Fictional Translators : Rethinking Translation through Literature book cover
1st Edition

Fictional Translators
Rethinking Translation through Literature

ISBN 9781138827141
Published August 21, 2017 by Routledge
194 Pages

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Book Description

Through close readings of select stories and novels by well-known writers from different literary traditions, Fictional Translators invites readers to rethink the main clichés associated with translations. Rosemary Arrojo shines a light on the transformative character of the translator’s role and the relationships that can be established between originals and their reproductions, building her arguments on the basis of texts such as the following:

  • Cortázar’s "Letter to a Young Lady in Paris"
  • Walsh’s "Footnote"
  • Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray and Poe’s "The Oval Portrait"
  • Borges’s "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote," "Funes, His Memory," and "Death and the Compass"
  • Kafka’s "The Burrow" and Kosztolányi’s Kornél Esti
  • Saramago’s The History of the Siege of Lisbon and Babel’s "Guy de Maupassant"
  • Scliar’s "Footnotes" and Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler
  • Cervantes’s Don Quixote

Fictional Translators provides stimulating material for reflection not only on the processes associated with translation as an activity that inevitably transforms meaning, but, also, on the common prejudices that have underestimated its productive role in the shaping of identities. This book is key reading for students and researchers of literary translation, comparative literature and translation theory.

Table of Contents

1. The Power of Fiction as Theory: The Exemplarity of Borges’s Work  2. On Translation as Transference: Pierre Menard, Translator of Cervantes  3. Translation as Subversion in Latin American Fiction  4. On Translation as Transference: Borges, Reader of Whitman  5. A Portrait of the Translator as Laborer – Rodolfo Walsh’s "Nota al pie"  6. Writing and Interpreting in Conflict – Kafka, Borges and Kosztolányi  7. The Power of Originals and the Perils of Repetition – Edgar A. Poe’s "The Oval Portrait"  8.Translation and Impropriety— Claude Bleton’s Les nègres du traducteur  9. The Gendering of Translation – Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler and Moacyr Scliar’s "Footnotes"  10. Textual/Sexual Power in José Saramago’s History of the Siege of Lisbon and Isaac Babel’s "Guy de Maupassant"

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Rosemary Arrojo is Professor of Comparative Literature at Binghamton University, USA


"Through her insightful and innovative readings of the works selected, Arrojo vastly succeeds in challenging preconceptions about the translator’s work and in sparking deep reflection on how we see the process of translation. Arrojo’s rich body of research and her engaging style in delivering it make this volume a remarkable tool not only for researchers and students in the field of cultural Translation Studies and Literary Studies, but also for translators who want to engage in deep reflection around their identity as practitioners. Fictional Translators is, furthermore, a most timely publication at a time in which views on the position of the translator are profoundly changing."

Laura Linarea, University College Cork

"Arrojo’s book makes contributions to the expanding horizons of transfiction as an academic and scholarly interest, and to the expanding impact transfiction can have on reassessing reality and the current cultural and political climate."

Jordana Jampel, Translation and Interpreting Studies 1:14:1

"Arrojo ends up writing a practical and philosophical handbook for literary scholars and students interested in developing new ideas about translation [...] fascinating [...] intellectually rigorous."

- Matt Reeck, Public Books