Transference of things remote: Constraints and creativity in the english translations of Jin Ping Mei

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The challenges JPM imposes upon its English translators are manifold: not only is it from a different linguistic and cultural territory, it also represents a literary genre which has long been rendered obsolete, depicting a social picture which is remote to the translators both spatially and temporally. The distance between the archaic ST and contemporary target culture imposes dramatic challenges upon the English translators of JPM, who may, however, exercise their creativity to confront or circumvent the various issues. This chapter will examine the constraints from the linguistic, literary and cultural aspects of the ST, and the translators’ creative solution in devising their TTs. It is clear that the constraints in translation are always the motivating factor for translators’ creativity, and the otherness in the ST should not and would not discourage its transference across temporal and spatial borders into another language and culture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-110
Number of pages13
JournalTranslation Horizons
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • English translation
  • constraints
  • creativity
  • Clement Egerton
  • David Roy

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