Eileen Chang’s Practice of the Character Pin: The Literary Experiment of “Steaming Osmanthus Blossoms: A Xiao’s Lament for Autumn”
Keywords:張愛玲, 女性主義, 解構主義, 互文, 翻譯, Eileen Chang, feminism, deconstruction, intertextuality, translation
LANGUAGE NOTE | Document text in Chinese; abstract also in English.
以張愛玲短篇小說《桂花蒸 阿小悲秋》爲主要文本，分別從“語言姘合”、“男女姘合”、“翻譯姘合”三個面向，可以探討語言文字、性別關係與跨語際翻譯實踐所可能展現的交織力量。首先，小說中上海話的此起彼落，洋涇浜英文的翻來覆去，以及各種古典小說詞語的摻雜，是新與舊、中與西、高與低之間的“姘”字練習與文學實驗。其次，重新歷史化與政治化的“上海女傭”的出現，結合阿小與阿小男人的關係，展現出城市空間中男女社交、婚姻形態、家庭組合、經濟生活所給出的一種新形態可能。再次，聚焦於張愛玲自譯該小說的英文版本“Shame, Amah”，並從此翻譯文本中擇選出幾個字作爲“文本表面”，可以展現帝國殖民主義在不同地理區域的文化流動，如何將“根源”化爲“路徑”。透過此三個部份的分析，能夠有效揭示張愛玲文學書寫中語言姘合、性別姘居與文化翻譯彼此之間互文交織的變化與不確定性。
This essay studies Eileen Chang’s short story “Steaming Osmanthus Blossoms: A Xiao’s Lament for the Autumn” as a central text, in an attempt to explore the potential power of language. It is interwoven with gender relationships and the translingual practice of translation through three aspects of pin (“pairing up”), namely, “linguistic assemblage,” “male-female cohabitation,” and “translative complication.” Part I will focus on the mixture of Shanghai dialect, Chinese Pidgin English, and expressions from classical Chinese novels in this short story as a pin exercise of linguistic assemblage and a literary experiment between old and new, Chinese and Western, high and low. Part II will highlight the context of Shanghai urban modernity to re-historicize and re-politicize the emergence of “Shanghai Housemaid.” It will take the relationship between A Xiao and her man as a new form of cohabitation by which we redefine the social, marital, familial, and economic life between the sexes in urban space. Part III will focus on the English version of this short story, “Shame, Amah,” translated by Chang herself. It will highlight several words in the English version and treat them respectively as “textual surfaces” to map out various complications created by the cultural flow of colonial imperialism among different geographical areas, and thus to explore how the “root” becomes “routes.” Through these analyses, the present paper aims to effectively explore the changing and indeterminate intertextuality of language, gender relationships, and cultural translations disclosed in Chang’s literary writing.
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