Translating China : Henri Borel (1869-1933)

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Translating China : Henri Borel (1869-1933)

Type: Doctoral Thesis
Title: Translating China : Henri Borel (1869-1933)
Author: Heijns, A.J.
Issue Date: 2016-06-28
Keywords: Sinology—Netherlands—History
Chinese—Indonesia—History—19th century
Chinese literature—Dutch translation
Cultural translation—China
Travel writing—Otherness
Abstract: This thesis investigates how Dutch sinologist Henri Borel ‘translated’ China, by examining his renditions of Chinese literature and the writings about China that he produced over a period of forty years. Borel studied Hokkien Chinese at Leiden University and in Xiamen toward a career as Chinese Interpreter for the Dutch colonial government in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). Although Borel’s prose writing in Dutch on Chinese culture is not translation in the conventional sense, it is just as important as his literary translations, in that both convey aspects of Chinese culture. In his work, Borel-as-translator has a very prominent presence, as the result of his self-proclaimed poethood and his role as a ‘Chinese author’ by internalizing Chinese culture in his own writing. This leads to a highly subjective vision of China. Eventually, together with his over-confident attitude as the China expert, this weakens the impact of his work in the long run. Still, Borel helped popularize Chinese culture and literature during his lifetime, and it is beyond doubt that his legacy is an important part of the cultural history of the Netherlands, the Dutch East Indies, and China. This research contributes to the understanding of this shared, entangled history.
Promotor: Supervisor: M. van Crevel, B. ter Haar
Faculty: Humanities
University: Leiden

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application/pdf Introduction 499.9Kb View/Open
application/pdf Bibliographical Note_Acknowledgements_Conventions 633.6Kb View/Open
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application/pdf Part III: Chapter 6 569.7Kb View/Open
application/pdf Part III: Chapter 7 836.2Kb View/Open
application/pdf Epilogue 374.7Kb View/Open
application/pdf Bibliography 535.9Kb View/Open
application/pdf Summary in Dutch 402.8Kb View/Open
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