Rewriting the Orient: Asian Works in the Making of World Literature
Wednesday 06 December 2023 - 10:00am - 11:30am
In his first monograph (NCSRLL/UNC Press, forthcoming), Yunfei Bai delves into the creative adaptations of classical Sanskrit, Chinese, and Tibetan literary texts by four renowned nineteenth- and early twentieth-century authors in France and Argentina, Théophile Gautier, Stéphane Mallarmé, Victor Segalen, and Jorge Luis Borges. Without any knowledge of the source languages, they crafted their own French and Spanish retellings based on received translations of these Asian works. Rewriting the Orient not only explores the so far untapped translation-rewriting continuum to trace the pivotal role of Orientalism in the formation of a singular corpus of world literature that goes beyond the Anglophone canon, but also sheds light on a wide range of innovative discursive strategies that readily challenge traditional notions of cultural appropriation.