The article “Hardship and Healing through the Lens of Cultural Translation in Peter Hessler’s Travel Memoir River Town” looks into the autobiographical dimension of Hessler’s account of his two-year stay as a Peace Corps teacher in Fuling, a remote town in southwestern China. Taking the two senses of cultural translation, one in anthropology and one in cultural studies, as two descriptive aspects, it illustrates the hardship Hessler confronted and his healing strategies. Faced with etiquette and language issues as well as the power relation between China and America and its consequent stereotypes in cross-cultural encounters, Hessler gazed back to his own world and sought for comforting skills as well as reached out to a liminal space and initiated local communication. The case study demonstrates that the term cultural translation could be used flexibly as a descriptive tool to read the life writing perspective of cross-cultural travel writing; and it could also provide important insights to people living in a cross-cultural setting.
"Hardship and Healing through the Lens of Cultural Translation in Peter Hessler’s Travel Memoir River Town."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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