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Comparative Literature: East & West

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Fanxing (A Maze of Stars) and Chunshui (Spring Water) are two poetry collections of modern Chinese woman writer Bing Xin (1900–1999). Because they stand at the beginning of a new genre, xiaoshi (short poetry), and are commonly regarded as representative works of this genre, people use the epithets “Bing Xin style,” “Fanxing style,” or “Chunshui style” to refer to xiaoshi writing. Nevertheless, viewed from their intimate relationship with Rabindranath Tagore’s Stray Birds, I argue that Fanxing and Chunshui are products of both imitation and creation. Imitation is not plagiarism. Dryden defines imitation as a form of translation, which allows the full play of the translator’s freedom and personality. With writing as translation, Bing Xin creates her poetics of short poetry writing based on her imitation and appropriation of Tagore’s Stray Birds. Imitation provides the authority and inspiration as well as a model for Bing Xin to follow. However, she does not imitate slavishly or translate faithfully in a traditional sense. Rather, while taking influence from Tagore, Bing Xin reverses the patriarchal and Orientalist tendencies of Tagore with her feminist and realistic writing style. In this way, she both aligns herself with the May Fourth writers and also demonstrates her own voice and features.


中国现代女作家冰心的《繁星》与《春水》被认为是中国小诗运动的起点。但是,如果把它们放在世界文学的角度去看的话,就能既看出冰心的“模仿”,也能看出她的创作。模仿,从翻译的角度来看,不是一个贬义词,德莱顿最初就把模仿定义为翻译的一种。虽然受传统忠实的翻译思想影响,他不认为模仿是一种好的翻译策略和方法,但是他认为模仿是最能发挥译者自由和个性的一种方式。西塞罗就是这种翻译方法的实践者。在五四运动的狂飙中,冰心以写为译,创造性地模仿了泰戈尔的《飞鸟集》。首先,模仿让她获得了灵感,提供了对于像小诗这样一种崭新的诗歌形式的模版,同时也保证了权威的肯定和鼓励,但是,她没有局限于仅仅是借鉴,引用,或者是传统意义上的翻译传递,而是在他的影响之下,在反射他的风格和味道的同时,写出了她自己的风格,意义和主题。这样,她在一定意义上继承了他,更重要的是反转了他。她抛弃了他的男权和东方主义倾向,写出了她自己的女性主义和中国特色, 特别是她自己的声音。


This article was originally published in Comparative Literature: East & West, 2019, Volume 3, Issue 1.

The version of record is available through: Taylor & Francis.

© 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

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