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Shaden M. Tageldin

Abstract

This essay traces the problem of world literature in key writings by the Egyptian scientist and littérateur Aḥmad Zakī Abū Shādī. Abū Shādī’s early nod to world literature (1908–1909) intimates the challenge of making literary particularity heard in the homogenizing harmonies of a world dominated by English. That problem persists in his account of a 1926 meeting with the Bengali polymath Rabindranath Tagore and in an essay of 1928 inspired by that meeting: one of the first manifestos of al-adab al-ʿālamī (world literature) in Arabic, predating the 1936 appearance of al-adab al-muqāran (comparative literature). While Abū Shādī lauds Tagore’s refusal to compare literatures East and West and insistence on the spiritual unity of all literatures, his struggles to articulate a world in which harmony is not an alibi for hierarchy suggest that neither comparative literature nor its would-be leveler – world literature – can shed the haunting specter of inequality.

African Cultural Festivals and World Literature

From the Map to the Territory

Claire Ducournau

Abstract

In an era where cultural festivals multiply, so-called African festivals have spread in Africa, but also outside of the continent, in major cities as well as in little-known villages, for example in provincial France. What are some of their implications and effects in the case of francophone African literature? These events privilege a continental representation of literature, which often reveals itself as problematic when confronted with the complex geographies of the texts and authors represented at these festivals. Using cross-disciplinary methodology, this critical inquiry reads different reallocations of this persistent African matrix through a typology and contemporary examples (Kossi Efoui’s writings, the “Étonnants Voyageurs” and “Plein sud” festivals). As an object of study, festivals bear witness to the necessity of expanding the toolbox of the (world) literary scholar by making use of documentary sources and adopting ethnographic approaches. It reveals a structural tension between an African map and various concrete territories, where local issues matter often more than this continental category, and can affect the form and content of literature itself.

Series:

Michel Hermans

Anthologizing Race

Folk, Volk and Untranslation in the Weimar Republic

Anna Muenchrath

Abstract

This article reads the introductions of two anthologies of Harlem Renaissance poetry published in the Weimar Republic in 1929 and 1932 respectively. Taking into account the history of the concept of Volk and its changing connotations in the interwar years, I argue that both editors problematically and subversively interpret the Harlem Renaissance as an American Volk tradition for their German readers. I contend that this act of interpretation questions and critiques the limits of not only the linguistic meaning of Volk, but also the limits of the concept of political belonging that the word represents in the German inter-war years. The article argues, concomitantly, for closer attention to anthologies of world literature and the paratexts of translations.

Edited by Leo Tak-hung Chan, Gabriela Saldanha, Şebnem Susam-Sarajeva, Tom Toremans and Michaela Wolf

Approaches to Translation Studies is an international series promoting the scholarly study of translation. The notion of plural ‘approaches’ to translation and its study calls up images of scholarly explorers following untrodden paths to translation, or more cautiously (re)tracing the familiar routes. Either way, it indicates a refusal to be tied to dogma or prejudice, a curiosity about possible new vistas, and an awareness that the observer’s view depends on where s/he comes from. But a recognition of the plurality of possible approaches does not necessarily mean passive acquiescence to relativism and scepticism. The idea of ‘approaching’ translation also implies a sense of purpose and direction.

In the context of today’s globalised and pluralised world, this metaphorically suggested perspective is perhaps more relevant than ever before. The series therefore remains fully committed to it, while trying to respond to the rapid changes of our digital age. Ready to travel between genres, media and technologies, willing to span centuries and continents, and always keeping an open mind about the various oppositions that have too often needlessly divided researchers (e.g. high culture versus popular culture, linguistics versus literary studies versus cultural studies, translation ‘proper’ versus ‘adaptation’), the series Approaches to Translation Studies will continue to accommodate all translation-oriented books that match high-quality scholarship with an equal concern for reader-friendly communication.

Approaches to Translation Studies is open to a wide range of scholarly publications in the field of Translation Studies (monographs, collective volumes…). Dissertations are welcome but will obviously need to be thoroughly adapted to their new function and readership. Conference proceedings and collections of articles will only be considered if they show strong thematic unity and tight editorial control. For practical reasons, the series intends to continue its tradition of publishing English-language research. While students, teachers and scholars in the various schools and branches of Translation Studies make up its primary readership, the series also aims to promote a dialogue with readers and authors from various neighbouring disciplines.

Approaches to Translation Studies was launched in 1970 by James S Holmes (1924-1986), who was also one of the ‘founding fathers’ of Translation Studies as an academic discipline. At later stages the series’ editorship passed into the hands of Raymond van den Broeck, Kitty M. van Leuven-Zwart and Ton Naaijkens. Being the very first international series specifically catering for the needs of the fledgling discipline in the 1970s, Approaches to Translation Studies has played a significant historical role in providing it with a much needed platform as well as giving it greater visibility in the academic marketplace.

Authors are cordially invited to submit proposals and/or full manuscripts to the publisher at BRILL, Masja Horn.

Volumes 2, 4, and 5 were published by van Gorcum (Assen, The Netherlands), but orders should be directed to Rodopi.

The series published an average of two volumes per year over the last 5 years.

Edited by Leo Tak-hung Chan, Gabriela Saldanha, Şebnem Susam-Sarajeva, Tom Toremans and Michaela Wolf

Approaches to Translation Studies is an international series promoting the scholarly study of translation. The notion of plural ‘approaches’ to translation and its study calls up images of scholarly explorers following untrodden paths to translation, or more cautiously (re)tracing the familiar routes. Either way, it indicates a refusal to be tied to dogma or prejudice, a curiosity about possible new vistas, and an awareness that the observer’s view depends on where s/he comes from. But a recognition of the plurality of possible approaches does not necessarily mean passive acquiescence to relativism and scepticism. The idea of ‘approaching’ translation also implies a sense of purpose and direction.

In the context of today’s globalised and pluralised world, this metaphorically suggested perspective is perhaps more relevant than ever before. The series therefore remains fully committed to it, while trying to respond to the rapid changes of our digital age. Ready to travel between genres, media and technologies, willing to span centuries and continents, and always keeping an open mind about the various oppositions that have too often needlessly divided researchers (e.g. high culture versus popular culture, linguistics versus literary studies versus cultural studies, translation ‘proper’ versus ‘adaptation’), the series Approaches to Translation Studies will continue to accommodate all translation-oriented books that match high-quality scholarship with an equal concern for reader-friendly communication.

Approaches to Translation Studies is open to a wide range of scholarly publications in the field of Translation Studies (monographs, collective volumes…). Dissertations are welcome but will obviously need to be thoroughly adapted to their new function and readership. Conference proceedings and collections of articles will only be considered if they show strong thematic unity and tight editorial control. For practical reasons, the series intends to continue its tradition of publishing English-language research. While students, teachers and scholars in the various schools and branches of Translation Studies make up its primary readership, the series also aims to promote a dialogue with readers and authors from various neighbouring disciplines.

Approaches to Translation Studies was launched in 1970 by James S Holmes (1924-1986), who was also one of the ‘founding fathers’ of Translation Studies as an academic discipline. At later stages the series’ editorship passed into the hands of Raymond van den Broeck, Kitty M. van Leuven-Zwart and Ton Naaijkens. Being the very first international series specifically catering for the needs of the fledgling discipline in the 1970s, Approaches to Translation Studies has played a significant historical role in providing it with a much needed platform as well as giving it greater visibility in the academic marketplace.

Authors are cordially invited to submit proposals and/or full manuscripts to the publisher at BRILL, Masja Horn.

Volumes 2, 4, and 5 were published by van Gorcum (Assen, The Netherlands), but orders should be directed to Rodopi.

The series published an average of two volumes per year over the last 5 years.

Hundred Days’ Literature

Chinese Utopian Fiction at the End of Empire, 1902–1910

Series:

Lorenzo Andolfatto

In Hundred Days’ Literature, Lorenzo Andolfatto explores the landscape of early modern Chinese fiction through the lens of the utopian novel, casting new light on some of its most peculiar yet often overshadowed literary specimens. The wutuobang or lixiang xiaoshuo, by virtue of its ideally totalizing perspective, provides a one-of-a-kind critical tool for the understanding of late imperial China’s fragmented Zeitgeist. Building upon rigorous close reading and solid theoretical foundations, Hundred Days’ Literature offers the reader a transcultural critical itinerary that links Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward to Wu Jianren’s Xin Shitou ji via the writings of Liang Qichao, Chen Tianhua, Bihe Guanzhuren, and Lu Shi’e. The book also includes the first English translation of Cai Yuanpei’s short story “New Year’s Dream.”

“Borderland Translation”

Manchuria and the Multilingual Translations of the Korean Short Story “The Red Hill”

Miya Qiong Xie

Abstract

This paper explores the complexity of translation of borderland literature through a case study of the Japanese and Chinese translations of the Korean short story “The Red Hill.” Written by the renowned Korean writer Kim Tong-in (김동인, 1900–1951) in 1932, this story features the Korean agrarian community in the Northeast Asian borderland of Manchuria and is conventionally considered a masterpiece of Korean national literature. When it was translated into Japanese and Chinese and anthologized in inland Japan and the Japanese Manchukuo respectively, the three texts of the same story in three languages conveyed different and contradictory national/imperial claims over Manchuria, a Northeast Asian frontier. This case study demonstrates how the very act of translating and anthologizing, as a process of linguistic transposition across cultural and national constituencies, may crystallize the sense of territorial competition through revealing, reshuffling, and redefining the covert intricacy of national relations in the original text.

Taha Hussein

Translator May Hawas

Mélanie Bourlet

Abstract

This article explores the relationship between cosmopolitanism and nationalism through the example of a transnational literature written in an African language, Pulaar, considered from a multi-located perspective. It seeks to understand to what extent a linguistically based transnational literary nationalism may be considered a form of “bottom-up cosmopolitanism” (Appadurai) that carries social aspirations. In the context of globalization, movements of linguistic revitalisation continue to grow and language has become a veritable tool for social action. This essay argues that, from a methodological standpoint, a more focused attention to the local and to translocal ties allows us to bring to light the connectivity of literature and its tendency to challenge institutionalized global literary geographies.