Recreating Beauty in Image in English Translation of Classical Chinese Poetry from the Perspective of “Three Beauties Theory”

Chunrong Wu


As one of the representative figures of the Meter School, Xu Yuanchong, a Chinese outstanding translatorcontributes a lot for poetry translation both in practice and theory with his prolific translation works and hisoutstanding “Three Beauties Theory” (referred as TBT hereinafter). This paper first gives a brief introduction aboutdifferent interpretations of Beauty, and then introduces Xu Yuanchong’s “Three Beauties Theory” which meansbeauty in image, beauty in sound and beauty in form. As image is an important factor in poems writing andinterpretation, this paper focuses on Xu’s elaboration on beauty in image. By analyzing Chinese poetry’s beauty inimage and the feasibility of transmitting it from Chinese to English under the guide of TBT, this paper proves Xu'stheory with examples. In the end this paper also points out some limitation in Prof. Xu’s translation which includesimbalanced expression of TBT and too excessive speculation on beauty at the cost of faithfulness.

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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