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.

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2 comments:

monmen said...

I'm sorry to miss this as I won't be in Ontario until the first week of June. Will there be live-streaming by chance?

monmen said...

Interesting to see trans* inclusion at this event. Self-translation as it relates to trans*ness. Ironically, the language excludes...I think we need another translation layer - academese to mainstream English.