Title

Re-negotiating domesticating and foreignizing : bridging The Symposium and Niezi through the imagery of emptiness

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Asia Pacific Translation and Intercultural Studies

Publication Date

3-4-2016

Volume

3

Issue

1

First Page

33

Last Page

46

Publisher

Routledge

Keywords

Domesticating, foreignizing, Niezi (Nieh-tzu), Crystal Boys, The Symposium

Abstract

This article attempts to rethink the dichotomy of domesticating and foreignizing in translation. With a close examination of Howard Goldblatt’s Crystal Boys, a translation of Bai Xianyong’s (Pai Hsien-yung) Niezi (Nieh-tzu), it suggests how the English version has missed one of the most important themes in the novel, namely, the different images of darkness and emptiness within the characters and the city. It conducts a brief comparison between Niezi/Crystal Boys and The Symposium, another important text on male–male relationship in Western literature, suggesting that the image of the wound and emptiness is equally significant in Plato. Therefore, the two texts on a similar subject have missed an important link because of a reader-oriented approach of translation. This paper argues that the concept of domesticating and foreignizing cannot be clearly differentiated in some cases: while a foreignized strategy could produce a feeling of familiarity to Western readers, the approach of domestication has disconnected the Chinese text from its Western counterpart. The study has its implication on translation and communication: perhaps a true cross-cultural understanding should be achieved through acknowledging and recognizing the presence of the gap (both within the text and between civilizations), instead of hiding and concealing their differences.

DOI

10.1080/23306343.2015.1131879

Print ISSN

23306343

E-ISSN

23306351

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Hui, I. T.-y. (2016). Re-negotiating domesticating and foreignizing : bridging The Symposium and Niezi through the imagery of emptiness. Asia Pacific Translation and Intercultural Studies, 3(1), 33-46. doi: 10.1080/23306343.2015.1131879