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161 C H A P T E R F I V E Translation as Masquerade Gu Hongming and Lin Yutang Joan Rivière uses the term masquerade to describe the phenomenon of certain women adopting womanliness as a mask. In other words, masquerade looks at the way in which individuals choose to conform to societal stereotypes of how they should behave; it also looks at how such adopted persona can become, effectively, the person’s identity. In such cases, masqueraders often use womanli- ness to compensate for their exhibition of masculine behavior. Therefore, its use betrays

129 5. The Technê Whim Lin Yutang and the Invention of the Chinese Typewriter China is there, a great mystical Dasein. —Lin Yutang (1935) A state— is. By virtue of the fact that the state police arrest a suspect, or that so- and- so many typewriters are clattering in a government building, taking down the words of ministers and state secretaries? Or “is” the state in a conversation between the chancellor and the British foreign minister? The state is. But where is it being situated? Is it situated anywhere at all? —Martin Heidegger (1935) One rainy

Translating ‘humor’ into Chinese culture QIAN SUOQIAO Abstract The Chinese term youmo (幽默) for humor is a translated neologism in modern Chinese. It was Lin Yutang who first coined the term in 1924 and introduced and promoted the idea of humor into Chinese culture. Lin’s translating ‘humor’ into youmo was a conscious cross-cultural act that me- diates and appropriates cultural meaning between East and West. By way of cross-cultural translation, ‘humor’ as youmo takes on a multicultural meaning which not only enriches the notion of humor but also o¤ers an aes


culture mainly due to the Confucian emphasis on keeping proper manners of social interactions. Confucius once ordered to execute humorists for having “improper performance” before dig- nitaries in 500 BC. The term humor was translated by Mr. Lin Yu-tang in 1920s and it has been increasingly popular in China. During the “Cultural Revolu- tion” (1966–1976), however, humorists of various kinds were all criticized and even prosecuted. Since 1980s, humor got rehabilitated as an important element of creativity, personal charisma and social harmony. Important as it is

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