The present paper intends to explore the ways translation recreates corresponding terms for literary, cultural and psychological needs. At the same time, the present paper questions that under translingual practice, the translated text is revised, edited, appropriated and invented, eventually becoming “the other” without its alterity. Two cases in point are Ezra Pound’s Cathay/ Pound-Fenollosa’s The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry, and modern Taiwan graphic poetry.
In Cathay, one finds Pound’s translation of the classical Chinese poems does syntactically resemble the Chinese poems. But it does not come as a result of Pound’s translating Chinese poetry. It is rather an application of the Imagist principles to the classical Chinese poems. What lies behind the personae of the Cathay poems is the poet Pound, who was striving to find foreign materials for a Second American Renaissance.
The paper then discusses that in Pound-Fenollosa’s The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry, the “method of Chinese writing” intending to return to the culmination of a Western poetics is actually a fallacy. But, curiously enough, with Poundian creative misprision, there has been a revival of graphic poetry since the eighties in Taiwan. Just as Pound translates classical Chinese poetry and the method of Chinese writing into his American Renaissance, the modern Taiwan graphic poets translate their (mis)recognition of Chinese hieroglyphic characters into the construction of new cultural imagination.
Keywords: ideogrammic method, alterity, the absolutely other, translation ethics, Chinese prejudice, nostalgia for origins