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Translation of Autobiography

Narrating self, translating the other

Translation of Autobiography by Susan XU Yun
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This book presents an interdisciplinary study that straddles four academic fields, namely, autobiography, stylistics, narratology and translation studies. It shows that foregrounding is manifested in the language of autobiography, alerting readers to an authorial tone with certain ideological affiliations. In refuting the presumed conflation between the author, narrator and character in autobiography, the study emphasizes readers’ role in constructing an implied author. The issues of implied translator, assumed translation and rewriting are explored through a comparative analysis of the English and Chinese autobiographies by Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew. The analysis identifies different foregrounding practices and attributes these differences to an implied translator. Further evidence derived from narrative-communicative situations in the two autobiographies underscores divergent personae of the implied authors. The study aims to establish a deeper understanding of how translation and rewriting have a far-reaching impact on the self- and world-making functions of autobiography. This book will be of special interest to scholars and students of linguistics, literature, translation and political science.
John Benjamins Publishing Company; November 2017
249 pages; ISBN 9789027265104
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Title: Translation of Autobiography
Author: Susan XU Yun