[New Translation] Translation Studies: Volume 11, Issue 3, 2018

Translation Studies: 11 (3)

Link to this issue: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rtrs20/current

Was Locke addressing Hobbes or Filmer? How a classical question in the history of political thought may become a tool for understanding the translation of historical texts, by Simon Labrecque and René Lemieux

Abstract: This article aims to rethink the relationship between history and translation by questioning the methodological presuppositions underlying dichotomies taught in Translation Studies, especially that of domestication and foreignization. To this end, we assess the validity of this dichotomy in the case of the translation of historical texts. We argue that research in this field demands a deeper reflection on what could be called “addresseeship”. To engage this claim, we begin by discussing how the classical debate between “textualist” and “contextualist” approaches to the history of political thought can be brought to bear on the issue by virtue of the distinctions that it draws among the various addressees of political texts. We then illustrate this new avenue in the translation of history with a critical account of an original dichotomy proposed by the linguist Dubravko Škiljan between retrospective and prospective translations.

Literary tourism: Brazilian literature through anglophone lenses, by Gabriela Saldanha

Abstract: This article explores the role of marketing and, in particular, media reviewing, in the creation of literary value and the circulation of literature by examining how the Brazilian literary landscape is framed through the lens of the anglophone press. A distinction is made between homogenizing, heterogenizing and exoticizing tendencies in the marketing of translated fiction. Brazilian literature is found to be sometimes exoticized, presented as a way of vicariously experiencing a remote culture; as a form, in other words, of literary tourism. Comparing the cases where the literature is exoticized to those where it is homogenized as part of the international literary canon helps us understand how cultural differences are mobilized in order to create an image of a “national” literature that appeals to the tourist gaze. Thus, this article reveals the precise mechanisms through which media reviewing can contribute to both the consecration but also the devaluation of national(ized) literatures.

Mandelshtam’s “Tristia”: Translating порывь into English, by Tony Brinkley and James Brophy

Abstract: Like the energies that turn water into waves, it is the impulse (порывь) in the words and phrases which, according to Osip Mandelshtam, turns language into poetry. The impulse has no sound – it is silent – but without it, a poem would reduce to its paraphrase. And a poem in translation? Unless the impulse in the original finds its way into the translation, the translation will reduce to a paraphrase as well – a sure sign, Mandelshtam suggests, that the sheets have not been rumpled and poetry has not spent the night – but how to translate порывь? Working with Mandelshtam’s poem “Tristia” – his variations on a passage from Ovid’s Tristia – the article proposes a pragmatics for translating an “impulse”.

A game of English make-believe: Reading eighteenth-century French pseudotranslations, by Beatrijs Vanacker

Abstract: Recent research on pseudotranslations demonstrates the aesthetic, political and socio-cultural purposes these texts served throughout history; yet their recurrent metafictional play on reading has not been addressed before. This article argues that it is precisely by looking at the paratextual discourse on “reading” – and how it is received by both critics and translators – that one gains a better insight into the specific functioning of pseudotranslation within a given historical context. The various forms and functions of this self-reflective discourse are analysed by examining, firstly, how it was staged in the paratextual framework of two eighteenth-century novels; and secondly, how (French) critics and (German and English) translators playfully picked up on the make-believe. The sometimes conflicting paratextual markers set out through the staging of various forms of reading and interpretation thus reveal a literary context where texts could be presented as originals and translations, allowing the reader to navigate freely between both.

Orality, literacy and the translator: A case study in Haida translation, by Jasmine Spencer

Abstract: This article integrates Venuti’s approach to the status of the translator with Derrida’s (post-)structural histology of the letter to address the paradox inherent in the mythic (re)production of Indigenous oral texts and the risk of cultural appropriation. The case study is of contentious translations of Haida narratives from the orators Ghandl and Skaay, both from Haida Gwaii, an archipelago off the Canadian north-west coast, south of Alaska. These narratives were recorded, translated and published at the start of the last century and retranslated in 1995 and in 2000–01. The article examines the conditions under which retranslation can serve “narrative revitalization”: the rebirth of meaning through intersemiotic communities of interest. Texts (re)produce readers, and their languages reproduce speakers. The conclusion is that the translator’s position on orality determines the conditions under which their work has been embraced or excoriated, suggesting that only dual-language text(ure)s permit adequate “contact” with the stories.

Translation, conflict and the politics of memory: Jan Karski’s Story of a Secret State, by Joanna Rzepa

Abstract: This article examines the interaction of translations and retranslations of historical texts and political narratives of the past. Focusing on English-Polish translation and the portrayal of Polish-Jewish relations during World War II in Jan Karski’s Story of a Secret State, the article argues that textual and paratextual revisions in subsequent editions of the book are embedded in larger dominant narratives of the past. Examining the role played by translations in the debates on the Holocaust and Polish-Jewish wartime relations, the article suggests that translated texts can influence memory politics and national identity formation. Thus, translators and publishers of translated texts can be viewed as political and historical agents whose work simultaneously shapes and is shaped by cultural memory of the past in various national and historical contexts.

Indirect translation on the London stage: Terminology and (in)visibility, by Geraldine Brodie

Abstract: Productions of translated plays on the London stage use a variety of terms to describe the interlingual interpretive process that has taken place between the source text and the performance. Most frequently, a translated play is described as a “version” or “adaptation”, with the term “translation” reserved for specialized productions. The translation method most commonly adopted is to commission a source-language expert to prepare a “literal” translation which is then used by an English-speaking theatre practitioner to produce a playscript for performance. This article examines the incidence of such indirect translation practices, the inconsistencies of the applied terminology, and the relevance for indirect translation in its wider sense, revealing the shadows of translational behaviour even within language pairs, and demonstrating the multiplicity of agents impacting on the ultimate appearance of a text in translation.

The fidus interpres and the fact of slavery: Rethinking classical and patristic models of translation, by Ben Garceau

Abstract: Cicero and St Jerome are often thought to belong to opposite schools of translation theory. This assumption neglects an important continuity between the two translators, namely their understanding of translation as a master–slave relationship. A far more important discursive break occurred in the work of St Augustine, who was the first to project onto translation the religious role of a fidus servus (faithful slave) in relationship to the divine word. His theorization of how truth could be revealed in both original and translated texts is radically different from our received ideas about the hierarchy of source and target. It also initiated an epistemological shift that would have a profound effect on later Christian translators. The scholar Boethius was the first to use Augustine’s model of translation with secular texts, paving the way for this eschatological theory to take precedence throughout early medieval Europe.