China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
Pseudotranslation has always been an important, albeit difficult, issue in translation studies. The difficulty lies mainly in the ambiguity of its definition, the sometimes impossible demonstration of the absence of the original text, as well as a fitting theoretical framework to discuss works of pseudotranslation. An intertextual reading can provide us with a useful framework for the analysis of pseudotranslation. Pseudotranslation engages with authentic translation on three levels, textual, generic, and discursive. It engages with the authentic translations on the textual level because sometimes authors of pseudotranslation borrow various semantic units, such as words, phrases, or passages, from authentic translations to construct their own disguised works. More importantly, pseudotranslation can be considered to be intertextually referring to the genre of translation, where genre is conceived as the specific norms and stylistic characteristics of literary translation. Pseudotranslation may also refer to specific discourses, that is, it makes use of certain discourses embodied in and represented by translations, as well as the source texts they represent. These three levels of intertextual engagements foreground the metafictional nature of pseudotranslation, that is, the way it reflects on authentic translations and domestic cultural and literary traditions. Three case studies of pseudotranslation in twentieth century China are provided to illustrate and explore the three levels of intertextual engagements.