Tracing the traveling of neurasthenia, a modern disease, this paper starts with a 1933 Shanghai Neo-Sensation story in which a modern boy resorts to medical and psychological terms to engage in self-analysis. The story shows it is through translation that we learn to name our perceptions and mental illnesses. The paper then investigates the relationships between knowledge/power and the translator’s agency and creativity. During the process of cultural translation, facing the interactions of different institutional practices—Confucianism, Buddhism, traditional medicine and Western medical science—how does the translator practice the art of “selection, deletion, and compromise”? It is through “individual free choice” that the translator manages to cross the boundaries of institutional practices in order to create.
Translation and Cultural Mediation
Edited by Hsiao-yen PENG and Isabelle Rabut
The authors see translation as a "shaping force." While intending to shape, or reshape, certain concepts through the translating act, translators and cultural actors need to negotiate among multifarious institutional powers that coexist, including traditional and foreign.
Contributors include: Françoise Kreissler, Angel Pino, Shan Te-hsing, Nicolai Volland, Joyce C. H. Liu, Huang Ko-wu, Isabelle Rabut, Xiaomei Chen, Zhang Yinde, Peng Hsiao-yen, Sebastian Hsien-hao Liao, and Pin-chia Feng.