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Translating Hong Kong Female Writing into English-Wong Bik-wan's Language of the "Repressed"

In: Frontiers of Literary Studies in China
Author: Isaac Hui1
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  • 1 Department of Translation, Lingnan University
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If a domesticated translation from Chinese to English can be understood as an act of eurocentrism, then the difficulties in translating Wong Bik-wan’s latest novel Weixi chong xing (The re-walking of Mei-hei, 2014) reveal how this Hong Kong female writer uses language to escape patriarchal and colonial influences. This article examines how Wong makes use of the strategy of writing as a “repressed” individual (both in terms of her subject position and language style). Even though her language and sentences are at times short and dense, and the rhythm is fast, Wong demonstrates how one can reveal more by seemingly saying less. Attempts to reduce her text to a single interpretation have only resulted in failure. If it is hard for the repressed to speak without oppression, Wong illustrates how one can circumvent the constraints through the tactic of evasion, and demonstrates how the repressed can explode from gaps and silence.

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