Volume 35, Issue 4
  • ISSN 0924-1884
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9986
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This article explores how childhood nostalgia influences the reception of translations, specifically in the case of the (re)translation of E. B. White’s children’s book, (1952). I concentrate on two translations – one by Xin Kang (White 1979) and the other by Rongrong Ren (White 2004). The theoretical framework complements existing reception research with theories of nostalgia, collective memory, and cultural memory. A qualitative analysis of reader posts on social media sites shows that a group of adult readers prefer Kang’s translation because they read it as children and feel a nostalgic attachment to it. This nostalgia expresses itself in three ways: (1) Kang’s version, as a memory trigger, connects adults to their childhood, (2) sharing digitized versions of Kang’s translation and the online sale of its hardcover version creates nostalgic online communities based on a collective memory, and (3) Kang’s version is considered a classic that should, as a kind of cultural memory, be passed on to the next generation. In this article, I argue that childhood nostalgia, an often ignored extratextual factor, influences adult reception of translated children’s literature. I thus offer a new perspective on translation reception and the ‘aging’ issue in studies of retranslation.


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