Living for Translation: An Interview with Professor Zhang Zhizhong
To cite this article: ZHANG Zhizhong & WANG Zuyou. (2023). Living for Translation: An Interview with Professor Zhang Zhizhong. Asia-Pacific Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 3(3), 004-011, DOI: 10.53789/j.1653-0465.2023.0303.002
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.53789/j.1653-0465.2023.0303.002
Abstract: In his rich career as a translator, Professor Zhang Zhizhong has formed a unique aesthetics on translation based on his own experience: spirit over form, prose enjambment to rewrite Chinese poetry into sterling English poetry. In Professor Zhang’s opinion, the English translation of Chinese poetry, broadly speaking, is divided into two schools: metrical school and liberal school, and there are poems translated in metrical style and liberal style, mixed with both good and bad ones. Being poetic, or poetry itself, is the most important point. In the interview, Professor Zhang expressed his hope to be friends with the students majoring in translation and make joint efforts in the globalization of Chinese culture and literature. It is his belief that the English translation of Chinese poems shall be poems themselves, and excellent poems in the English world, which, ideally, are published by the prestigious publishing houses in Western countries, hopefully, to exert influences on the readers. This is the ultimate goal of the globalization of Chinese culture and literature.
Keywords: Zhang Zhizhong; aesthetics of translation; English translation of Chinese poetry
Notes on the interviewee: ZHANG Zhizhong, is professor, doctoral supervisor and dean of the Translation Department, as well as director of the Center for Globalization of Chinese Poetry of Foreign Languages College, Nankai University; meanwhile, he is director of the Translators’ Association of China, vice chairman of the Committee for English Translation of Chinese Classics of the Association for Comparative Studies of English and Chinese, part-time professor of Cross-Culture & World Literature Academy of Tianjin Normal University, director of Tianjin Comparative Literature Society, member of Tianjin Municipal Government Academic Degree Committee, member of Tianjin Municipal Government Professional Degree Education Guiding Committee, director and English secretary-general of World Sinology Literary China Seminar, expert for the approval and evaluation of projects funded by the National Social Science Foundation of China, part-time researcher at the Central Literature Translation Research Base of Tianjin Foreign Studies University, guest editor of Rendition of International Poetry, English editor-in-chief of World Sinology, member of the editing board of Guided Reading Series in Contemporary Chinese Poetry, and member of the Board for Contemporary Chinese Poetry Prizes. He has published more than 110 books and 120 academic papers, and he has won a host of prizes in translation and academic research. His English translation of Chinese poetry is widely acclaimed throughout the world and is favorably reviewed by international poets and translators. His view on poetry translation: spirit over form, prose enjambment to rewrite Chinese poetry into sterling English poetry.
Notes on the interviewer: WANG Zuyou, male, is a professor and doctoral supervisor. He was born on August 26, 1968, in Hexian County, Ma’anshan City, Anhui Province. He graduated from the Department of Foreign Languages at Guangxi Normal University with a Master’s degree in literature in June 1998. In April 2002, he graduated from the Yale University East Asian Scholars Program in the United States. He obtained his Ph.D. in literature from the School of Foreign Languages at Xiamen University in June 2006. His main research areas are American literature and literary translation. He has published nine books and 88 academic papers in journals such as Foreign Literature, including 24 papers in key academic journals. He has also translated several works. He serves as a member of the editorial board for The Asia-Pacific Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences and World Literature Review, as well as a committee member of the Jiangsu Comparative Literature Society, Jiangsu Translators Association, Guangxi Translators Association, China Translation Cognition Society, and China Ecological Translation and Cognitive Translation Society.