Literary Translation

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Topics: Translation
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Literary Translation: Recent Theoretical Developments

By Sachin Ketkar
Lecturer in English
SB Garda College,
Navsari
www.geocities.com/sachinketkar sachinketkar@yahoo.com Literary studies have always, explicitly or implicitly, presupposed a certain notion of `literariness ' with which it has been able to delimit its domain, specify, and sanction its methodologies and approaches to its subject. This notion of `literariness ' is crucial for the theoretical thinking about literary translation. In this paper, I have attempted to analyze various recent theoretical positions to the study of literary translation and sought to understand them in the context of the development in the field of literary studies in the last three decades of the twentieth century. The recent developments in the literary studies have radically questioned the traditional essentialist notion of `literariness ' and the idea of canon from various theoretical perspectives. I have contrasted the traditional discourse on literary translation with the recent discourse in order to highlight the shift in the notion of `literariness ' and its impact on translation theory.

The traditional essentialist approach to literature, which Lefevere (1988:173) calls `the corpus ' approach is based on the Romantic notion of literature which sees the author as a quasi-divine `creator ' possessing `genius '. He is believed to be the origin of the Creation that is Original, Unique, organic, transcendental and hence sacred. Translation then is a mere copy of the unique entity, which by definition is uncopy-able. As the translator is not the origin of the work of art, he does not possess `genius ', and he is considered merely a drudge, a proletariat, and a shudra in the literary Varna system. This traditional approach is due to the Platonic-Christian metaphysical underpinning of the Western culture. The `original ' versus `copy ' dichotomy is deeply



Cited: Anuradha Dingwaney, and Carol Maier.(eds.) Between Languages and Cultures: Translation and cross-cultural Texts. Delhi: Oxford University Press. 1996 Basil Hatim and Ian Mason Chris Jenks, Culture. London and New York: Routledge, 1993 p.187 R Durisin, Dionyz. Theory of Literary Comparatistics. Bratislava: Veda Publishing House of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, 1984 pp.184-142 Else Ribeiro Pires Vieira Gideon Toury ` In Search of a Theory of Translation. Tel Aviv: Porter Institute for Semiotics and Poetics, 1980. Harish Trivedi ` India, England, France, A (Post-) Colonial Translational Triangle ' in S.Ramakrishna(ed.)., 1997 John Brannigan Kristeva, Julia. ` The Revolution in Poetic Language ' (trans.) Margaret Waller, New York, Columbia U.P 1984,pp.59-60 in Raman Selden(ed.). The Theory of Criticism: From Plato to the Present. London and New York, Longman, 1988. Lance Hewson , and Jacky Martin. Redefining Translation : The Variational Approach. London and New York: Routledge, 1991. Lawrence Venuti. . The Translator 's Invisibility: A history of translation. London and New York: Routledge, 1995 Mahasweta Sengupta Raymond van den Broeck, ` Second Thoughts on Translation Criticism A Model for its Analytic Function ' in Hermans Theo(ed.). 1985 pp.54-62 Riffaterre, M S. Ramakrishna (ed.). Translation and Multilingualism. PostColonial Contexts, Delhi: Pencraft International, 1997 St-Pierre, ` Translating Cultural Difference: Fakir Mohan Senapati 's Chha Mana Atha Guntha ' in Meta XLII 2 1997 p.423 Susan Bassnett, Comparative Literature A Critical Introduction, Oxford UK and Cambridge USA: Blackwell, 1993 p.141 Susan Bassnett and Harish Trivedi Talgeri, P and Verma. SB Literature in Translation from Cultural Transference to Metonymic Displacement. Mumbai: Popular Prakashan, 1988. p.3 Tejaswini Niranjana, Siting Translation: History, Post-Structuralism, and the Colonial Context Theo Hermans. .(ed.). The Manipulation of Literature: Studies in Literary Translation. New York: St.Martin 's Press, 1985. pp.9-10 Trivedi, H.C

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