Abstract

This article studies soldiers as concrete images of heroes appearing in both W. H. Auden's wartime poetry and Chinese poetry in the 1940s from a cross-cultural perspective. Auden depicted images of soldiers in a grotesque and ironic manner that came to define Audenesque rhetoric. However, Chinese poets in the 1940s, such as Shao Xunmei and Mu Dan, for example, both translated Auden's poems with patriotic and positive undertones to reflect the sentiments of ordinary soldiers, and they even rewrote Auden's verses. They modified his original versions to flatter the taste of Auden's Chinese counterparts. Therefore, it is significant to examine the role of politics in poetry translation in the historical context of the 1940s. This research concerns not only the study of the political impact on comparative literature, but also, more importantly, it will map out ways in which public emotion might motivate or hinder the introduction of Western (or Non-Chinese) poetry through translation. In order to analyze the role of public opinion in the rewriting and translation of Auden's poetry, this article draws on several images of soldiers as examples of the overall discourse during wartime China.

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