old boy, Pap Finn’s racist attitude, and Jim’s black vernacular. It looks at how Twain's work was used to portray America in different spatial and historical moments, as well as how American race relations get transposed into other cultural contexts, and whether the critiques of racism embodied in Twain's work get passed on to readers in China.

Keywords:   Huckleberry Finn, translation, race, Pap Finn, Jim, American race, China, African American vernacular

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