Made in Canada, Read in Spain: Essays on the Translation and Circulation of English-Canadian Literature

By Howells, Coral Ann | British Journal of Canadian Studies, July 1, 2015 | Go to article overview

Made in Canada, Read in Spain: Essays on the Translation and Circulation of English-Canadian Literature


Howells, Coral Ann, British Journal of Canadian Studies


Pilar Somacarrera (ed.), Made in Canada, Read in Spain: Essays on the Translation and Circulation of English-Canadian Literature (Berlin: de Gruyter/Versita, 2013), 231 pp. Open Access. Cased. euro89.95. ISBN 978-83-7656-017-5.

This essay collection by seven Spanish Canadianists offers a new international perspective on Anglo-Canadian literature, reviewing it as a cultural product in the globalised context of publishing and marketing, as Somacarrera's 'Introduction' makes clear: 'The overall objective of this collection is to assess the transference, reception and promotion of CanLit in translation in Spain and to determine its impact' (p. 11). This is an important book, not only for its detailed analysis of the Spanish case, but also for the way it stimulates our thinking about why certain texts and authors from other literatures are selected for promotion and teaching in a different national context and the respective roles played by institutions, critics and reviewers, academics, social media, and last but not least, literar y prizes.

The book is divided into four sections. The first two analyse the social, ideological, and economic coordinates of cultural transfer, together with issues around translation, Canada's national branding as 'multicultural' and 'cosmopolitan', and Catalonia's affinities with Quebec, both with minority linguistic and cultural identities. The second half of the book focuses on three of the most popular Canadian authors in translation, predictably Margaret Atwood and Alice Munro and, perhaps surprisingly, Douglas Coupland, whose Generation X influenced a generation of dissident young Spanish writers in the 1990s (though generally he was seen as 'American' and not Canadian). In her essay 'Translation, Nation Branding and Indo-chic', Bélen Martin-Lucas explains that the small group of South Asian Canadian writers in translation are seen by Spanish readers as 'Indian' rather than as products of Canadian multiculturalism. …

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