no. 1

Imitation and World Literature: English Pastiches of Two Chinese Poems
Author:Yujing Liang    Time:2022-03-21    Click:

Title: Imitation and World Literature: English Pastiches of Two Chinese Poems

Abstract: Focusing on the English pastiches of two Chinese poems by Li Bai and Xidu Heshang, this article explores the significance of imitation in the cross-cultural transmission of literature and the construction of the world literature identity. The textual similarities and differences between the two pastiches—Ezra Pound’s “The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter” and Vangile Gantsho’s “Her Father’s Tractor”—and their Chinese originals demonstrate that imitation is not duplication, but rather a productive literary act, which delivers the literary elements in the original to a new cultural context where they can survive in a transformed state. In response to the once-prevailing “anxiety” of Western sinologists over contemporary Chinese literature imitating Western literature, this paper argues that, in the context of globalization, it has been a common phenomenon in Chinese and foreign literature to imitate each other. This imitating act is a process of constructing world literature which benefits every national literature. Thus, this anxiety of imitation is entirely unnecessary.

Keywords: imitation, pastiche, poetry, anxiety, world literature

Author: Yujing Liang, Lecturer, School of Foreign Languages, Hunan University of Technology and Business, Changsha, Hunan, China.

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