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by Lemardelé Élise - published on , updated on


Professor (Directeur d’études)

Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes - PSL
IVth Section, Historical and Philological Sciences
Chair " History and philology of classical China"

Director of the CRCAO


Research topics

  • Literature of fiction from Yuan to Qing (13th-18th c.): theater, short story, novel
  • Expression of subjectivity in fictional literature of the Yuan to Qing periods
  • Language and speech in literature of fiction and literary criticism of premodern China
  • Psychoanalysis and impact of China’s transition to modernity on subjectivity
  • Language, translation and translation studies
  • Intralingual translation, diglossia, rewriting, commentary
  • Representation of suicide in premodern China

Main directions

  • My research focuses on the history and problematics of classical Chinese literature, specifically narrative literature and literature of fiction of the late classical to premodern periods (Yuan, Ming and early Qing, 13th to 18th centuries), in vernacular classical Chinese (novel, short story, theater, novella collections, lyrical and narrative poetry). In this area, I have done scholarly work, such as inventories of narrative sources (on huaben 話 本 short stories, ca. 17th century), or bibliographical research on rare editions (in Japan and France ). The analysis of sources and rewriting processes in the context of Chinese diglossia between literary sinitic and vernacular language is one of my main interests.
  • I have published scholarly translations of vernacular stories, theater, and poetry. Among these translations: Jingu qiguan (ca. 1640); The Story of the Western Wing, ca. 1300); the "Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368)" part of the Anthology of Chinese poetry (Anthologie de la poésie chinoise), Bibliothèque de la Pléiade. I am currently preparing an annotated translation of the chuanqi by Kong Shangren (1648-1718), The Peach Blossom Fan (Taohua shan).
  • One of my areas of research is related to the exploration of forms of expression of subjectivity, e.g., in love stories, or more generally through the process by which a given theme shows variations depending on the genre in which it is vectorized (wether in classical or in vernacular Chinese; in verse or in prose; according to different genres, such as short story, novel or drama). I make use of analytical tools derived from psychoanalysis (e.g., in the relationship between subjectivity and language) and from translation studies. The concept of intralingual translation is of particular importance to me, in order to analyze rewriting mechanisms between different states of the Chinese language or between various genres.
  • I am also interested in issues of interlingual translation, in regard with issues of translation of modern concepts into Chinese, as well as cross-cultural issues, particularly in connection with the topic of subjectivity. I have worked on issues related to the impact of the Chinese transition to Westernized modernity on the subjectivity, especially around the writings of the contemporary trend of the "native psychology" (Bentu xinlixue 本土 心理學).
  • Currently, my two main projects are:
    • Collective project
      • An international project on the issues of intralingual translation, diglossia and vernacular writing or rewriting, entitled “Intralingual Translation, Diglossia and the Rise of Vernaculars in East Asian Classical and Premodern Cultures”.
    • Individual project
      • The preparation of a monograph on the imaginary representation of suicide in premodern China (13th to 18thcenturies). By exploring certain themes or recurring sequences related to suicide, I focus on the analysis of the representations and discourse on suicide as major literary theme of the late classical/premodern periods. This research is related to my weekly conference at EPHE-PSL.

For my complete list of publications, click here:

For my complete résumé of research, professional, and collective activities, outside publications, click here. (In French)