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Translation and reconstruction of a wonderland: Alice’s Adventures in China

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Focusing on the linguistic, logical as well as literary values of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, the article studies certain issues in this classical piece of verbal art from a translational perspective in China, with special reference to Yuen Ren Chao’s translation in 1922, which highlights an array of points and helps bring a seemingly comic book under the academic limelight, directing our attention to semiotic issues in terms of metalinguistic foregrounding, witty humor, sensible malapropism, meaningful nonsense, and logical absurdity, etc. that defy translation on different levels of linguistic presentation. In view of Chao’s erudition in philosophy, mathematics, and linguistics, it discusses his expertise in reconstructing a wonderland in the Chinese context and concludes that many of the subtle yet highly logical and metalinguisitc features in Alice can make themselves more acutely felt from a cross-linguistic perspective.

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Correspondence to Zongxin Feng.

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Feng, Z. Translation and reconstruction of a wonderland: Alice’s Adventures in China. Neohelicon 36, 237–251 (2009).

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