[New publication] The Translator: Volume 24, No. 3, 2019

The Translator: 24 (3)

Link to this issue: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rtrn20/current


The strange case of Flann O’Brien and Myles na gCopaleen: a master of English language translated from Gaelic into Spanish, by Álvaro Marín García

Abstract: Brian O’Nolan wrote in English and Gaelic under different pseudonyms, Flann O’Brien for his English novels and Myles na gCopaleen for his work in Gaelic. While O’Brien is considered a master of Postmodernist literature, the work written under the Gaelic pen name, eminently satiric, remained that of an obscure author in a minority language. It was just one more authorial identity among many created by O’Nolan. This complexity of authorial personae did not get through the translations into Spanish until O’Brien was characterised as a great canonical English-language author. I apply Casanova’s model of translation as unequal exchange to describe how the literary capital of O’Brien brought attention to his Gaelic-language counterpart and helped to consecrate him when translated into Spanish. To that end, I compare the paratextual material in the first edition (with no introduction) and the second edition (on a literary collection with an informative introduction and laudatory paratexts by reputed authors) of the same translation of An Béal Bocht to show how the characterisation of O’Brien as a great English-language writer in the period between one edition and the other allowed the translator to introduce na gCopaleen and Gaelic to the Spanish readership in the second edition.

Reclaiming China’s past: sino-Babylonian theory and the translator’s (in)visibility in Clement Allen’s The Book of Chinese Poetry, by Lynn Qingyang Lin

Abstract: This article aims to supplement our understanding of the relation between Orientalism and translation by examining an Orientalism of another kind, which, unlike the more commonly described Orientalist paradigms, is not based upon binary distinctions between the East and the West, but rather works within a framework of sameness and common origin. The case in point here is Clement F. R. Allen’s 1891 translation of the ancient Chinese book of poetry, the Shijing. Informed by the sino-Babylonian theory then current in the discourse of sinological Orientalism, Allen’s approach to ancient China evolves a politics of sameness, through which the authority of the Western sinologist-translator is established via the negation of Chinese cultural particularity and a highly ‘fluent’ translation of the Chinese original is validated. Interestingly, this fluency in the text of translation does not work in tandem with ‘the translator’s invisibility’; there is a seeming discrepancy between the transparent surface of translation and the density of the paratextual materials, which complicates simple dichotomies in categorizing translation and requires a more nuanced account of the manifold ways in which translational representations participate in the Orientalist discourse.

Invisible terminology, visible translations: the New Penguin Freud translations and the case against standardized terminology, by Spencer Hawkins

Abstract: Consistency has become an industry expectation for the translation of terminology within scholarship and scientific writing, but such consistency may not do justice to texts where technical terms rely on polysemy for heuristic effects. This article considers the historical factors that explain why context-sensitive differential translation strategies prevailed in several recent retranslations of Sigmund Freud’s works. Freud’s twenty-first-century translators were freed from constraints of consistency due partly to the series editor Adam Phillips’s decision to rebrand Freud’s genre as literature. When Benjamin Moser reframed Brazilian author Clarice Lispector’s work as wisdom literature, some retranslations that he edited for New Directions also worked interestingly through dilemmas between context-sensitivity and consistency when translating repeated vocabulary. By claiming that these texts work on multiple genre-levels, these translations’ series editors reduced the expectation that language should function univocally as terminology in the translations.

ELF as a translational Lingua Franca: reciprocal influences between ELF and translation, by Stefania Taviano

Abstract: The spread of English as a language of international communication has led to a variety of approaches within various schools of thought. However, one of the areas in which the influence of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) is particularly significant, and nevertheless under-researched, is professional translation and interpreting. The impact of ELF on translation is manifold, particularly due to the hybridity of source texts. Furthermore, the supposedly simplified nature and universality of ELF as a code intended to facilitate communication – and translation – ties in with discourses encouraging the use of online translation tools and non-professional translation. Drawing on ELF studies and Translation Studies, I argue for a conceptualization of ELF as being marked by an intrinsic translation process related to the fluidity of languages. The translational character of ELF is testified to by the hybridity of texts produced by international organizations and written by non-native speakers of English, which are inevitably affected by the languages and cultures of their authors. Furthermore, I will show how views about the universality and transparency of a lingua franca cannot be separated from its translation, concluding that translators, translation scholars and international institutions have a responsibility to reveal ELF’s translational nature.

Essentially translatable poetry – the case of Lorca’s Poet in New York, by Andrew Samuel Walsh

Abstract: Poet in New York by Federico García Lorca represents a paradigm of translatable poetry as it possesses certain textual characteristics which have facilitated its translation into English on several occasions since its first publication in 1940. Indeed, despite belonging to the category of his ‘difficult’ poetry, it has proven to be one of the most translatable of Lorca’s works and, paradoxically, one of the least problematic for English language translators. There have currently been five complete translations of the book in addition to numerous partial translations and this article seeks to examine the inherent facilities that it offers to English language translators and readers by highlighting the salient characteristics of the original text which have allowed it to be so successfully translated. These poems were based on Lorca’s visions of the great American metropolis during his residence there from 1929 to 1930 and the English versions of the text have exerted a considerable influence on the poetic vision of the city of New York due to the extraordinarily fertile reception of retranslations of this poetry in the English-speaking world, a reception that is in no small measure due to the textual qualities that make PENY essentially translatable.