Sunday, July 2, 2017

Bibliography on self-translation updated

The bibliography on self-translation has been updated. Special thanks to Nami Kaneko for providing some entries for research in Japanese.

To download the new version of the bibliography please click here.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Conference on Catalan self-translation

Bilingüisme, autotraducció i literatura catalana

IV Simposi sobre literatura comparada catalana i espanyola Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona, 6 de juliol de 2017. Organitza: TRILCAT

09.30 Inauguració i benvinguda
10.00 Xosé Manuel Dasilva (UVIGO): Bilingüismo literario y autotraducción en Galicia
10.45 Pausa-cafè
11.15 Elizabete Manterola (UPV/EHU): Marcados por la diglosia: los retos de la literatura vasca actual
11.45 Josep Miquel Ramis (UB): Tipologia d’autotraductors i autotraduccions en la literatura catalana
12.15 Marta Marfany (UPF): Martí de Riquer, home de lletres entre dues cultures
12.45 José Francisco Ruiz Casanova (UPF): La curiosa y paradójica –o no– historia de la traducción entre las lenguas castellana y catalana
13.15 Col·loqui sobre la sessió del matí

16.00 Enric Gallén (UPF): Autors bilingües en el teatre català
16.30 Albert Rossich (UdG): Català vs. castellà a les revistes infantils de Catalunya; traduccions, dobles versions, encobriments
17.00 Pausa-cafè
17.15 Lucía Azpeitia (UPF): Agustí Bartra: els paratextos bibliogràfics a l’obra en català i castellà
17.45 Cristina Badosa (UPVD): Josep Pla: la prosa en castellà. Llengua de supervivència i llengua de creació
18.15 Lluís Maria Todó (UPF): Pange lingua
19.00 Clausura

For more information please click here

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

PhD dissertation available now

My PhD dissertation "(Un-)Sichtbarkeit der literarischen Selbstübersetzung in der romanischsprachigen Gegenwartsliteratur. Eine literatur- und übersetzungssoziologische Annäherung" ((In-)Visibility of Literary Self-translation in Contemporary Literature in Romance Languages. A Sociological Approach.)  is now available online as an open-access document.

Get access to the document here

My dissertation is written in German, but here you find an abstract in English:

Literary self-translation is a largely unknown phenomenon, although in the past two decades it has increasingly gained attention with both literary and translation scholars. This dissertation examines the invisibility of self-translation in the realm of contemporary literature in Romance languages (1980-2015). Literary self-translation will be discussed both as a process and a product in order to understand its various functions and effects. It will be shown that self-translation is a complex and heterogeneous practice which ultimately requires a re-definition of the notion of self-translation. In Part A, "Frame Conditions of Self-Translation," we will start by giving a geographical overview of where authors self-translate into or from a Romance language. We will then discuss the reasons for opting for self-translation and finally examine the different language combinations used by the 336 identified self-translators. Part B focuses on “Self-translation as a process” and explores how writing, correction and translation processes interrelate in the textual genesis of bilingual and trilingual self-translations. Part C "Self-translation as a product" takes a closer look at the visibility of self-translation in editorial and auctorial peritexts. Afterwards, it will be discussed which strategies publishers and translators have developed in order to translate self-translated texts into other languages. Based on the theoretical reflections from the preceding chapters, Part D "Self-Translators in Contemporary Literature in Romance Languages" gives an insight into the individual practice of self-translation in the context of less common languages. The trajectory of six self-translators from Spain, France and Mexico, which so far have hardly been investigated, will be discussed in detail.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

9th Biennial ACIS Conference Scontri e incontri: The dynamics of Italian transcultural exchanges

Self-translation is a topic at the 9th Biennial ACIS Conference Scontri e incontri: The dynamics of Italian transcultural exchanges taking place at Monash Prato Centre, 4-7 July 2017.

Tuesday 4th July 16.00-17.30 session "Transnational identities & self-translations"

  • Dagnino, Self-translation as transcultural mediation 
  • Spagnuolo, Voicing hybridity 
  • R. Wilson, Creative encounters: literary practices, (self-)translation and identity

To see the complete program, please click here.

Friday, June 16, 2017

CFP: Vladimir Nabokov and Translation: Transatlantic Symposium (Lille, France-Chapel Hill, USA)

Deadline for Submissions: September 01, 2017

Vladimir Nabokov and Translation:
Transatlantic Symposium
Lille, France-Chapel Hill, USA
Spring 2018-Fall 2018

No translator and translation theorist has brought an equal amount of attention to the humble applied craft of literary translation than Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977). Standing at the crossroads of five languages and a matching number of literary traditions (English, French, German, Italian, and Russian), he experienced translation on a level unattainable to the majority of his predecessors, presaging and influencing our modern understanding of the indispensability of linguistic and cultural interconnection.

Nabokov’s entered literature as a translator. He claimed to have retold Mayne Reid’s The Headless Horseman in French alexandrines at eleven, while his adaptation of Romain Rolland’s Colas Breugnon became the most exacting rite of passage of his career in letters. Yet while the controversy stirred by his rendition of Aleksandr Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin and the methodology of “literalism” he applied therein forever changed the way we conceive of translation today, the totality of his work in translation remains the least appreciated and understood area of Nabokov’s creative enterprise.

To address this omission, Drs. Julie Loison-Charles (University of Lille, France) and Stanislav Shvabrin (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA) cordially invite you to submit a 500-word-long abstract explicating Nabokov’s legacy as translator and translation theorist as well as multiple other areas and instances of his engagement with “the art of verbal transmigration.”

We invite scholars interested in the multiple aspects of Nabokov’s legacy in translation to consider the following lines of inquiry:

* Nabokov as translator (with special emphasis on the vast number of works beyond Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Eugene Onegin);
* Nabokov’s translation theory, its evolution, and legacy;
* Translation as reflected in Nabokov’s works;
* Self-translation;
* Nabokov translated (collaboratively with the author and independently) or retranslated;
* Intersemiotic (audiovisual, cinematic, and theatrical) translations of Nabokov’s works;
* Teaching translation with Nabokov;
* The impact of translation on Nabokov’s writing.

The participants invited by the selection committee will have a choice to present their papers either in Lille, France (May 2018) or Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA (Autumn 2018). The two sections of the Symposium will work in concert to facilitate collaboration between participants on both sides of the Atlantic: papers will be made available to participants via a platform (written and/or recorded) and participants will be invited to collaborate when they focus on similar topics, to respond to a paper given in the previous section or to publish a co-authored essay. This platform may also be used to work with graduate or post-graduate students in collaborative transatlantic seminars in translation.

Please send your abstracts (maximum 500 words, in English or French) to the following email and

If you wish your abstract to be considered for the first installment of the Symposium in Lille, France, please send your abstract by September 1, 2017, and by May 1, 2018, for Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.

This project is organized with the French Society Vladimir Nabokov – Les Chercheurs Enchantés, The Université of Lille, SHS (France) (Unit Research CECILLE) and the Center for Slavic Eurasian and East European Studies at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA).


Monday, June 12, 2017

Struggling with self-translation

In a recent interview with the journal Apogee, Hong Kong Poet Wawa (Lo Mei Wa) described the struggle of self-translating one of her poems into English:
"I do terrible in self-translation from one language to another because my linguistic personality, which was already laid down in the poem, is too complete. I know the cultural context too well. I am totally there. I couldn’t translate “Nation Rooftop” and I did it terribly. I translated the poem into an English dictionary."
To read the complete interview, please click here.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

CfP: International Conference on Samuel Beckett – Literature and Translation (Cáceres, Spain; 12-13 April 2018)

For the International Conference “Samuel Beckett: Literature and Translation”, interdisciplinary proposals, either in Spanish, French or English, on the following topics (but not exclusively) are welcome:

  • Translations of Samuel Beckett’s works into Spanish and other peninsular languages: An analysis of particular cases and the state of the arts
  • Samuel Beckett and bilingualism in his works
  • Beckett and self-translation into English and French
  • Samuel Beckett’s reception in Spain
  • Censorship of Samuel Beckett’s works in Spain
  • Critical trends in the interpretation of Samuel Beckett’s works

Proposals should be sent by e-mail to the following address: and should include:

  • title of the paper
  • participant’s name, institutional affiliation and e-mail address
  • 200-300-word abstract

Deadline for submission: 30 September 2017
For more information, please click here.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Cfp: NeMLA Pittsburg in 2018 (April 12-15) Roundtable: Self Translation Is Not Translation at All

At the 2018 convention of the Northeast Modern Language Association there will be a roundtable on self-translation chaired by Yves Cloarec (LIM College).


Is the term “Self-Translation” even a valid expression? Granted, it seems better than the previously accepted term “auto-translation;” but, whatever we choose to call it, defining it and understanding it may prove to be more elusive than may at first appear.

NeMLA 2018’s theme “Global Spaces, Local Landscapes and Imagined Worlds” is an excellent lens through which we propose to analyze this chimera of the literary world: the self-translated text.

Nicola Danby tells us in La Lingusitique (2004/1 – Vol 40) “many bilinguals cannot help but struggle with the distinction between their two language-bound selves.” I would go further; I put forward as a basis for discussion in this roundtable the proposition that a multilingual writer possesses as many “identities” as the number of languages mastered. In this sense, the term “Self-Translation” is doubly erroneous, as it is neither the text nor the self that is being translated; rather, what we call a self-translation is in fact an artistic creation by a transformed, "different" self.

This roundtable invites self-translators willing to share their experiences (joys and despairs given equal consideration), translators interested in venturing into this very different craft, and scholars who study or are intrigued by the myriad opinions and theories of those writers who seek to occupy global spaces by “translating” their local landscapes and imagined worlds.

Please be prepared to present your ideas (and/or read from some "self-translated" passage) as well as engage fellow participants and audience members in thoughtful and thought-provoking discussion.

For submission and more information:

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Special Issue Ticontre: Narrating the self in self-translation

I am very happy to announce that the special issue of Ticontre "Narrating the self in self-translation" edited by Giorgia Falceri, Elizabete Manterola and myself, has been published.

Content overview:

  • Giorgia Falceri, Eva Gentes, Elizabete Manterola, Narrating the Self in Self-translation (pp. vii-xix)
  • Garazi Arrula-Ruiz, What we talk about when we talk about Identity in Self-Translation (pp. 1-21)
  • Maria Recuenco Peñalver, Zodorís Califatidis y la ventana del ladrón o de cómo la autotraducción le hace a uno menos extranjero (pp. 23-39)
  • Melisa Stocco, Negociación lingüística e identitaria en las autotraducciones de tres poetas mapuche (pp. 41-65)
  • Elena Anna Spagnuolo, Giving Voice To The Hybrid Self. Self-Translation As Strategy By Francesca Duranti / Martina Satriano (pp. 67-85)
  • Maria Alice Gonçalves Antunes, Autobiographie, Self-translations and the Lives In-Between: the Cases of Gustavo Pérez Firmat and Ariel Dorfman (pp. 85-107)
  • Chiara Lusetti, Provare a ridirsi: l’autotraduzione come tappa di un processo migratorio in Amara Lakhous (pp. 109-127)
  • Valeria Sperti, Traces de l' auto/traduction dans les romans de Nancy Huston (pp. 129-148)
  • Nami Kaneko, ¿Quién puede hablar por los de Obaba? Una relectura de Obabakoak de Bernardo Atxaga en vista de un cuento perdido en la autotraducción (pp. 149-168)
  • Alain Ausoni, Et l’autotraduction dans l’écriture de soi ? Remarques à partir de Quant à je (kantaje) de Katalin Molnár (pp. 169-181)

Ticontre is an open access journal, so you can immediately start reading the very interesting contributions on its website:

We hope you enjoy it!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Jhumpa Lahiri on (non-)self-translation

In the preface to her language memoir In altre parole /In other words, translated into English by Ann Goldstein, Jhumpa Lahiri explains why she opted against self-translation:
"Writing in Italian is a choice on my part, a risk that I feel inspired to take. It requires a strict discipline that I am compelled, at the moment, to maintain. Translating the book myself would have broken that discipline; it would have meant reengaging intimately with English, wrestling with it. rather than with Italian. In addition, had I translated this book, the temptation would have been to improve it, to make it stronger by means of my stronger language. But I wanted the translation of In altre parole to render my Italian honestly, without smoothing out its rough edges, without neutralizing its oddness, without manipulating its character," (pp. xiii-xiv)
Rejecting self-translation into the dominant language thus offered her the possibility to protect her new literary language. In the chapter L'adolescente peloso / The Hairy adolescent she shares her experience of having self-translated one of her short stories, an experience which led to the ultimate rejection of self-translation:
"I imagined that it would be an easy job. A descent rather than an ascent. Instead I am astonished at how demanding I find it. When I write in Italian, I think in Italian; to translate into English, I have to wake up another part of my brain. I don't like the sensation at all. I feel alienated. As if I'd run into a boyfriend I'd tired of, someone I'd left years earlier. He no longer appeals to me." (p. 117)
She recalls the overwhelming richness of her dominant English in comparison to her Italian and the urge to protect the latter:
"The two languages confront each other on the desk, but the winner is already more than obvious. The translation is devouring, dismantling the original text." (p. 117)
Self-translation forces her to face her split identity:
"As I translate this short piece into English, I feel split into two. I can't deal with the tension; I am incapable of moving like an acrobat between the languages. I am conscious of the unpleasant sensation of having to be two different people at the same time - an existential condition that has marked my life." (p. 119)

Although the self-translation into English felt like an "obligation" (p.119), she acknowledged that "traveling between the two versions turns out to be useful. In the end, the effort of translation makes the Italian version clearer, more articulate. It serves the writing, even if it upsets the writer" (p. 120)

In other words is a beautiful testimony of falling in love with a foreign language, of the struggles to conquer it while - despite - all the efforts remaining an outsider forever.

Quotations are taken from:
Lahiri, Jhumpa: In other words. Translated by Ann Goldstein. Bilingual Edition. London/New York: Bloomsbury 2017

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Chiara de Manzini Himmrich on her self-translations in Trieste 22nd May

Chiara de Manzini Himmrich will discuss her self-translations in her talk Scrivere altrove. Scrittura tra le lingue, traduzione, autotraduzione, riscrittura? at the University in Trieste, sede di via Filzi 14, aula magna, on 22nd May 2017.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

CfP: Au mirroir des langues la traduction réflexive/ In the Mirror of Languages: On reflexive Translation

Appel à contributions

Les études seront réunies et présentées par Esa Hartmann (Université de Strasbourg) et Patrick Hersant (Université Paris VIII)
et publiées aux Éditions des Archives Contemporaines (Paris)
dans la collection « Multilinguisme, traduction, création » dirigée par Olga Anokhina (CNRS/ITEM).
Au miroir des langues : la traduction réflexive

Avant-texte, intratexte, paratexte
Consacrées aux diverses questions de traduction comme au processus traductif lui-même – que ce soit dans une perspective linguistique, stylistique, génétique ou culturelle –, les multiples facettes du discours du traducteur représentent l’objet central que ces études se proposent d’explorer. Le traducteur, surtout s’il est lui-même écrivain, est souvent aussi traductologue en ce qu’il accompagne son travail d’une dimension réflexive et critique. Miroir de l’acte traductif reflétant l’ethos du traducteur et son art poétique, le discours traductologique peut alors investir trois niveaux différents de la création : l’avant-texte, l’intratexte et le paratexte.

Un « art de la traduction » en filigrane
Apparaissant sur les manuscrits et les brouillons du traducteur, les traces sinueuses du processus traductif dévoilent une genèse créatrice : le cheminement d’une transposition en train de naître. Celle-ci déploie un éventail de variantes et de réécritures où transparaît, en filigrane, l’art poétique du traducteur. Le corpus avant-textuel peut ainsi être lu et interprété comme miroir d’un discours traductologique où, progressivement, éclot l’avènement d’une traduction en acte. Les choix opérés par l’auteur de la traduction s’avèrent d’autant plus éloquents de cet art implicite du traduire qu’ils dessinent, plus ou moins subrepticement, une position éthique, voire politique derrière le style de l’auteur-traducteur.

Traduire entre les lignes ou réécrire dans une autre langue :
genèse plurilingue et autotraduction
L’activité d’autotraduction ouvre la genèse de l’oeuvre littéraire à un nouvel horizon linguistique. Consécutive, l’autotraduction classique se distingue de la genèse plurilingue, régie par le principe de la simultanéité. La dimension chronologique et paradigmatique dans laquelle évolue l’avant-texte autotraductif est ici projetée sur l’espace synchronique et syntagmatique de la création intratextuelle du manuscrit bilingue ou plurilingue. Entre les lignes de son texte naissant, l’auteur se livre à une invention interlinguistique en passant d’une langue à l’autre : l’acte traductif est ainsi mis en abyme. Dans les deux cas, l’autotraduction devient l’espace privilégié d’un nouveau discours critique et traductologique : le détour par une autre langue illumine la sémantique et la stylistique du texte de départ, et les choix de l’écrivain plurilingue conditionnent l’art poétique par excellence de la traduction.

Le paratexte.
Critique du traduire et ethos du traducteur
C’est dans l’espace périphérique entourant l’oeuvre traduite que le discours du traducteur a lieu d’être explicite. Préface, postface, correspondance avec l’auteur ou l’éditeur – toutes ces formes paratextuelles portent avec profit le témoignage du traducteur. Elles présentent non seulement sa posture éthique, mais aussi sa vision de la poétique de l’oeuvre traduite ainsi qu’un commentaire de sa genèse. Miroir de l’acte créateur à l’oeuvre dans toute entreprise de traduction, le paratexte révèle souvent, en dehors de la traditionnelle captatio benevolentiæ, un passage conventionnel où se noue un pacte de lecture entre le traducteur et son lecteur, entre l’écrivain et son traducteur.

Les propositions d’articles seront envoyées aux adresses électroniques suivantes : et

La date limite d’envoi pour les propositions d’articles est fixée au 1er juillet 2017.

La version finale des articles est attendue pour le 1er décembre 2017.


Santiago Vaquera-Vásquez: "If I’m doing a self-translation, I find myself changing the original in many ways"

Santiago Vaquera-Vásquez is a Chicano self-translator and currently a Fulbright Senior Lecturer at Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey. In an interview with Xánath Caraza, published on La Bloga on 1st May 2017, he talks about his experience of self-translating his short story “Algún día te cuento las cosas que he visto” into English.

"Even after publication, I still tinker with my cuentos. And, if I’m doing a self-translation, I find myself changing the original in many ways to the point where I have to go back to make those changes in the other version. My story, “Algún día te cuento las cosas que he visto” has undergone a number of changes, and that’s probably the story that has been most edited as it moved from Spanish to English to Spanglish."
To read the complete interview please click here.

38th APEAA Conference

Self-translation was a topic of a talk given at the 38th APEAA Conference, 27-29 April 2017

  • Thursday, 27 April 2017 11.00 – 13.00
    Eleonora Federici, “From Hyphenated to Transnational Identity: Jhumpa Lahiri’s self-translation into Italian”

International Society of Anglo-Saxonists Eighteenth Biennial Meeting

Self-translation will be a topic of a talk given at the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists Eighteenth Biennial Meeting, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI 31 July – 4 August 2017.

  • Thursday, 3 August 2017, 14:15-15:45
    Session: 11B: Translating Ælfric, Ælfric as Translator Sakamaki B102
    Tristan Major:  Ælfric of Eynsham and Self-Translation

Monday, April 24, 2017

Talk: Der Autor als Übersetzer. „The Corpse Washer“ – Ein irakisch-amerikanischer Roman

Wolfgang Trimmel will give a lecture with the title "Der Autor als Übersetzer. The Corpse Washer – Ein irakisch-amerikanischer Roman" on 26th June at the IFK (Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften) at Vienna. Wolfgang Trimmel is a PhD student at the IFK. The working title of his Phd thesis is: "Jenseits von Orient und Okzident. Interkulturelle Selbstübersetzungen aus dem Arabischen ins Englische"

Jawad, der Protagonist von Waḥdahā šaǧarat ar-rummān oder Nur der Granatapfelbaum, wächst als Sohn einer schiitischen Familie im Bagdad des ausgehenden 20. Jahrhunderts auf. Die drei Golfkriege von 1980 bis 2003 prägen seine Kindheit und Jugend entscheidend. Obwohl er an der irakischen Kunstakademie Bildhauerei studiert, zwingen ihn die Umstände, den Beruf seines Vaters fortzuführen und Leichenwäscher zu werden. Als der Irak nach dem Sturz Saddam Husseins zunehmend in den Bürgerkrieg schlittert, nimmt für Jawad die Anzahl der Leichen albtraumhafte Dimensionen an. Anhand von Sinan Antoons Waḥdahā šaǧarat ar-rummān bzw. The Corpse Washer diskutiert Wolfgang Trimmel Selbstübersetzungen vom Arabischen ins Englische als spezifische kulturelle Praxis. Dabei steht nicht nur die sprachliche Herausforderung der Selbstübersetzung im Vordergrund, sondern auch der breitere literarische und politische Kontext der beiden Romantexte.

For more information on the talk, please click here.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Journée d'étude self-translation Milan 15th May

Organisée par
Università degli Studi di Milano
Dipartimento di Scienze della Mediazione linguistica e di Studi interculturali
Dottorato in Studi linguistici, letterari, interculturali in ambito europeo ed extra-europeo
Équipe Multilinguisme, traduction, création
ITEM / CNRS / PSL /Labex TransferS
Le 15 Mai 2017
Polo di Sesto San Giovanni, Piazza Indro Montanelli 1
Salle P3

Cette journée d’étude va explorer le sujet, de plus en plus actuel et interdisciplinaire, de l’écriture multilingue et de l’autotraduction. Bien que l’autotraduction ait toujours existé dans l’histoire de la littérature, son étude n’a gagné en importance que très récemment dans le milieu académique (Hokenson and Munson 2007). Les écrivains plurilingues et les autotraducteurs mettent en effet en cause le paradigme unilingue de l’État Nation, longtemps dominant dans le monde occidental (Lagarde 2013). Ce sont les nouveaux contextes postcoloniaux et migratoires qui ont rendu possible cette ouverture vers une prise en considération de l’autotraduction dans le milieu scientifique à partir de la dernière décennie du XXe siècle (Ceccherelli 2014). La majorité des études publiées jusqu’à présent se sont concentrées sur la dichotomie traduction/réécriture, en choisissant notamment comme corpus les oeuvres des grands autotraducteurs célèbres. Au cours de cette journée, il s’agira plutôt de faire le point sur les nouvelles perspectives de cette discipline : on partira des définitions (Eva Gentes) pour souligner ensuite les apports de l’étude des manuscrits (Rainier Grutman), réfléchir sur les cas limites de l’autotraduction (Olga Anokhina, Emilio Sciarrino) et présenter des corpus extra-européens (Simona Gallo, Chiara Lusetti). 

09h30 : Ouverture des travaux
Séance 1 : Réflexions théoriques. Président Marie-Christine Jullion
09h45 : Eva GENTES (Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf). L'autotraduction comme processus de création littéraire bilingue.
10h15 : Rainier GRUTMAN (Université d’Ottawa). La leçon des manuscrits.
10h45 : Discussion
11h00 : Pause
Séance 2 : A la frontière de l’autotraduction. Président Rainier Grutman
11h30 : Olga ANOKHINA (ITEM). Autotraduction. Cas limites.
12h00 : Emilio SCIARRINO (Université de Caen / ITEM). La traduzione a quattro mani. A proposito di un inedito ungarettiano.
12h30 : Discussion
13h00 : Pause déjeuner
Séance 3 : Autotraductions extra-européennes. Président Olga Anokhina
14h30 : Simona GALLO (Unimi). La mente allo specchio : autotradursi per ri-conoscersi. Il caso studio di Ballade nocturne di Gao Xingjian.
15h0 : Chiara LUSETTI (Unimi). Tendances de l’autotraduction au Maghreb : Jalila Baccar et Slimane Benaïssa.
15h30 : Discussion
Comité d’organisation : Olga Anokhina, Chiara Lusetti

To download the program please click here.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Update Bibliography

The bibliography on self-translation has been updated.
To download the pdf-file please click here.

If you have any suggestions for further entries, please leave a comment.

The next update is scheduled for 1st of July.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Self-translation at the 1st World Congress on Translation Studies

Self-translation is the topic of several talks at the 1st World Congress on Translation Studies, taking place from April 10-14th 2017, Paris West University, Nanterre-La Défense.

11th April Session: Translation, Politics, Insubordination, Postcolonialism

14:15-14:40 Elizabete Manterola Agirrezabalaga, Outward Translation from a Minority Language. The Long Shadow of Hegemonic Languages

Outward translation is a growing phenomenon in contemporary Basque literature, and despite its minority status, literary agents and institutions aspire to engage with other cultures in a way that resembles interactions between literary systems that are supposedly monolingual and major. Thus, one of the aims of Basque literature is to produce direct translations into various target languages in order to prevent the Spanish (i.e. Castilian) version from being used as the source text. Spanish constitutes not only the main target language for outward translation from Basque but also the source language through which translations into other languages access Basque literature. It is difficult to
find translators who are capable of producing direct translations, which explains why in spite of a willingness to encourage direct translations Basque literature tends to be exported via a considerable number of mediated translations. The minority status of the original literary system and the dependency of this system on the hegemonic culture shape all outward directionality. Since the Spanish versions of Basque literary works are done, by and large, by the actual authors of those Basque texts, deciding which work should serve as the source text for subsequent translations or who
is entitled to make that decision is not a simple task. Moreover, if the target translator knows both Basque and Spanish well, (how) is it acceptable to translate a book only from the Basque version (or only from the Spanish text)? Should the translator consult both versions? This paper will show that theoretical binaries used in Translation Studies, such as original/translation and direct translation/ indirect translation, may be too limited and/or limiting

11th April Session: Translation and Multilingual Writers

15:00-15:30 Hélène Thiérard: Devenir un auteur bilingue : la position intermédiaire de "Hylé II" dans la production littéraire de Raoul Hausmann

Raoul Hausmann becomes, in the mature years of his literary production, a truly bilingual writer. Hausmann fled Nazi Germany in 1933 and settled in France after an exile to several other places. From 1945 onwards, he wrote, in French and in German, articles, essays, plays and poems, and translated himself into either language depending on the possibilities for publication. Hylé, an autobiographic work-in-progress in two parts by Hausmann, takes on an intermediary position in this respect due to its exceptionnal genesis extending for more than thirty years, from 1926 to 1958. Hylé II makes a captivating case study, not only because this book is an account of Hausmann’s exile to Ibiza between 1933 and 1936, integrating the languages of his exile (Spanish, Ibizan, English, French, Yiddish, Russian), but also because the writer attempted at the same time to translate /rewrite it in French at the end of the 1930s and at the beginning of the 1940s. The aim of this paper is to review this partial duplication of the genesis of Hylé II in French and its multlingual effects within its main genesis. We will show that after interrupting this translation-rewriting in French of Hylé II, the process of translating was integrated into the main genesis, contributing to setting up a poetics
of reduplication alternating with repetition while cancelling the closure of the text.

12th April Auctoriality and Translation: Self-Translators and Writers-Translators

9:45-10:15  Chiara Montini: Auctorialité et réception : l’auto-traduction et la traduction d’auteur

Studies on self-translation all point out that the status of the authors translating their own texts is a privileged one compared to ordinary, allograph translators (Tanqueiro, 1999). But it is not true only of self-translators, as writerstranslators also enjoy a higher status. On the one hand they can identify with the works they have chosen to translate (Proust translating Ruskin said he did not claim to understand English but could understand Ruskin though (“Je ne prétends pas savoir l’anglais, je prétends savoir Ruskin”, Proust, Cor. IV) ; on the other hand readers and critics allow them more freedom than they do to other translators. The reception and the stereotypes (both positive and negative) linked to the status of author play an essential part in the definition of those two types of translation (self-translation and translation by another writer) which are often considered as different from an “ordinary” translation. Some questions arise: What is the role of the “author function” (”la fonction auteur”, Foucault, 1972) in the reception of self-translations and translations by writers-translators? To what extent are those translations different from one another and from “ordinary” translations? A few significant examples will be studied to try provide some answers to these questions, and more particularly Beckett translating Pinget, Pinget translating Beckett and Beckett translating Beckett.

11:15-11:45 Şilan Karadag: L'auto-traduction littéraire : traduction ou second original?

Some of the bilingual and bicultural authors decide to translate their own work, i.e. to self-translate. During the selftranslation process, the author of the source text also becomes the translator of the target text. So literary selftranslation can be understood as the closest author-translator relationship imaginable. This specificity raises the question of the nature of the new production: shall we consider it as "second original"?

11:45-12:15 Michaël Oustinoff: Bilinguisme d'écriture et potentialisation de l'œuvre : Lolita R et le cas des auto-traductions nabokoviennes

The potentialisation of the bilingual work questions the traditional frontiers between original, writing and translation. When translating himself from Russian into English, Nabokov deprives the first original from its status of definitive version for the sake of its respective auctorial self-translation, from which the author imposed that each and every subsequent allograph translation should be done.
As the only work of fiction to have been self-translated in the other direction, the Russian Lolita is an apparently paradoxical case. I shall question the commonly held view that this self-translation cannot be considered as an “autonomous” version of the work from which it is derived because its style is supposedly too much influenced by the strangeness of its “English constructions”. It shall be argued that Lolita R is not an aborted auctorial version but a full-fledged version of the work from which it is derived and sheds new light on the whole of Nabokov’s writing.

14:30-15:00 Eva Karpinski: Auctorial Translation and/as Neuroplasticity: Reexamining Nancy Huston’s Losing North /Nord perdu

In Losing North, the English version of her French text Nord perdu, Nancy Huston describes each language as occupying a different part of her brain, with French apparently located in the left and English in the right hemisphere. I want to consider Huston’s practice of auctorial translation or self-translation in terms of bilingual languaging and neuroplasticity, both of which involve adaptive, flexible, affective responses to changing situations and new environments. Applying the embodied and dialogical concept of “languaging” (derived from Maturana) to Huston’s acts of auctorial translation allows us to take into account the neural substructure of such processes, or what Huston
calls the “neuronal baggage” of sedimented habits, synaptic connections, and embodied memories tied up with powerful emotions. The event of self-translation, when two languages are touching each other, implies whole-body sense making and complex affect transfers. If, for Huston, writing from a position of exile means taking leave of the language of “the people who brought you into the world” (14), self-translation as a form of return migration reinforces the need to recognise and respect one’s own and another person’s foreignness as an ethical challenge of being human (26). Huston’s bilingualism deconstructs the “naturalness” of both languages and exposes that “nothing belongs to [the author become auctor, that is, self-translator] wholly and irrefutably” (31).

15:00-15:30 Arezou Dadvar: Autotraducteur et traduction théâtrale en Iran : les privilèges et les obstacles

Far from the idea of Julio Cesar Santoyo (2006: 22) and Simona Anselmi (2012: 19) on the lack of translatological studies in the field of self-translation, we see in recent years that researchers have begun to be interested more and more and wish to explore new opportunities in this area. For some theorists, self-translation is translation, and for others it is a certain form of literary rewriting which must as such be treated and studied in the context of literary criticism.
As part of this research and based on the examples from our corpus, we will try to answer two main questions: a) what is the approach of the Iranian self-translator, Hassan Moghadam, to translate the comic features of his play to produce the same cognitive and emotional effects on both audiences? b) How does the framework of this Iranian play imply a particular translational approach? The method is both comparative and analytical. It is comparative because it will enable us to study concurrently the original and the self-translation of an Iranian play. This study will also be analytical because of its non-linguistic perspective, and will examine the usefulness and reliability of the interpretative theory of translation and the functionalist theory applied to the self-translation of dramatic texts.

16:15-16:45 Elena Basile: Undoing the Self: Disintegrating Recompositions across Languages in the Work of Nathanaël.

This essay explores the multiple meanings of the trans- prefix in translation as it pertains to self-translated texts that chronicle authorial transition towards indeterminate gender. Specifically, it will discuss four books – three in French, one in English – written by transgender writer and translator Nathanaël. Initially published over a period of three years, the three French texts (Carnet de désaccords published under the authorial name of Nathalie Stephens in 2009, Carnet de délibérations and Carnet de somme published as Nathanaël in 2011 and 2012 respectively) offer a rigorous exploration of the ontic aporias and epistemic indeterminacies attendant to reckoning with one's own corporeal transformations. The three Carnets were eventually recomposed in English in one single volume entitled The Middle Notebooks in 2015. This paper will explore how the passage of self-translation from French to English exacerbates the onto-epistemic problems recursively encountered in the French texts and articulates a poetic of extreme vigilance to the "coming undone" of languages and bodies in translation.

For more information please click here.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Self-translation at the ACQL Annual Conference May 27-29, 2017 Ryerson University

Self-translation will be the topic of a session at the ACQL Annual Conference taking place May 27-29, 2017 at the Ryerson University.

Sunday, May 28 / Dimanche 28 mai: 13h30-15h00 / 1:30-3:00
Séance / Session 5C (avec ACLA / with CCLA):
Self-Translation and Canadian Writers / L’auto-traduction et les écrivains canadiens
VIC - Victoria 501
Chair/Présidence: Joseph Pivato
  • Eva C. Karpinski (York University): Self-Translation and/as Neuroplasticity: Re-examining Nancy Huston’s Losing North/Nord perdu and The Tale-Tellers/L’espèce fabulatrice 
  • Tiziana Nannavecchia (University of Ottawa): Impossible monolingualism: selftranslation as a way of life in Antonio D’Alfonso’s Babel. 
  • Elena Anna Spanguolo (University of Manchester): Self-Translation: Giving Voice to a Hybrid Identity 
  • Trish Van Bolderen (University of Ottawa): Is Nancy Huston a Canadian self-translator?

Furthermore, some other talks will discuss the works of several self-translators:
  • Renée von Paschen (University of Vienna): The Canadian Poet’s Identity & SelfTranslation
  • Riley Klassen-Molyneaux (University of Calgary): Distance de l’Autre : la langue, le temps et la terre dans Bâtons à message/Tshissinuatshitakana de Joséphine Bacon et Née de la pluie et de la terre de Rita Mestokosho
  • Amélie-Anne Mailhot (Université d’Ottawa) : L’écriture d’une géographie politique et poétique : An Kapesh, Rita Mestokosho et Joséphine Bacon

To see the full program, please click here.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Wieseneck Symposium: "Multilingualism in Israeli Literature"

Self-translation was one of the topics which has been discussed at the Wieseneck Symposium: "Multilingualism in Israeli Literature" (Thursday, February 16, 2017, University of Michigan).

Until fairly recently, Israeli literature was understood as essentially monolingual, created exclusively in Hebrew. In the last few years, scholars have turned their attention to the many languages in which literature was, and still is written in Israel. The symposium will bring Institute fellows and leading scholars to explore Israel literature written in Yiddish, Arabic, German, Russian, and English, as well as the interplay between these languages and Hebrew. The speakers will explore issues such as translation and self-translation, the politics of language in literature, and the historical shifts that enabled or restricted inter-linguistic contacts.

10:40 am—12:30 pm: Session 1: Multilingual Encounters and Dialogues
Chair and Respondent: Liora Halperin, University of Boulder

Shachar Pinsker, University of Michigan: Between “Loshn-Mame-Koydesh” and the Father Tongue? Israeli-Yiddish Encounters
Adriana X. Jacobs, University of Oxford: Like a Centipede, Multiple Voices: Harold Schimmel’s Translingual Poetry
Alex Moshkin, University of Pennsylvania: Beyond the Wall: The Encounter between Russophone Writers and the State of Israel
Yael Kenan, University of Michigan: “Dialogue in Monologue”: Addressing Mahmoud Darwish in Hebrew

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm: Session II: Between Original and Translation: Rewriting Israeli Literature
Chair and Moderator: Joshua Miller, University of Michigan

Maya Barzilai, University of Michigan
Naomi Brenner, Ohio State University
Rachel Seelig, University of Chicago

3:30 pm—5:30 pm: Session III: Keywords in Multilingualism and Israeli Literature
Chair and Moderator: Shachar Pinsker, University of Michigan

Lital Levy, Princeton University: "Multilingualism, Transnationalism, and World Literature: Theoretical Frameworks for Israeli Literary Studies"

Roundtable Discussion
Maya Barzilai, Naomi Brenner, Adriana Jacobs, Yael Kenan, Lital Levy, Alex Moshkin, Rachel Seelig

For more information the event, please click here.

Politics Of Self-Translation: Authorial Representation, Cultural Identity, And Global Hong Kong Literature

Talk by Uganda Sze-pui KWAN (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore) on Thu, Feb 16, 2017, 4:30 pm at Princeton University.

The talk will discuss a new piece of translation of Hong Kong literature, which was done by the author himself after he had published his original fiction about two decades ago. This English translation, entitled The Atlas: The Archaeology of an Imaginary City by Dung Kai-cheung (Columbia University Press, 2015), not only allowed the author an opportunity to reconnect with his work through the role of an active reader, but it also opened up a new vista for the author to rewrite and deconstruct his original work. However, this is more than a seminal self-translation such as those by Milena Kundera, Samuel Beckett, Vladimir Nabokov or many other bilingual writers. In this work the author had to deal with the hermeneutical power and critical discourses of two other professionals. His freedom to authenticate, interpret and rewrite his own work was constrained under the condition of collaborative translation. How is authorial right limited under this kind of self-collaborative translation? Where are the boundaries and what are the dynamics, synergies and benefits of this new emerging model of self-collaborative-translation?

For more information on the event, please click here.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Cfp Multilingualism in 19th Century European Literature

Call for Contributions to an Edited book on Multilingualism in 19th Century European Literature
Ed. by Olga Anokhina (CNRS, Paris), Till Dembeck (University of Luxemburg), and Dirk Weissmann (University of Paris-Est)

We kindly invite scholars in all disciplines devoted to European (Romance, Germanic, Slavic, Baltic, Finno-Ugric) literature to submit contributions for a collective volume on “Multilingualism in 19th Century European Literature”.

The bilingual English-French book will be published in 2018 by the Lit-Verlag in the “poethik polyglot” series directed by Britta Benert, Rainier Grutman, and Alfons Knauth.
Scholarship on multilingual literature from Europe has up to now mostly focused either on pre-modern periods (e. g., Medieval and Renaissance multilingualism), or on avant-garde modernism, and on the present (e. g., postcolonial literature, literature of migration, etc.). At first sight, the 19th century does not seem to matter for the history of European literary multilingualism. This might seem logical since the 19th century is rightfully considered the epoch that most effectively promoted nationalist monolingualism, in the wake of the European reception of the Post-Herderian theory of culture. Still, it is worth considering forms of multilingualism also in this period. Firstly, not all European countries have undergone a process of nationalization and monolingualization to the same extent. And secondly, recent studies, namely in sociolinguistics, have shown that monolingual norms can be implemented only by massive language-political intervention. Therefore, it is plausible to assume that some forms of multilingualism play a role even in the apparently most monolingual constellations of European literary history. A mapping of literary multilingualism in 19th-century European literature seems thus necessary.

This collective book will propose an investigation into 19th-century European literary multilingualism, particularly into the period from 1800 to 1880. All areas of European literature will be considered. The term ‘multilingualism’ as used in this book includes all kinds of code-mixing, either in single literary texts or in multiple texts produced by the same author.

Topics to be explored might be the following, amongst others:

  • multilingual authors in struggle with monolingual or national frameworks, multilingualism as a (hidden) background for national writers
  • literary subversions of monolingual norms, language normalization processes and literature
  • language contact and literary creativity
  • travel, exile, extraterritoriality and literary multilingualism
  • translation, heterolingualism and language hybridity
  • representations of multilingual realities in monolingual literary writing
  • translingual borrowing of literary, aesthetic and rhetoric structures and strategies
  • multilingualism in writers’ manuscripts, sketches, notebooks, etc. (critique génétique)
  • the heritage of pre-1800 multilingualism and links to modernist literary multilingualism (post-1880), lines of rupture and continuity

Proposals (in English or French) should be send before June 1st 2017 to the following addresses:;;
The full texts (5000-8000 words) of accepted contributions will be expected before December 31st 2017.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

New edited volume on (self-)translation in the Middle Ages

In February 2017, an edited volume on (self-)translation in the Middle Ages will be published: La traduction entre Moyen Âge et Renaissance Médiations, auto-traductions et traductions secondes, edited by C. Galderisi, J.-J. Vincensini (eds.).

The second part "L’auto-traduction : typologies et pratiques" consists of four articles on self-translation:
  • Jean-Jacques Vincensini, Des conditions de possibilité des auto-traductions au Moyen Âge flamboyant 
  • Anna Maria Babbi, L’auto-traduction au Moyen Âge: mensonges et vérités 
  • Marie-Luce Demonet, Étienne Dolet, auto-traducteur bifrons 
  • Marie-Christine Gomez-Géraud, La Bible et la Theologia deutsch : Sébastien Castellion et ses doublets de traduction
For more information please click here.

Cfp Panel on Self-Translation and Canadian Writers

This panel is planned as a joint session of ACQL and the Canadian Comparative Literature Association to take place a Congress 2017, Ryerson University, Toronto.

In the history of World Literature there are famous examples of authors who translated their own works: Samuel Beckett, Vladimir Nabokov, Italo Calvino and Ngugi wa Thiong'o. The phenomenon has recently been re-examined in a collection of studies edited by Anthony Cordingley, Self-Translation: Brokering Originality in Hybrid Culture (2013). The proposed panel will assemble three or four speakers who will examine the practice of selftranslation among some Canadian writers who work in English and French and sometimes in another language. Speakers may consider any of the following topics: how do theories of translation relate to the practice of self-translation, the relation between re-writing and selftranslation, multicultural self-dialogue, the language problems of translation, the cultural differences confronted by translation, self-translation as indigenization, the reception of selftranslated works, the politics of the English and French in self-translation, and other questions. Some of the authors to be considered may include: Nancy Huston, Marco Micone, Dôre Michelut, Erin Mouré, Antonio D'Alfonso, Roy Kiyooka, and Josef Skvorecky.

  • Papers should be no longer than 20 minutes and can be in English or French.
  • Proposals should be no more than 300 words, and should be accompanied by a short biography and a 50 word abstract (in Word or RTF). 
  • They are due on or before 15 February 2017, and should be sent to Joseph Pivato at 
  • Those who propose papers must be members of the ACQL by 1 March 2017. 

To see the call for papers in French please click here.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Update Bibliography on Self-translation

The bibliography on self-translation has been updated.
You can download the new version here.
If you have additions to make, please leave a comment.
The next update is scheduled for April 1, 2017.