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Abstract

Referred to as a collection of (indirect or mediated) translations or lyrical adaptations, Ant&#243;nio Feij&#243;&#8217;s Cancioneiro chinez (1890), literally the Book of Chinese Songs, is the first anthology of classical Chinese poetry translated into Portuguese. It was translated from Judith Gautier&#8217;s Le Livre de jade, which, since its publication in 1867, has been reprinted five times (1902, 1908, 1928, 1933, and 2004) and extensively translated into several European languages. Widely popular among the late nineteenth-century French audience, Le Livre de jade, which recent research has shown to collect mostly mistranslations and pseudotranslations, combines a selection of what Judith Gautier considered to mirror China&#8217;s best poetry with her own notion of an oriental aesthetics. Briefly turning to the Orient in search of new poetic possibilities, Ant&#243;nio Feij&#243; (1859&#8211;1917) had no knowledge of the Chinese language and was never in China, which did not prevent his Cancioneiro chinez from achieving national success. This collection allowed the poet to keep pace with French literary modernity and introduced Portuguese audience to new poetic material, thus allowing him enough leeway for poetic experimentation. Based on Jos&#233; Lambert&#8217;s and Van Gorp&#8217;s model for translation description, our study sets out from a two-tiered textual approach: one focused on metatextual information (front cover, collection title, and preface) and the other on a macro-level comparative analysis (special focus on text division and formal structure). Both analyses will permit us to understand not only the impact of Cancioneiro chinez on a socio-cultural context highly influenced by French culture and language, but also the poet&#8217;s approach to a mediated translation of an exotic language.

References

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