This article examines the two French-language novels by the Franco-Chinese migrant writer François Cheng, Le Dit de Tianyi (1998) and L'éternité n'est pas de trop (2002), and proposes to conceptualize them as two novelistic models of cultural translation. Cheng's engagement with, and departure from, canonical Western novelistic models such as Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu in Le Dit reveals his 'comparatist' ambition to reorient Western cultural heritage by putting it into dialogue with that of the East. L'éternité, on the other hand, is primarily concerned with a translingual rewriting of Chinese literary traditions such as that of classical romance. While the first model applies principles of analogy, the second reflects a more traditional conception of translation that emphasizes faithfulness and authenticity. The two models are mutually complementary rather than exclusive. The study pays special attention to Cheng's 'Chinese-inked' French language and style, highlighting the aesthetic innovations and challenges in Cheng's transcultural writings.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press for the Court of the University of St Andrews.
- cultural translation
- Franco-Chinese literature
- François Cheng
- Marcel Proust
- transcultural writing