Authors: TANG Kin-Ling
This paper is part of an ongoing project investigating the politics of translation using the case of the Chinese translation of Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities. Through this case study, the paper will examine the desirability of domestication vs foreignization as a translation strategy in the creation of the model reader, who is being interpellated in the Althusserian sense by the translation. It is understood that the current quest for identity building in Hong Kong emanates from the tensions between (Chinese) nationalism and transnational cosmopolitanism. By viewing China as The ‘Other’, the Hong Kong identity is one that sets its horizon on the foreign. For the average person, translation is one major cultural conduit through which s/he can have contact with the foreign, providing him/her with the space for imagination of a cosmopolitan identity. By studying the politics of the translation of a popular work on nationalism in the context of Hong Kong, the study will contribute to the understanding of identity politics through the perspective of translation and eventually the understanding of the complexities of Hong Kong identity. It is hoped that the paper will contribute to further research on identity construction in the current political context of Hong Kong.
Keywords: politics of translation; Imagined Communities; model reader; identity construction