The Dual Patronage Roles of Literary Censorship: On English Translations of the Erotic Texts in Jin Ping Mei

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Lefevere defines patronage as a force that may promote or hinder the reading, creation and rewriting of works, with a highlight that patronage is mostly a promoting rather than hindering force. As such, researchers on patronage of persons and institutions have predominantly focused on the former with a practical exclusion of the latter. This article, by putting the English translations of the sexual descriptions in Jin Ping Mei under scrutiny, attempts to tease out literary censorship’s dual patronage function of both hindering and promoting the production, publication, circulation and reception of the relevant texts. Despite the seeming ambivalence, the concurrence of the two opposite functions in the same patron actually reveals the hierarchical, dynamic and interactive nature of the patronage system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-116
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Translation Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • literary censorship
  • patronage
  • Jin Ping Mei
  • sexual descriptions

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