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
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
Chapter 6: The Controversial Arabic Translations of Simone de Beauvoir’s Le Deuxième Sexe
Chapter 7: Le Deuxième Sexe Censored under Francoism
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
Chapter 9: Translating in Bad Faith? Articulations of Beauvoir’s Existentialist Philosophy
in the English Translations of Le Deuxième Sexe
Chapter 10: Reclaiming Beauvoir: The Feminist (Re)translation of Le Deuxième Sexe in Japan
Julia C. Bullock
Chapter 11: Untranslatability and Le Deuxième Sexe
Epilogue: Translating Key Concepts in Le Deuxième Sexe: A Crosslinguistic Discussion
Julia C. Bullock and Pauline Henry-Tierney
LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS
Ellie Anderson is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Pomona College, USA. She has previously published on Beauvoir’s ethics and philosophy of erotic love in the Continental Philosophy Review, Journal of Speculative Philosophy, and Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. She has also translated works by Jacques Derrida from French to English.
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.
Penelope Deutscher is Joan and Sarepta Harrison Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Northwestern University, USA. Her publications include Yielding Gender (1997), A Politics of Impossible Difference: The Later Work of Luce Irigaray (2002), The Philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir (2008) and Foucault's Futures: A Critique of Reproductive Reason (2017).
Pilar Godayol is Professor of Translation Studies at the University of Vic – Central University of Catalonia, Spain. She currently coordinates the Gender Studies Research Group GETLIHC. Her research interests include translation, feminism and censorship. She is the author of over 100 publications, including Tres escritoras censuradas (2017) and Feminismos y traducción (1965-1990) (2021).
Pauline Henry-Tierney is Lecturer in French and Translation Studies at Newcastle University, UK. Her research interests lie in relation to the translation of transgressive women’s writing in French and to the translation of Simone de Beauvoir’s work. Her monograph Translating Transgressive Texts will be published by Routledge in 2023.
Ursula Hurley and Szilvia Naray-Davey are practice-based researchers working on feminist literary translation in the School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology at the University of Salford, UK. The research presented in this chapter is a specific instance of a long-term collaboration, investigating women’s histories in Eastern Europe.
Isabelle Mehawej is sworn translator before the Courts in Lebanon and PhD researcher in translation studies at ÉSIT-Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris 3, France. Her thesis is focused on the translation and reception of Beauvoirian feminism in the Arab world.
María Luisa Rodríguez holds a PhD in Languages and Cultures from Universidad de Cordoba, Spain, where she has worked as a full-time scholar lecturing Legal and Intercultural Translation since 2010. Her research interests are: Intercultural Translation, Translation and Gender and Translation of Contemporary Art.
Hala G. Sami is Associate Professor of English at Cairo University, Egypt. Her current research interests include cultural myths, gender and the public/private spheres, women’s agency and empowerment in socio-political contexts. She is currently conducting research on the translation of Simone de Beauvoir in the Arab world.
Weronika Szwebs is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Polish Philology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland. Her main research interests involve translation of theoretical discourses, translation and reception of Polish literature in the English-speaking countries, contemporary Polish literature and literary theory. She translates literary, social and cultural theory from English into Polish.
Zhongli Yu is Associate Professor in Translation Studies in the School of Education and English at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China, holding a PhD in Translation and Intercultural Studies (Manchester). Her research interests include gender/women/feminism in/and translation, museum narratives and translation, war interpreting/interpreter, translation education, and intercultural communication.