How did the English version of Mo Yan's work respond?

"Life and Death Fatigue" "Red Sorghum Family" receives the most attention

  How did the literary works of Mo Yan, the first Chinese Nobel Prize winner, respond in the English-speaking world?

On November 3, Wang Xiqiang, an associate professor at the School of Foreign Languages ​​of Shaanxi Normal University, published an academic research article entitled "Meaning Generated in Reading-Readers Acceptance Survey in the English World of Mo Yan's Novels" on the China Social Science Network.

He searched through Amazon's English website and found that the website currently sells 11 English translations of Mo Yan's novels, with a total of 623 reader reviews. The top two evaluations are "Life and Death Fatigue" and "Red Sorghum Family".

The number of reader reviews for "Life and Death Fatigue" is 138 times, 106 times are favorable reviews, and 32 times are negative reviews; the number of reader reviews of "Red Sorghum Family" is 131 times, 91 favorable reviews and 40 negative reviews.

Research reader responses through high-frequency words

  Wang Xiqiang stated that he studied the reaction of English translations of Mo Yan's novels as "translated novels" among readers in English-speaking countries by collecting high-frequency words and keywords evaluated by readers of the above two works.

Some ordinary readers of English translations of Mo Yan's novels in English-speaking countries claim to be "very research on China", but many readers claim to "read "The Red Sorghum Family" because Mo Yan won the Nobel Prize in Literature".

  "From the perspective of the language of the review text, most of the critical attitudes of the readers who post comments are sincere and serious. The hotspots of the comments are concentrated on the theme of the work, the narrative style, the appeal of the story, the plot transformation, the narrative time and space transformation, and the quality of translation. "Wang Xiqiang commented in the article.

The narrative style is most commented by readers

  He also found that the narrative style of Mo Yan's novels was the most commented by readers.

For example, for the narrative of "Red Sorghum Family", praised readers praised its "powerful narration" and "boldly (expanded the narrative) horizon and form".

  In "The Red Sorghum Family", Mo Yan used "my grandfather", "my grandma" and other "complex personal perspectives" to expand the narrator's horizon and knowledge, which was praised by some readers. One narrative style is "a masterpiece from China"; readers of negative reviews think that the work "uses flashbacks (flashbacks) too frequently, changeable and incomprehensible, and the time in the plot is interspersed. , It is confusing to read".

  In Wang Xiqiang's view, the narrative experiment in Mo Yan's novels-the "splicing of time and space" in the transformation of narrative time and space and the transformation of story time and space, and the transformation of narrative personal perspectives, have caused readers in the English world to "read poorly" and "frustrate aesthetics.

  From the perspective of aesthetic acceptance, the above-mentioned "bad reviews" precisely illustrate Mo Yan's narrative "space-time splicing method" used in "The Red Sorghum Family" and the creative use of "multi-person perspective" aimed at expanding the narrator's horizon and knowledge. , And the "I-to-Thinking Narrative" created by it is an unprecedented "defamiliarization" narrative form for readers in the English world, an unprecedented reading experience, and a new historicism of "Mo Yan style" Narrative!

"Therefore, we can say that the "bad reviews" and "rejections" of "Red Sorghum Family" by English-speaking readers are largely due to the fact that they have never experienced such a unique writer and such a unique style. Works." Wang Xiqiang commented.

The translator sometimes missed the entire paragraph and was questioned

  So far, a total of 33 works of Mo Yan have been translated into English by 9 English-speaking translators, published by 9 English-speaking countries and regional publishing houses, and entered the literary market of English-speaking countries.

Among them, 21 articles/parts were translated into English by the American Sinologist Ge Haowen and entered the reader's reading field of English-speaking countries, becoming part of the "translated literature" of English-speaking countries.

Regarding the translation quality of the English version of Mo Yan's works, praised readers have more unanimously recognized Ge Haowen's translation quality.

Many readers of negative reviews questioned and denied the quality of the translation.

  Some readers think that "The Red Sorghum Family" "needs to be retranslated, the novel is very good! It is because the translation is poor and too procrastinating"; some readers pointed out that the reason for the bad reviews "may be a bad translation"; some readers pointed out "The Red Sorghum Family" "Need a faithful and complete retranslation! The American translator Ge Haowen must have been affected by external pressure. He was unable to translate patiently due to time constraints and missed many translations. What makes people unbearable is: whenever he encounters strange or difficult words, he He skipped no translation; he skipped hundreds of sentences, sometimes whole paragraphs and missed translations."

Readers who hold such views are mostly supporters of the "faithful translation view", and they have greater opinions on Ge Haowen's translations such as "retranslation", "creative translation", "reduction" and "missing translation".

  Wang Xiqiang also stated in the article that overall, Mo Yan's novels are still very popular among ordinary readers in the English-speaking world, with more positive reviews than negative reviews.

Mo Yan's works are constantly read and evaluated, and the "meaning" of the works is constantly generated in the readers' reading and evaluation.

The artistic value and aesthetic connotation of the English translation of Mo Yan's works originated from the original Chinese work. Through the translation, the readers in the English-speaking world carry on a cross-cultural "textual travel", and its "meaning" as "translated literature" in the English world is constantly being generated.

  Text / reporter Zhang Enjie