Literary Starbucks and Language Imperialism
By Helen Wang, published February 23, 2013, 6:34p.m.
This week I came across these two expressions for the first time. I'm about curious to know if there are Chinese translations of these expressions; if they come up in discussion in China; and if so, what people are saying?
“Littell's [Prix Goncourt winner, 2006] background exemplifies the fact that the modern world is increasingly integrated, genuinely global. It is often heard that to be truly great you must achieve international success. Combine this view with a competitive market and it’s easy to envisage a writer sidestepping lexical gaps. This trend has been termed 'Literary Starbucks', where publishers are seeing writers adopting more ‘neutral’ language and avoiding cultural idioms in order to appeal to foreign readers and editors.” (seen in this article in The Spectator and possibly originating from a Living Translation event at the University of Bristol)
This expression appears to have been coined by Thorsten Pattberg. In 2011-12 he seems to have written a lot of articles on this issue. Is he tapping into something that is already being discussed in China? Or is he driving something new?