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Full Access Sinicizing Western Science

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Sinicizing Western Science

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The Case of Quanti xinlun 全體新論

image of T'oung Pao

This article examines the practice of dual translation (heyi) in the late Qing, focusing in particular on Quanti xinlun, a physiological treatise compiled by Benjamin Hobson (1816-1873) and his Chinese assistants. It argues that, owing to the considerable latitude allowed to Hobson’s Chinese partners, the intellectual syncretism of the translation was a direct consequence of the Chinese agency at play in intercultural exchange. The collaborative process in the making of Quanti xinlun is also explored, and two passages in which the “Sinicization” of western physiology is most obvious are analyzed. 

Cet article s’intéresse à la pratique de la double traduction (heyi). Il examine plus ­particulièrement sur le Quanti xinlun, un traité de physiologie compilé par Benjamen Hobson (1816-1873) et ses assistants chinois. L’argument est qu’en raison du degré considérable d’autonomie laissé à ces derniers, le syncrétisme intellectuel qui caractérise la traduction découle directement de l’intervention chinoise dans le processus d’échange interculturel. L’article examine également la façon dont fonctionnait le travail de collaboration dont est issu le Quanti xinlun et propose une analyse de deux passages dans lesquels la “sinisation” de la physiologie occidentale est particulièrement en évidence.

Affiliations: 1: University of Hong Kong


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