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Multidisciplinary Studies in Honour of Theo Maarten van Lint
From pilgrimage sites in the far west of Europe to the Persian court; from mystic visions to a gruesome contemporary “dance”; from a mundane poem on wine to staggering religious art: thus far in space and time extends the world of the Armenians.
A glimpse of the vast and still largely unexplored threads that connect it to the wider world is offered by the papers assembled here in homage to one of the most versatile contemporary armenologists, Theo Maarten van Lint.
This collection offers original insights through a multifaceted lens, showing how much Armenology can offer to Art History, History, Linguistics, Philology, Literature, and Religious Studies. Scholars will find new inspirations and connections, while the general reader will open a window to a world that is just as wide as it is often unseen.

Abstract

A year after receiving the 2000 Nobel Prize in Literature, Gao Xingjian, who had been exiled from China in 1987, remarked that he had to embark on a “second escape” from the “public’s halo, flowers, prizes, and crown.” In this paper, I argue that Gao’s “second escape” is not a literal rejection of fame, but rather the situating of the monumentalizing effects of the Nobel’s prestige as a subject of his transmedial reflection. In his first major post-Nobel project – l’année Gao (The Year of Gao, 2003–2005), Gao portrays death in five different expressions (paintings, poetry, theatre, opera, and cinema) that echo and respond to each other, thereby presenting a coherent attempt to restore his sense of fragility and autonomy as a Nobel laureate.

Open Access
In: Journal of World Literature
Author:

Abstract

The marketing of world literature today is marked by the larger migration of literary culture to Web 2.0. This has gone hand in hand with a reconsignment of influence of orthodox authorities, from established reviewing organs to awards, to the amateur readers congregating on social media platforms, first and foremost on Goodreads, the world’s largest online community for circulating literary recommendations and socialization. The present paper traces this reconsignment of influence by examining the engagement of the Goodreads community with the works that were awarded the Booker Prize or the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction between 2015 and 2019, looking at reader reviews as well as the discussions ensuing from those reviews. As such, the reconsignment of influence is concluded to be regulated by the algorithmic rules of Goodreads and its proprietary platform, Amazon.com.

Open Access
In: Journal of World Literature

Abstract

This chapter will first deal with the concept of canonical translations from a theoretical point of view, as to date there is no established definition of this concept. It will be shown that there can be many factors to consider when we categorise a translation as canonical. Some examples will show how some traditional translations have been canonized over time. In the last part, the chapter will study the specific example of the Spanish translations of The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka because of its undeniably profound reception in Spain, as proved by the number of translations. There are currently thirty-two retranslations on the Spanish publishing market, in addition to the first translation. Taking into account the criteria established in the first theoretical part, the chapter analyse the reception of the first translations of The Metamorphosis in order to assess whether or not it can be considered canonical, despite the existence of so many other versions.

Open Access
In: Retranslation and Reception

Abstract

Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts [From the life of a good-for-nothing] by Joseph von Eichendorff belongs to the canon of classic literature in Germany and is compulsory reading in schools. The mere mention of the word Taugenichts [good-for-nothing] is enough to identify the novel. In Spain, the work does not enjoy classic status because, on the one hand, the Romantic author Eichendorff is best known for his lyric poetry, and on the other, because the hugely disparate titles borne by the various Spanish versions may have helped to obscure the actual identity of the work. This study of the reception of Taugenichts in the Spanish literary system through its translations and retranslations over a period of a hundred years focuses on the titles given to it and examines their intertextual and intertitular relationship with the original work and how they interrelate within the corpus of Spanish translations.

Open Access
In: Retranslation and Reception
Author:

Abstract

The present study is based on the reception in France and Spain of Boris Vian’s thriller “J’irai cracher sur vos tombes”. Published in France in 1946 under the pen name of Vernon Sullivan, this novel was banned three years later for being pornographic and immoral. The first request for translation and publication in Spain was denied by censors in 1974 but was eventually approved in 1978. This study offers a comparative analysis between the first Spanish translation of 1977 and the two retranslations published in 1979 and 1989. It focuses on how the three translators broach the omnipresence of sexual language in the novel. Results show how sexual language does not leave the translators indifferent. On the one hand, due to the prevailing censorship at that time, the first translator realizes an implicit and generalized translation and tends to conscious self-censorship. On the other hand, the other two translators make sexual language even more explicit and intensify their translations, showing somehow their personal vision towards sex and sexuality.

Open Access
In: Retranslation and Reception
Author:

Abstract

La coscienza di Zeno (1923), by Italo Svevo was not published in Spain until 1956. After analysing the first censored version, this chapter studies the subsequent translations to develop an overview of the reception of this novel in Spain. This research follows a dual approach: textual and sociocultural analysis. The textual analysis allows us to understand the translational strategies adopted by Carlos Manzano, whose version is the best known in Spain. This translation was subject to numerous processes of revision and re-writing, which affect the legibility of the text and its pragmatic effect. The successive re-editions and re-prints of this translation, as well as the appearance of a new Spanish version of the book, will also be analysed from a sociological-cultural perspective, in which the canon, the dynamics of the publishing market, and the book’s incorporation in the list of twentieth century classics are all key elements not only to understand its publication history, but also to assess its possible presence in future catalogues.

Open Access
In: Retranslation and Reception

Abstract

This chapter provides a theoretical background to the relationship between retranslation and reception. It sets the basis for the empirical chapters that are to follow by providing a historical overview of both concepts, and how they have been developed by different theorists seeking to establish the nature of these literary phenomena as mutually dependent concepts. It examines the nature of the relationship between retranslation and the reception that a text may have in another literary culture, specifically in terms of the link between the reception of an author’s work and the frequency and nature of the corresponding retranslations. The chapter also addresses the importance of this symbiotic relationship in the creation of a canon of foreign literature, and examines how historical, social or cultural changes may be reflected through the publication of retranslations and a consequent evolution in the reception status of any given author in the target culture.

Open Access
In: Retranslation and Reception

Abstract

The chapter first provides some background to Gerald Brenan’s The Face of Spain (1950) before offering an overview of the problems of publishing his texts in Spain. It then presents the main characteristics of the two Spanish translations and some information about the two translators and their very different circumstances. For obvious chronological reasons, the 1952 version had no mission to construct the Brenan myth of the Transition, and thus offered a very limited paratext. However, the 1985 translation was under some pressure not to spoil the myth of Brenan the consummate Hispanophile and anti-Francoist. The paratext of this edition strongly orients the reader and highlights how Brenan, or ‘Don Geraldo de Alhaurín’, had by then become ‘immensely popular’ in Spain after being ‘forgotten’ by the Franco regime because of his “left-wing ideas”, and “always showed a great sympathy for the Spanish character” and was even “enamorado de España” [in love with Spain], affirmations which are not borne out by the original text. Through the use of fifteen representative examples from the source text and the two translations, the chapter examines how the two translators responded to the dilemma of translating the book’s frequently Hispanophobic and non-progressive views and how their versions differed in terms of the personally and politically offensive nature of the source text.

Open Access
In: Retranslation and Reception
Author:

Abstract

This article takes two epidemics, one historical and the other allegorical, for comparison against the current Covid-19 crisis. Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year consists of a narrator whose objectivity and existence are ambiguous. José Saramago’s Blindness, published in the original Portuguese as an “essay,” traces the journey of a cluster of citizens through a polis afflicted by a sudden, infectious outbreak. The respective experiences of confinement: at home, in a disused mental hospital, and within the wider spaces of the city, are analysed in this article with reference to Michel Foucault’s Madness and Civilization, alongside seminal works by Giorgio Agamben, Michel de Certeau and Susan Sontag. The article also aims to indicate how the current Covid-19 crisis may provide a scene of reading, alongside a contemporary response from Slavoj Žižek.

Open Access
In: Journal of World Literature