SOAS University of London

Centre for Translation Studies

Reconfiguring War Memory in Translation: A Case of The Flowers of War


Date: 19 February 2020Time: 3:00 PM

Finishes: 19 February 2020Time: 4:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G51A

Type of Event: Seminar

This talk will examine the relationship between memory and history, as represented in Yan Geling’s novel, Jinling Shisan Chai. It will argue that its multivalent forms of memory challenge Chinese nationalistic obsession about Nanking massacre. However, in its wariness of Chinese nationalism and possibly assumed position of resisting anti-Japanese bias, the English translation, The Flowers of War, recasts a complex story of war memory to be a distant, monolithic and occasionally vulgarised narrative. The containment and closure the English translation has imposed on the Chinese novel raise the questions of the translation of memory, especially that related to war and trauma.

Bio: Dr Yan Ying is a lecturer in translation studies at the University of Leicester. She has published on Chinese American literature, Chinese immigrant writing, and autobiographical writing and translation. Her current research interest is memory and translation. She is also an active literary translator.