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Temporal and geographical dynamics of theorization
Volume Editors: Luc van Doorslaer and Ton Naaijkens
In The Situatedness of Translation Studies, Luc van Doorslaer and Ton Naaijkens critically reassess some outdated views about Translation Studies, and demonstrate that translation theory is far more diverse than its usual representation as a Western scholarly tradition arising from the 1970s onwards. They present ten chapters about lesser-known conceptualizations of translation and translation theory in various cultural contexts, such as Chinese, Estonian, Greek, Russian and Ukrainian. This book shows that so-called ‘modern’ arguments about translation practice encompassing much more than a linguistic phenomenon, can, in fact, be dated back and connected to several precursors, such as semiotics or transfer theory. In doing so, it theorizes and localizes discussions about perceptions of translation and Translation Studies as a discipline.

Contributors: Yves Gambier, Iryna Odrekhivska, Elin Sütiste & Silvi Salupere, Shaul Levin, Feng Cui, Natalia Kamovnikova, Anastasia Shakhova, George Floros & Simos Grammenidis, Anne Lange, Luc van Doorslaer & Ton Naaijkens.
Transnational Perspectives, Translation Processes, Scandinavian and Postcolonial Challenges
Examining the cultural dynamics of translation and transfer, Cultural Transfer Reconsideredproposes new insights into both epistemological and analytical questions raised in the research area of cultural transfer. Seeking to emphasize the creative processes of transfer, Steen Bille Jørgensen and Hans-Jürgen Lüsebrink have invited specialized researchers to determine the role of structures and agents in the dynamics of cultural encounters. With its particular focus on the North, as opposed to the South, the volume problematizes national paradigms. Presenting various aspects of tri- and multilateral transfers involving Scandinavian countries, Cultural Transfer Reconsidered opens perspectives regarding the ways in which textual, intertextual and artistic practices, in particular, pave the way for postcolonial interrelatedness.

Contributors: Miriam Lay Brander, Petra Broomans, Michel Espagne, Karin Hoff, Steen Bille Jørgensen, Anne-Estelle Leguy, Hans-Jürgen Lüsebrink, Walter Moser, Magnus Qvistgaard, Anna Sandberg, Udo Schöning, Wiebke Röben de Alencar Xavier
A Cultural and Sociolinguistic Study of Dutch as a Contact Language in Tokugawa and Meiji Japan
In The Dutch Language in Japan (1600-1900) Christopher Joby offers the first book-length account of the knowledge and use of the Dutch language in Tokugawa and Meiji Japan. For most of this period, the Dutch were the only Europeans permitted to trade with Japan. Using the analytical tool of language process, this book explores the nature and consequences of contact between Dutch and Japanese and other language varieties. The processes analysed include language learning, contact and competition, code switching, translation, lexical, syntactic and graphic interference, and language shift. The picture that emerges is that the multifarious uses of Dutch, especially the translation of Dutch books, would have a profound effect on the language, society, culture and intellectual life of Japan.

Abstract

This essay explores a number of texts of the exophonic, or non-native literary production, respectively in Italian and German, of translingual authors Jhumpa Lahiri and Yoko Tawada. While the paper looks at how their dominant languages, respectively English and Japanese, continue to play a role in these writers’ non-native production, it focuses on the different approaches the two authors adopt to translingualism and the “linguistic family romance” metaphor, which they equally employ in highly imaginative ways in order to address both their condition of rootlessness and their attitudes to the notion of “mother tongue.” The essay argues that while Lahiri seems to remain a writer that does not contaminate languages (she is a writer in English, a writer in Italian, and a translator of Italian literature into English), Tawada brings German and Japanese together and dwells on the space of contamination between them in her production in German (and Japanese).

In: Journal of World Literature
Author: Anthony Glinoer

Abstract

Simultaneously an emblematic and ambiguous case of engaged literature, proletarian and revolutionary writings from 1920–1940 have been the focus of numerous studies: whether they be in Germany, France, the United States or Soviet Russia, the principal actors have been identified, certain works have been republished, and the ways in which these movements were first encouraged and then dismantled by the Communist International in the interest of the only accepted socialist realism have been demonstrated. However, the transnational and even global dimensions of this movement and the profound similarities among institutional processes carried out in different countries have been overlooked. Drawing on little-known critical sources from the Francophone world, this article reworks the terrain and presents the state of institutional sites of proletarian and revolutionary literature. To this end, small groups, magazines, and associations will be considered in order to shed new light on this era when, across the globe, workers turned into writers.

In: Journal of World Literature

Abstract

Scholarship on production of cultural goods highlights translation of literary works as a key mechanism of cultural circulation. This article rethinks circulation beyond translation. It argues that changes in aesthetic labels applied to cultural goods can prompt a scale shifting that favors the diffusion of these goods beyond their vernacular space of circulation. This article studies the transnational success of the label literatura latinoamericana, which from the 1960s onward gained acceptance in Spanish, English, French, and other languages as the label that best captured the region’s literary uniqueness. This change in aesthetic labeling made it possible for literatura latinoamericana to enter world literature and for literary works such as One Hundred Years of Solitude to circulate at an unprecedented scale, as international bestsellers and classics. The article finds that aesthetic labeling – a “cultural kind” in the arts – is a far-reaching and understudied mechanism in cultural production and circulation.

In: Journal of World Literature
Author: Wiebke Sievers

Abstract

Literary actors in Western countries have long ignored authors who came as immigrants or are members of ethnic minorities. This article discusses the upscaling of these authors in the West since the 1960s as an international process related to other processes of globalisation, namely the recognition of non-Western writers and the emergence of transnational literary fields. Moreover, it compares the effects of this process in the British and German literary fields. In Britain, the upscaling of immigrants is intertwined with the recognition of post-colonial writing in English worldwide as well as with the emergence of a transnational literary field in English. In Germany, by contrast, there were no direct links between the growing recognition of peripheralized authors, the growing connectivity between several literary fields operating in German, and the upscaling of immigrants. This explains why it took immigrants so much longer to gain recognition in Germany than it did in Britain.

In: Journal of World Literature

Abstract

Using the case of Algeria, this article shows that the national and the international—also nationalization and internationalization—in peripheral literary fields do not happen in opposition to each other but are two sides of the same coin. I argue that we should think of this as a transnational literary field. Even though they compete with one another, writers within these fields are always connected. Furthermore, the characteristics of the two poles, in terms of their relative autonomy from political and economic constraints, are not as systematically opposed to one another as Pascale Casanova suggests. Nationalization and internationalization are also frequently intertwined: the material internationalization of texts and writers can reinforce the symbolic nationalization of a literature (e.g. its identification in the international world as “Algerian literature”). Recognizing this also calls into question assertions by scholars such as Homi Bhabha who assert that internationalization of literature goes hand in hand with its hybridization.

In: Journal of World Literature

Abstract

We generally believe that literature first circulates nationally and then scales up through translation and reception at an international level. In contrast, I argue that Taiwan literature first attained international acclaim through intermedial translation during the New Cinema period (1982–90) and was only then subsequently recognized nationally. These intermedial translations included not only adaptations of literature for film, but also collaborations between authors who acted as screenwriters and filmmakers. The films resulting from these collaborations repositioned Taiwan as a multilingual, multicultural and democratic nation. These shifts in media facilitated the circulation of these new narratives. Filmmakers could circumvent censorship at home and reach international audiences at Western film festivals. The international success ensured the wide circulation of these narratives in Taiwan.

In: Journal of World Literature
Author: Markus Arnold

Abstract

Contemporary literature from Mauritius, a heterogeneous multilingual production, is entangled within a complex transnational topology, where several increasingly recognized authors have deployed multiple identities through personal and editorial mobility. They benefit from (and participate in) the diversification of publishing structures, instances of dissemination, and audiences, while others hold very little symbolic capital. This paper discusses several key issues to understand the island’s multifaceted and unequal literary microcosm. It traces certain historical, linguistic and cultural predispositions of the Mauritian text today, addresses the reasons and implications of literary scale-shifting beyond the local, examines the modalities of trans/international recognition, and raises the issues at stake when translating these works. The island is hereby considered as a paradigmatic example of an emerging literary space on the postcolonial “periphery”, both contributing to challenging established canons, while remaining tributary to persisting hierarchies in the global literary system.

In: Journal of World Literature

Abstract

This special issue on scale shifting brings into sharper focus the complexity of global literary circulation, especially when viewed from the perspective of global literary peripheries. In this introduction, we present the idea of scale shifting, a concept we use to move beyond translation to include circulation in global languages, such as English and French. We build on earlier analyses that mapped previous literary worlds and shed light on the aesthetic and sociological factors that enabled outsiders to enter them by (1) focusing on how peripheralised writers scale up to gain global recognition in multiscalar literary fields and (2) analysing how, in turn, this scale shifting changes the national, regional and global levels of these fields. In addition, we provide a preview of each article included in this volume and summarise the collective takeaways gleaned from our individual case studies.

In: Journal of World Literature
In: Journal of World Literature
Author: Gisèle Sapiro

Abstract

Various external and internal factors shape and condition the literary field: education, the book market, the nation state, political movements, international organizations (like UNESCO), and specific authorities such as prizes. These factors are examined in this article at different spatial scales: “international,” “transnational,” “global,” “world,” “cosmopolitan,” which are defined in the first section of the article in order to identify the agents that participate in the formation and functioning of the literary field at these different levels, and thus enable us to better understand the mechanisms of scale-shifting. Three periods are then examined: the era of “inter-nationalism,” running from the end of the nineteenth century to the Second World War, the period of “developmental” policy, during which the borders of the transnational literary field were extended beyond the Western world, and the era of “globalization.”

In: Journal of World Literature

Abstract

This article examines changes in the teaching of modern and contemporary literature in the United States. As university students become more socioeconomically and ethnically diverse, and as universities claim to be offering a more global curriculum, what are students really learning? What kinds of non-Western modern and contemporary writers find their way into the classroom? To answer these questions, we examine how much The Norton Anthology of World Literature, The Longman Anthology of World Literature, and The Bedford Anthology of World Literature have changed over time with respect to their content and presentation. We then use a unique database of course syllabi to analyze the extent to which the non-Western authors included in these anthologies find their way more broadly into university classrooms. Getting included in anthologies, texts, and course syllabi is extremely powerful. It determines the parameters of the pedagogical canon – a shared common ground that generations of students will learn and continue to reference collectively throughout their lifetimes.

In: Journal of World Literature

Abstract

This article observes that Kaiser Haq has made an immense contribution to Bangladeshi poetry in English, leading the school of English poetry of the country from the front. A relatively new field, Bangladeshi writing in English has started becoming a part of world literature, and its scope, no doubt, is expanding rapidly. The article also focuses on the legacy of Bangladeshi writing in English to demonstrate how Bangladeshi poetry in English has simultaneously progressed. The article argues that Haq’s enormous contributions justify his position as the best English-language poet in Bangladesh. For his poetry, the poet takes material from his motherland and its rich culture, and his style, technique, and diction resonate with those of prominent poetic voices of the world. The article also sheds light on how Haq presents Bangladesh, depicting numerous shades of reality, and how he still dominates in the contemporary scene of Bangladeshi poetry in English.

In: Journal of World Literature

Abstract

This essay examines Richard Francis Burton’s The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night (1885–1888), an English translation of the Arabic Alf Laylah wa-Laylah stories that was enormously popular in its own time and continues to be widely admired today – despite the fact that Burton plagiarized extensively from the work of another translator. I argue that Burton’s Nights is neither a faithful nor an original translation of the Arabic stories, but rather an English text whose aesthetic enjoyment is proffered as an affective engagement with the literary aesthetics of the source text, translated through Burton’s own pleasurable experiences of Arabic literary language. Framing the reception of Burton’s Nights, through the Arabic concept of ṭarab, as a process of iterative cycles of pleasure that move between the translator and his readers, I contend that what makes Burton’s Nights enjoyable to read also makes it scandalous to the world literary system within which it has circulated.

In: Journal of World Literature
A Diachronic Semantic Analysis of Consideration in the Common Law
Author: Caroline Laske
In this monograph, Caroline Laske traces the advent of consideration in English contract law, by analysing the doctrinal development, in parallel with the corresponding terminological evolution and semantic shifts between the fourteenth and nineteenth centuries. It is an innovative, interdisciplinary study, showcasing the value of taking a diachronic corpus linguistics-based approach to the study of legal change and legal development, and the semantic shifts in the corresponding terminology. The seminal application in the legal field of these analytical methodologies borrowed from pragmatic linguistics goes beyond the content approach that legal research usually practices and it has allowed for claims of semantic change to be objectified. This ground-breaking work is pitched at scholars of legal history, law & language, and linguistics.
In: Law, Language and Change
In: Law, Language and Change
In: Law, Language and Change
In: Law, Language and Change
In: Law, Language and Change
In: Law, Language and Change
In: Law, Language and Change
In: Law, Language and Change