Chinese flower in the English garden : hybridity and cultural translation in Liu Hong's The magpie bridge

Mei Hung, Red CHAN, University of Warwick, UK

Copyright © 2007 Routledge

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This paper investigates the possibility of reading literary texts of diasporic writers as that of hybridity and cultural translation. Through a close study of motifs and narratives in the novel, this paper regards The Magpie Bridge as a metaphor of how migrants of contemporary societies evolve in an organic field of intercultural conflicts and reconciliation. The novel presents forbearance and hybrid cross-fertilisation as answer to the reconciliation between oppositional (albeit hierarchical) cultures, values or beliefs; and it goes beyond the theme of “reclaiming history and justice” that characterises postcolonial literature. The novel is read both as a feminine and a feminist celebration of the beauty of hybridity borne out of intercultural appropriation (translation).