Experimental Chinese Literature

Translation, Technology, Poetics


Experimental Chinese Literature is the first theoretical account of material poetics from the dual perspectives of translation and technology. Focusing on a range of works by contemporary Chinese authors including Hsia Yü, Chen Li, and Xu Bing, Tong King Lee explores how experimental writers engage their readers in multimodal reading experiences by turning translation into a method and by exploiting various technologies.

The key innovation of this book rests with its conceptualisation of translation and technology as spectrums that interact in different ways to create sensuous, embodied texts. Drawing on a broad range of fields such as literary criticism, multimodal studies, and translation, Tong King Lee advances the notion of the translational text, which features transculturality and intersemioticity in its production and reception.

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Tong King Lee, Ph.D. (2009), University of Queensland, is Assistant Professor of Translation at the University of Hong Kong. He is the author of Translating the Multilingual City (2013) as well as several articles on experimental poetics and translation studies.
"A clear and wideranging exposition of these issues in the Chinese-language context, Lee's book is a welcome change and addition to the more usual focus on the artistic practices of experimental writers and text-based artists in Europe and North America."
-Adam Jaworski, The University of Hong Kong, in Journal of Oriental Studies, Vol. 50, Iss. 1.
List of Tables and Figures

Chapter 1 Central Issues
Experimental Literature and its Modes of Materiality
Multimodality and Intersemioticity
Translation and the Translational
Chapter Outline

Chapter 2 Machine Translation and Hsia Yü's Poetics of Deconstruction
Translation and Deconstruction
Dichotomies Revisited
Pink Noise: Mode of Writing
Deconstructing Authorship
Romancing the Machine Poet
Transparent Meanings: Multimodality and Materiality
The Texts: Literary Meaning and its Discontents
Disjuncture and Divergence
Concretising Images
Ungrammaticality: Fetishism with the Word
Proliferating Différance: Pink Noise in Multiple MT
(Ir)reconciling Text and Machine
The Text-Machine as Monster
The ‘Ish-ness’ of Language

Chapter 3 The Material Poetics of Chen Li: Translation and Technology
The Translingual Sign as Inscription Technology
Intermediality: The Printed Text and its Digital ‘Translation’
Interlinguality: Writing Through Translation
Intersemioticity: Creative Transpositions
Engendering a Material Poetics through Translation and Technology

Chapter 4 Visuality and Translation in Literary Art: Xu Bing's A Book from the Sky and A Book from the Ground
The Imagetext in Deconstructed Chinese Characters: A Book from the Sky
Icon-Language in Deverbalised Communication: A Book from the Ground
Imagetext: Image-In-Text to Image-As-Text

Chapter 5 The Translational: Intersemioticity and Transculturality
Case Examples
Text Garden
Read, Art
Translation as Method in Literary Art

Chapter 6 On Chineseness and the Trope of Translation in Experimental Literature


Scholars and postgraduate students interested in contemporary Chinese poetry, literary criticism, multimodal translation, and visual culture.
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