When a Roman poet in exile bewails in Chinese, how would he sound? What are some of the strategies to mitigate the loss of poetic structure when Ovid's elegiac poetry is transformed into Mandarin? Since exile poetry had a rich tradition in ancient China, to what extent can the Chinese exile poetry help with translating Ovid's Tristia? As the current translator of Ovid's Tristia and the Principal Investigator of the project that aims at translating all of Ovid's works into Mandarin with commentaries, I address these questions in this talk in connection with the larger issues of cross-cultural translation and the development of Classics as a field in China.
Jinyu Liu received her Ph.D. in Roman History from Columbia University, and is Professor of Classical Studies at DePauw University. She was recipient of an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s New Directions Fellowship (2011–2014) and holds Shanghai “1000 Plan” Distinguished Guest Professorship at Shanghai Normal University (2014–2019). While the social and economic history of the Roman Empire and Latin Epigraphy have been two of her main research areas, she has also published a series of articles in both Chinese and English on the reception of Graeco-Roman classics in China. As the Principal Investigator of “Translating the Complete Corpus of Ovid into Chinese with Commentaries”, a multi-year project sponsored by a National Social Science Fund of China Major Grant (2015–2020), Professor Liu has shifted her focus to translating Ovid’s poetry, especially Tristia, into Chinese. She is the recipient of a Loeb Classical Library Foundation Fellowship (2018–2019) for her project entitled "Ovid's Tristia: A Chinese Translation and Commentary."