Representation of Spirituality in Elizabeth Gilbert’s (2006) Eat Pray Love and its Reception in a Chinese Context


Elizabeth Gilbert’s (2006) memoir Eat, Pray, Love depicts her journey of self-discovery following a difficult divorce. Her travels consist of three phrases – (1) pleasure-seeking in Italy, (2) finding spirituality in India, and (3) maintaining a balance between the two in Bali. The author’s truth-seeking journey has resonated with a huge readership worldwide. The research aims to study the rendition of spirituality and its reception in China since the work was first translated by He Pei Hua and published in Taiwan in 2007, and later brought to China in 2008 and reprinted by two different publishers since then. The study encompasses textual analysis and extra-textual investigation. The textual part studies the rendition of spirituality as expressed in mental clauses containing the verbs “meditate and think” and speech and thought presentation in the pray part of the book. It explores how the author represents mindfulness and meditation, and how these terms are rendered into Chinese. For the extra-textual exploration, it focuses on collecting information about the translation and the translation process, its reception and impact on readers as well as situational factors concerning the publishers, the translator’s biography, and others that shape its production. Specifically, it investigates the reception of the Chinese versions through the study of readers’ reviews and comments on the translated texts posted online. The underlying objective of the research is to explore the translation of Gilbert’s (2006) Eat Pray Love in a Chinese context and how the work is shaped by an intricate web of inter-relations.

Author Information
Elaine Y. L. Ng, Wenzhou Kean University, China

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2020
Stream: Literature/Literary Studies

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon