Date of Award

Spring 4-18-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Modern Languages & Literature

First Advisor

Kai Xie

Second Advisor

Yumiko Tashiro

Third Advisor



Natsume Soseki is regarded as one of the preeminent writers of the Modern Japanese Novel. Soseki studied not only Japanese, but Chinese and English literature, and Soseki in kind has been translated dozens of times. The sheer range his works have taken on across languages speaks to the depth of his writing and the unsettledness of translation itself. If no one translation can satisfactorily capture the essence of Soseki’s original, what constitutes a good translation? In this thesis, I break down a three stage approach to the practice of translation using Ten Nights’ Dreams, a set of short stories written by Soseki in 1908. Starting with a semantic understanding of the original text and moving towards stylistic rendering of the text, I will then I explore Soseki’s biography, understanding that though the author is not the work, the author’s personal circumstances invariably impact the work they produce, to address the thematics present within Soseki’s writing. In separating out these layers of the translation process, I hope to illuminate a more coherent picture of the work and care necessary to the practice, such that the translator not only produces an entertaining and semantically correct translation, but one that is also deeply responsive to the original author's life.

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