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Title: Formation, translation, and acceptance of antiheroic protagonist in children's fiction: a case study on Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Authors: Du, Jing
Keywords: Humanities::Language
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Du, J. (2022). Formation, translation, and acceptance of antiheroic protagonist in children's fiction: a case study on Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Master's thesis, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: Adult-child interaction, an inevitable topic in children’s literature, can be regarded as a miniature “self-other” in imagology. The child image thus resides in adults’ subjective imagination and understanding. This paper examines the translation of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, a series of children’s books in America, with an aim to explore the main character Greg Heffley, an antihero, being introduced to and accepted by the Chinese market. The antiheroic youngster, featuring mediocracy, moral lapses, and insidious rebellion, is well-received as realistic, relevant, and relatable among readers. Humour, embedded in this figure, consists of three layers: pure entertainment, self-reconciliation, and passive resistance. The formation, translation and acceptance of the atypical protagonist manifest the dynamic relationship between grownups and children in social history. Based on polysystem theory, the child antihero is introduced, manipulated, and altered due to the influence of the political system, moral system, and pedagogical system in target culture. Facilitated and limited by the alignment between child image and national identity, the character reconfiguration experiences changes as the publisher’s moral ideology overrides the translator’s entertainment-oriented poetics. The presence and popularity of this antihero is inclined to deconstruct the mainstream values and add to the aesthetic appeal of children’s literature in modern China. Keywords: Child image, Anti-heroic Protagonist, Translation, Children’s literature, Polysystem, Rewriting theory
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Theses

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