Korean Literature and Translation in Dialogue with the Circulation and Translation of Indian Language Texts in South and East-Asia in the 19th Century

Dr Jieun Kiaer (Oxford): ‘What words say and can’t say: questions in translating the contemporary Korean novel’

In this paper, Kiaer discussed the socio-linguistic concerns found in contemporary Korean novel translation. She explored four novels: The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Seonmi Hwang, Please Look After My Mother by Kyungsook Shin, Our Happy Time by Jiyoung Kong, and Princess Bari by Hwang Sok-young. She covered issues regarding translating names, interpersonal relations and different socio-cultural values.


Dr Mishka Sinha (Cambridge): ‘How to read the East: Publishers’ series and the making of an Oriental canon’

This paper presented a preliminary analysis of the history of Western publishers’ series of Eastern texts, their role in the making of an Oriental canon and the shaping of a market for Eastern ideas and literature in Britain and Europe, in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The paper considered in particular three series which introduced Oriental literary and philosophical texts in translation to potentially new audiences: Nicholas Trübner’s Oriental Series, OUP’s Sacred Books of the East, and John Murray’s Wisdom of the East Series. The first two were published from 1878 and 1879, respectively, and the last from 1905. All three published works that had been translated into English, by publishers located in Britain. However, Trübner was a German immigrant, two of the series had German Orientalists as editors, and the third a British and an Indian editor. Their markets and audiences ranged across Europe and the United States and farther afield.  Both Trübner’s Series and the Sacred Books were subsidised by the colonial Government in India. The series represent examples of cross-cultural production and reception as well as an intersection of commercial, scholarly and imperial interests. The paper was based on Sinha's current research project on the history of the publishing of Eastern texts in Europe and the United States, and its early explorations into what is increasingly revealing itself to be a vast and complex field of research.