Textual Transfers and the Poetics of Translation: Literature in Translation, Translation in Literature

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Abstract

Within the field of Cultural Transfer Studies, traditional terms linked to national systems like “reception” and “influence” have been problematized. An increasing focus on process and metamorphosis has pointed to the necessity of considering culture as relational, and quite recently, the status of the literary work and its textual transfers has become a legitimate part of research in cultural transfer. These elements have mainly been studied through the prism of intertextuality, which can be seen as the logical textual and literary equivalent of cinematographic remakes. Taking into account the parallel development of Cultural Transfer Studies and Cultural Translation Studies, I want to argue that creative appropriation and the idea of textual transfers may open perspectives in relation to processes of cultural transfer on the level of individual works and at various other scales as well as culturally and linguistically determined modes of reading. Through concrete readings of experimental literary works, I want to suggest that we must think in terms of a “poetics of translation” to be analysed at the level of individual literary works. This approach may bring to the fore how neo-avant-garde strategies of the sixties imply translation and rewriting but also how metafictional novels integrate concrete examples of (commented) translations on the levels of works. Through readings of Daniel Spoerri’s Topographie anecdotée du hazard (1962), or rather his and Emmett Williams’ collective English version, An Anecdoted Topography of Chance (1966), and metafictional novels such as Vladimir Nabokov’s Pale Fire (1962) and Aragon’s Blanche ou l’oubli (1967), I want to pinpoint these writers’ awareness of the cultural implications of textual transfers. Thus, translation and rewriting imply strong indications of the reader’s position as a potential rewriter and literature as a necessary existential remedy for a sense of loss and exile.

Original languageDanish
Title of host publicationApproaches to Translation Studies : Transnational Perspectives, Translation Processes, Scandinavian and Postcolonial Challenges
EditorsSteen Bille Jørgensen, Hans-Jürgen Lüsebrink
Number of pages24
Place of publicationAmsterdam
PublisherBrill
Publication dateJun 2021
Pages141-164
Chapter7
ISBN (Print)978-90-04-44367-9
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-4-44369-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
SeriesApproaches to Tranlsation Studies
Number47

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