Politics of Self-translation: Authorial Representation, Cultural Identity, and Global Hong Kong Literature
The talk will discuss a new piece of translation of Hong Kong literature, which was done by the author himself after he had published his original fiction about two decades ago. This English translation, entitled The Atlas: The Archaeology of an Imaginary City by Dung Kai-cheung (Columbia University Press, 2015), not only allowed the author an opportunity to reconnect with his work through the role of an active reader, but it also opened up a new vista for the author to rewrite and deconstruct his original work. However, this is more than a seminal self-translation such as those by Milena Kundera, Samuel Beckett, Vladimir Nabokov or many other bilingual writers. In this work the author had to deal with the hermeneutical power and critical discourses of two other professionals. His freedom to authenticate, interpret and rewrite his own work was constrained under the condition of collaborative translation. How is authorial right limited under this kind of self-collaborative translation? Where are the boundaries and what are the dynamics, synergies and benefits of this new emerging model of self-collaborative-translation?