Theories on the Move: Translation's Role in the Travels of Literary Theories

Theories on the Move: Translation's Role in the Travels of Literary Theories

Theories on the Move: Translation's Role in the Travels of Literary Theories

Theories on the Move: Translation's Role in the Travels of Literary Theories

Synopsis

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.

Excerpt

This book explores the role translation plays in the migration of literary and cultural theories across linguistic and cultural borders, and across power differentials. It examines translation mainly from two different points of view. Translation firstly plays an indicative role in the study of this migration. It allows insights into, and analysis of, the workings of a given system. The product and the process of translation – both the translated texts themselves and the translation practices – are shaped according to the local concerns in the receiving systems, to what is deemed urgent, important, and necessary, and to the prevailing attitudes towards the importation of theoretical texts. Translation indicates how the system views itself, what its needs and expectations are, and how it handles 'interferences' from other sources. Translation and translator patterns – such as text-selection, publication dates of individual translations, translators' professional profiles and agendas, selection of terms – together with the meta-discourses accompanying translations, reflect and reveal how the source texts and authors are received in their new environments. Yet apart from being just a symptom, translation also plays a formative role (Hermans 1999: 143) in the migration of literary and cultural theories. It shapes and transforms the images of writers and texts, influences the receiving system's attitudes towards importations, and contributes to the development of local (critical) discourses and terminologies.

Theories do not travel on their own, but often under the name of wellknown writers. Therefore the book is based on a multiple-case study consisting of the importation of Roland Barthes's works into Turkish, and of Hélène Cixous's works into English. These two cases are examined from comparative and contrastive perspectives, which focus on the similarities and the differences between them. Comparison uses translational data to bring to light analogues between the reception of two quite different writers, Barthes and Cixous , in two seemingly disparate systems – the Turkish literary critical system and the Anglo-American feminist critical system – with very different structures, languages, agendas, and power. A contrastive focus, on the other hand, uses translational data in order to highlight the differences between similarly travelling theories associated with these writers. While the analogues will provide us some clues as to how and why theories travel through translation in particular ways, the differences will demonstrate how . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.