Deadline for abstracts: 1st August 2014
Once known as a marginal field of study, self-translation has recently attracted a considerable amount of scholarly interest. Current theories vacillate between opposing understandings of self-translation, depending on whether the focal point consists of the self-translator as a unique, 'privileged agent of transfer' (Tanqueiro 1999), or of the self-translated text as the result of an act of re-writing, and thus essentially no different from any other text that is reshaped or 'fragmented' in view of a new readership (Lefevere 1992, Bassnett 2013). The focus on the agency of the self-translator has led to passionate pleas to 'move beyond Beckett' in order to place reflections on self-translation in a broader sociological framework of a competing world system of languages (Grutman 2013). Theoretical reflections on the self-translated text have, in turn, defined the latter as a complex cultural artifact which constantly questions binary oppositions underlying key-concepts of translation studies (Cordingley 2013).
Nevertheless, current approaches tend to neglect the specificity of the self-translation process, which implies a cross-fertilization between writing, translating, reading and often re-writing between languages as well as an act of world-construction across languages. While self-translators are often exceptional 'cultural brokers', they are also the creators of complex literary scenographies, which necessarily bear the traces of the multilingual enunciative conditions out of which they emerge. By focusing on literary scenographies, this panel aims to extend current research on bilingualism within linguistic theories of discourse by reflecting on the ramifications of the 'bilingual condition' on the literary discourse of self-translating authors. The term scenography, as introduced by Maingueneau (2004) refers here to the narrative scene constructed in a fictional text, which reflects and legitimate the genre in which it partakes and in turn influences the 'image' of the author perceived as the creator of that particular scenography. In the case of literary self-translation, we believe these scenographies need to be linked to (i) the specific language(s) in which they are written and (ii) the complex author-translator status of the writer who created them.
The purpose of this panel is therefore to study self-translation as both a translational and literary activity, with highly complex modes of interaction which can be traced discursively. Concretely, we aim to (1)open up new methodological questions on how translation strategies between versions can be linked to narrative and/or discursive structures which concur across versions (2)study the continuities (and not only the dissimilarities) between versions and analyze how these deepen or problematize the relationship between a given literary scenography and its double context of reception.
Possible research questions are:
- Are there recurring topoi, stereotypes, discursive strategies within the self-translated text/discourse? What kind of discursive 'traces' (narration, voice, time, space, ...) emerge out of the conditions from which self-translators write?
- Is it possible to speak of a self-translating 'ethos', at once inscribing itself in authorial and translational discourses?
- To what extend does self-translation constitute a meta-literary or meta-translational practice? Can it be analyzed as the (self-)translator's comment on either the original or translation process?
Timeline for submission within a panel:
By 1st August 2014: Deadline for submissions of abstracts
By 25th October 2014: notification of acceptance of abstracts
For more information and for the modalities of submission, please click here.