Tiziana LIOI (La Sapienza University, Rome), T.S. Eliot in China: A Cultural and Linguistic Study on the Translation of The Waste Land in Chinese, English/29 Pages, November 2003.

Abstract

The paper focuses on two Chinese translations of T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land , one by Zhao Luorui (1937) and the other by Qiu Xiaolong (1985). The 50 years that elapse between the two translations are enough to explain the language and method differences: Zhao's translation is more communicative and ¡¥acceptability-oriented', aiming at bringing Eliot's poetry closer to Chinese readers, while Qiu's is more formal and ¡¥adequacy-oriented'. In this paper, to analyze the fidelity of the two translations and to study the differences between them, a back-translation of some lines from Chinese into English was given. The second part of the essay is a more specific analysis of problems and peculiarities of the back-translation. Various scholars have affirmed the connection between Eliot's writing method and Chinese characters. The aim of the paper is to demonstrate that the non-specificity and flexibility of modernist language is highly compatible with the Chinese language, and draws Western poetry close to the language and thought of China. It follows that while Eliot's works have influenced Chinese poetry, the poet himself was influenced by Chinese language and poetry, and that this encounter has been important for the mutual relation and cooperation between Chinese and Western poetic literature.