Translating Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex : Transnational Framing, Interpretation, and Impact book cover
1st Edition

Translating Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex
Transnational Framing, Interpretation, and Impact

  • Available for pre-order on April 7, 2023. Item will ship after April 28, 2023
ISBN 9781032426778
April 28, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
272 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This collection offers insights into the transnational and translingual implications of Simone de Beauvoir’s Le Deuxième Sexe (The Second Sex), a text that has served as foundational for feminisms worldwide since its publication in 1949.

Little scholarly attention has been devoted to how the original French-language source text made its way into languages other than English. This is a shocking omission, given that many (but by no means all) other translations were based on the 1953 English translation by Howard M. Parshley, which has been widely criticized by Beauvoir scholars for its omissions and careless attention to its philosophical implications. This volume seeks to fill this gap in scholarship with an innovative collection of essays that interrogate the ways that Beauvoir’s essay has shifted in meaning and significance as it has travelled across the globe.

This volume brings together for the first time scholars from Translation Studies, Literary Studies and Philosophical Studies, and over half of it is dedicated to non-Western European engagements with Le Deuxième Sexe (including chapters on the Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Hungarian and Polish translations). As such, this collection will be essential to any scholar of Beauvoir’s philosophy and its contributions to feminist discourses.

Table of Contents




Julia C. Bullock and Pauline Henry-Tierney

PART I: Framing Le Deuxième Sexe: Contexts, Paratexts, and Practice

Chapter 1: The 1980s Chinese Translations of The Second Sex and Women’s

Situation in 1980s China: A Post-translation Study Approach

Zhongli Yu

Chapter 2: Paratextual Elements in Arabic Translations of Simone de Beauvoir’s

Le Deuxième Sexe

Hala G. Sami

Chapter 3: The Process of Translating Le Deuxième Sexe into European Spanish:

Challenges and Opportunities

María Luisa Rodríguez Muñoz

PART II: (Mis)interpreting Beauvoir: Philosophical and Ideological Framing of the Text

Chapter 4: Goulash Socialism vs. Feminism? Beauvoir in Hungary

Ursula Hurley and Szilvia Naray-Davey

Chapter 5: The Polish Translation of Le Deuxième Sexe in the Hands of the Censorship Office

Weronika Szwebs

Chapter 6: The Controversial Arabic Translations of Simone de Beauvoir’s Le Deuxième Sexe

Isabelle Mehawej

Chapter 7: Le Deuxième Sexe Censored under Francoism

Pilar Godayol

PART III: Impact: Beauvoir’s Legacy for Philosophy and Feminisms Worldwide

Chapter 8: Erotic Love and Marriage in English Translations of Beauvoir's Le Deuxième Sexe

Ellie Anderson

Chapter 9: Translating in Bad Faith? Articulations of Beauvoir’s Existentialist Philosophy

in the English Translations of Le Deuxième Sexe

Pauline Henry-Tierney

Chapter 10: Reclaiming Beauvoir: The Feminist (Re)translation of Le Deuxième Sexe in Japan

Julia C. Bullock

Chapter 11: Untranslatability and Le Deuxième Sexe

Penelope Deutscher

Epilogue: Translating Key Concepts in Le Deuxième Sexe: A Crosslinguistic Discussion

Julia C. Bullock and Pauline Henry-Tierney


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Julia C. Bullock is Professor of Japanese Studies at Emory University, USA. She is the author of The Other Women’s Lib (2010) and Coeds Ruining the Nation (2019); and co-editor of Rethinking Japanese Feminisms (2017) and Translating Feminism (2021). She is currently working on a book provisionally titled Beauvoir in Japan.

Pauline Henry-Tierney is Lecturer in French and Translation Studies at Newcastle University, UK. She is Managing Editor of the award-winning international journal, Simone de Beauvoir Studies. Her monograph Translating Transgressive Texts: Gender, Sexuality and the Body in Contemporary Women’s Writing in French is forthcoming with Routledge.