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postgraduate thesis: Lighting out for the Chinese territory : Mark Twain & sivilization in China

TitleLighting out for the Chinese territory : Mark Twain & sivilization in China
Authors
Advisors
Issue Date2012
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Lai, S. S. [黎雪蓮]. (2012). Lighting out for the Chinese territory : Mark Twain & sivilization in China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4979927
AbstractMark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens, 1835-1910) has had an intriguing relationship with China that is not as widely known as it should be. Although he never visited the country, he has played a significant role in speaking for the Chinese people at home and abroad. After his death, his Chinese adventures did not stop, for his works continued to travel through the vast mainland in translation throughout the twentieth century. If Twain were still alive, he would certainly be elated to hear that his most famous work, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), alone has gone through no less than ninety different Chinese translations. This is not to mention the reprints of some of the translations that would contribute to over a hundred different editions traversing China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. It is indeed hard to imagine translations of this one work of Twain anywhere else in the world coming close to such a staggering figure. Twain’s interest in the Chinese throughout his life and his posthumous journey in China leads to such questions as, what were Clemens’s initial attitudes toward the Chinese when he first left his southern hometown in Hannibal, Missouri to other parts of the States? How did the oppression of the people that he witnessed in California affect his understanding of American race and racism? How did his overseas travels allow him to reexamine the problem of global hegemony and his identity as an American as he witnessed the large-scale imperial conquest in the “Far East”? Under what socio-historical context was Twain introduced in China? What was the impact that the Cold War (approx. 1947-1991) and the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) had on the American writer there? How effectively have the translations of Huckleberry Finn communicated the book’s treatment of issues of race and racism? In answering these questions, I am hoping to initiate more engaging dialogues on Twain in China and as a global figure, a topic that has otherwise been little discussed on both sides of the Pacific.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectChinese Americans in literature
Dept/ProgramModern Languages and Cultures
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/222275
AwardHKU 3 Minute Thesis Award, 1st Runner-up (2011)
Li Ka Shing Prize, The Best PhD Thesis in the Faculties of Architecture, Arts, Business & Economics, Education, Law and Social Sciences (University of Hong Kong), 2011-2012.

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorCristaudo, WA-
dc.contributor.advisorJohnson, KA-
dc.contributor.authorLai, Suet-lin, Selina-
dc.contributor.author黎雪蓮-
dc.date.accessioned2016-01-09T18:09:13Z-
dc.date.available2016-01-09T18:09:13Z-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.identifier.citationLai, S. S. [黎雪蓮]. (2012). Lighting out for the Chinese territory : Mark Twain & sivilization in China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4979927-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/222275-
dc.description.abstractMark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens, 1835-1910) has had an intriguing relationship with China that is not as widely known as it should be. Although he never visited the country, he has played a significant role in speaking for the Chinese people at home and abroad. After his death, his Chinese adventures did not stop, for his works continued to travel through the vast mainland in translation throughout the twentieth century. If Twain were still alive, he would certainly be elated to hear that his most famous work, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), alone has gone through no less than ninety different Chinese translations. This is not to mention the reprints of some of the translations that would contribute to over a hundred different editions traversing China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. It is indeed hard to imagine translations of this one work of Twain anywhere else in the world coming close to such a staggering figure. Twain’s interest in the Chinese throughout his life and his posthumous journey in China leads to such questions as, what were Clemens’s initial attitudes toward the Chinese when he first left his southern hometown in Hannibal, Missouri to other parts of the States? How did the oppression of the people that he witnessed in California affect his understanding of American race and racism? How did his overseas travels allow him to reexamine the problem of global hegemony and his identity as an American as he witnessed the large-scale imperial conquest in the “Far East”? Under what socio-historical context was Twain introduced in China? What was the impact that the Cold War (approx. 1947-1991) and the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) had on the American writer there? How effectively have the translations of Huckleberry Finn communicated the book’s treatment of issues of race and racism? In answering these questions, I am hoping to initiate more engaging dialogues on Twain in China and as a global figure, a topic that has otherwise been little discussed on both sides of the Pacific.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshChinese Americans in literature-
dc.titleLighting out for the Chinese territory : Mark Twain & sivilization in China-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4979927-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineModern Languages and Cultures-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b4979927-
dc.date.hkucongregation2013-
dc.description.awardHKU 3 Minute Thesis Award, 1st Runner-up (2011)-
dc.description.awardLi Ka Shing Prize, The Best PhD Thesis in the Faculties of Architecture, Arts, Business & Economics, Education, Law and Social Sciences (University of Hong Kong), 2011-2012.-

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