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Marjolijn Storm

Agatha Christie is one of the most popular and most translated authors of all time. Yet there is little academic work on her writing. This book sets out to rectify this.
No matter where in the world you are, Hercule Poirot is a name that conjures up certain associations. The detailed analysis of the original text, three German and two Dutch translations of The Mysterious Affair at Styles however shows that his depiction differs immensely between the individual texts. In the course of this book, reasons for these differences are found via the analysis of the shifts of status of Agatha Christie as an author, of detective fiction and of translations from English in Germany and the Netherlands. During this exploration the discovery will be made that, when translated, escapist literature such as Christie’s detective fiction actually becomes a highly political affair.

From Creole to Standard

Shakespeare, Language, and Literature in a Postcolonial Context

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Roshni Mooneeram

This book gives a fascinating account of the unique history of the national – creole – language of Mauritius and the process of standardization that it is undergoing in postcolonial times. The central question is how far a creative writer's activity may affect the status and linguistic forms of a regional language. The book focuses on the work of the author Dev Virahsawmy, who, particularly through his Shakespeare translations, is an active agent in the standardization of Mauritian creole.
The approaches employed in From Creole to Standard combine a sociolinguistic examination of (changing) language attitudes with detailed textual studies of some of Virahsawmy's works to show the relation of his work to the process of language development. This book is relevant to the study of other creole languages undergoing standardization as well as to questions of language development more widely. Its strength lies precisely in its interdisciplinary approach, which addresses different readerships. Mooneeram’s study is of great interest to both postcolonial thinking and sociolinguistics but also has important implications for debates about the role of canonical literary works and their transmission in the wider world.
Her book is also a contribution to Shakespeare studies and the field of literary linguistics. There are interesting parallels between the contemporary situation of Mauritian creole and English in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Virahsawmy’s adaptations and translations into creole echo the role Shakespeare’s ‘originals’ played for English, and Mooneeram demonstrates how other writers have followed Virahsawmy in using literary forms to enrich the language.

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Şehnaz Tahir Gürçağlar

The present book is a bold attempt at revealing the complex and diversified nature of the field of translated literature in Turkey during a period of radical socio-political change. On the broad level, it investigates the implications of the political transformation experienced in Turkey after the proclamation of the Republic for the cultural and literary fields, including the field of translated literature. On a more specific level, it holds translation under focus and explores the discourse formed on translation and translators while it also traces the norms (not) observed by translators throughout the 1920s-1950s in two case studies. The findings of the study suggest that the concepts of translation both affected and were affected by cultural processes in the society, including ideological and poetological ones and that there was no uniform way of defining or carrying out translations during the period under study. The findings also point at the segmentation of readership in early republican Turkey and conclude that the political and poetological factors governing the production and reception of translations varied for different segments of readers.

Theories on the Move

Translation’s Role in the Travels of Literary Theories

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Şebnem Susam-Sarajeva

Within translation studies books on translating conceptually dense texts, such as philosophical or theoretical writings, are remarkably few. Although the translation of literature has been a favourite topic for many decades, the translation of theories on literature has been neglected. The phrase ‘theories of translation’ is everywhere, but ‘translation of theories’ is a rare sight.
On the other hand, the term ‘translation’ has become a commonplace in literary and cultural studies – yet usually as a rhetorical figure describing the fate of those who struggle between two worlds and two languages, such as migrants or women. Not much attention has been paid to the role of ‘translation proper’ in contemporary circulation of ideas.
The book addresses these gaps in translation studies and in literary studies for the first time by examining two specific cases where translation strategies and patterns crucially influenced the reception of imported schools of thought. By examining the importation of structuralism and semiotics into Turkish and of French feminism into English, it invites the readers to think about the impact of translation on the transmission of ideas across linguistic-cultural borders and power differentials. It is, therefore, of particular interest to the scholars working in translation studies, in literary and cultural theory, and in gender studies.

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Edited by Carmine G. Di Biase

The relationship between travel and translation might seem obvious at first, but to study it in earnest is to discover that it is at once intriguing and elusive. Of course, travelers translate in order to make sense of their new surroundings; sometimes they must translate in order to put food on the table. The relationship between these two human compulsions, however, goes much deeper than this. What gets translated, it seems, is not merely the written or the spoken word, but the very identity of the traveler. These seventeen essays—which treat not only such well-known figures as Martin Luther, Erasmus, Shakespeare, and Milton, but also such lesser known figures as Konrad Grünemberg, Leo Africanus, and Garcilaso de la Vega—constitute the first survey of how this relationship manifests itself in the early modern period. As such, it should be of interest both to scholars who are studying theories of translation and to those who are studying “hodoeporics”, or travel and the literature of travel.

Song and Significance

Virtues and Vices of Vocal Translation

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Edited by Dinda L. Gorlée

Vocal translation is an old art, but the interpretive feeling, skill and craft have expanded into a relatively new area in translation studies. Vocal translation is the translation of the poetic discourse in the hybrid art of the musicopoetic (or poeticomusical) forms, shapes and skills. This symbiotic construct harmonizes together the conflicting roles of music and language in face-to-face singing performances. The artist sings in an accurate but free flow, but sung in a language different from the original lyrics.
Vocal translation is a living-together community of composer and poet and translator; they work together though separately in time and place, through the structure and meaning of the vocalized verbal language. The meaning of the songs is influenced by the elements of musical expression: melody, impulse, pitch, duration, loudness, timbre and dynamics, each of which is governed by its own rules and emotions. The movement of the lyrics is an essential and meaningful attribute of the musical rhythms, pauses, pitches, stresses and articulations of the entire songs. The presence of the original and translated song structures its sounds, senses and gestures to suggest semiotic meaningfulness.
In opera, folksong, hymn and art song, as well as in operetta, musical song and popular song, we have musical genres allied to a libretto with lyrical text. A libretto is a linguistic text which is a pre-existing work of art, but is subordinated to the musical text. The essays in Song and Significance: Virtues and Vices of Vocal Translation provide interpretive models for the juxtaposition of different orders of the singing sign-events in different languages, extending the meaning and range of the musical and literary concepts, and putting the mixed signs to a true-and-false test.

Ezra Pound and Poetic Influence

The Official Proceedings of the 17th International Ezra Pound Conference, held at Castle Brunnenburg, Tirolo di Merano

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Edited by Helen M. Dennis

This collection of twenty essays investigates a series of different aspects of poetic influence in relation to the major modernist poet, Ezra Pound. The volume commences with five essays on matters to do with translation and poetic influence, which situate Ezra Pound as an important transitional figure between 19th-century and 20th-century translation strategies. The next five essays consider different influences on Pound’s poetry, and introduce the reader to new research in a variety of areas, including how specific Chinese cultural artefacts inform his poetry. The following five essays explore Pound’s influence on some of his major contemporaries, such as Eugenio Montale and Charles Olson, and also (through the reading he gave her as a girl) on his daughter, Mary de Rachewiltz. The concluding five essays exemplify different approaches to the thorny issue of Pound and politics, and end with two diametrically opposed interpretations of Pound’s political / poetic thought. The collection will be of great interest to scholars of Ezra Pound and of modern to postmodern poetry; but it will also serve as a useful and lively introduction to some of the debates within Pound scholarship to students coming to his work for the first time.

From Gaelic to Romantic

Ossianic Translations

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Edited by Fiona Stafford and Howard Gaskill

The appearance of James Macpherson's Ossian in the 1760s caused an international sensation. The discovery of poetic fragments that seemed to have survived in the Highlands of Scotland for some 1500 years gripped the imagination of the reading public, who seized eagerly on the newly available texts for glimpses of a lost primitive world. That Macpherson's versions of the ancient heroic verse were more creative adaptations of the oral tradition than literal translations of a clearly identifiable original may have exercised contemporary antiquarians and contributed eventually to a decline in the popularity of Ossian. Yet for most early readers, as for generations of enthusiastic followers, what mattered was not the accuracy of the translation, but the excitement of encountering the primitive, and the mood engendered by the process of reading. The essays in this collection represent an attempt by late twentieth-century readers to chart the cultural currents that flowed into Macpherson's texts, and to examine their peculiar energy. Scholars distinguished in the fields of Gaelic, German, Irish, Scottish, French, English and American literature, language, history and cultural studies have each contributed to the exploration of Macpherson's achievement, with the aim of situating his notoriously elusive texts in a web of diverse contexts. Important new research into the traditional Gaelic sources is placed side by side with discussions of the more immediate political impetus of his poetry, while studies of the reception of Ossian in Scotland, Germany, France and England are part of the larger recognition of the cultural significance of Macpherson's work, and its importance to issues of fragmentation, liminality, colonialism, national identity, sensibility and gender.

Sea-Changes

Studies in Three Centuries of Anglo-Dutch Cultural Transmission

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Cornelis W. Schoneveld

These ten studies provide a view of the extent to which intellectual and literary life in Holland has been influenced by English ideas. The book concludes with an overview of Anglo-Dutch cultural transfer from the early seventeenth century to the late nineteenth century, concentrating on what, between Sir Thomas Browne's stay in Leiden in 1633 and L.A.J. Burgersdijk's complete translation of Shakespeare in the 1880s, was transmitted, what sea-changes??: occurred during the voyage, and in how far these resulted in something rich and strange??:. The emphasis in some of the essays is on intellectual, or scholarly, contacts — with Holland mostly on the receiving end, but by no means exclusively so. In the field of literature proper, given the continuing prestige of French letters, there lies a special interest in watching the gradually increasing appreciation of English non-fiction, fiction, poetry and drama. This was brought about by translations and by the growing familiarity of Dutch cultural leaders with the English language itself, in spite of long-standing aversions to its composition and sound, continuing far into the nineteenth century. The analysis of translation strategies and adaptations, often made to suit the target culture, also contributes to the history of translation — a branch of Translation Studies now coming into its own.