Presentation on theme: "Literature in Context 2. Lecture 10 Postcolonial Studies Literatures in English Literary Translation."— Presentation transcript:
Literature in Context 2
Lecture 10 Postcolonial Studies Literatures in English Literary Translation
Postcolonial Studies See: Post-colonialism (postcolonial theory, post-colonial theory) is an intellectual discourse that consists of reactions to, and analysis of, the cultural legacy of colonialis. Postcolonialism comprises a set of theories found amongst anthropology, architecture, philosophy, film, political science, human geography, sociology, feminism, religious and theological studies, and literature.
Postcolonial Studies See: The ultimate goal of post-colonialism is accounting for and combating the residual effects of colonialism on cultures. It is not simply concerned with salvaging past worlds, but learning how the world can move beyond this period together, towards a place of mutual respect.
Postcolonial Studies See: Post-colonialist theorists recognize that many of the assumptions which underlie the "logic" of colonialism are still active forces today. Exposing and deconstructing the racist, imperialist nature of these assumptions will remove their power of persuasion and coercion.
Postcolonial Studies See: A key goal of post-colonial theorists is clearing space for multiple voices. This is especially true of those voices that have been previously silenced by dominant ideologies – subalterns. Edward Said, in his book Orientalism, provides a clear picture of the ways social scientists, specifically Orientalists, can disregard the views of those they actually study – preferring instead to rely on the intellectual superiority of themselves and their peers.
Postcolonial Studies See: Postcolonialism as a literary theory (with a critical approach), deals with literature produced in countries that once were colonies of other countries. Colonized people, especially of the British Empire, attended British universities and with their access to education, created this new criticism. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union during the late 20th century, its former republics became the subject of this study as well.
Postcolonial Studies See: Postcolonial theory provides a framework that destabilizes dominant discourses in the West, challenges inherent assumptions, and critiques the legacies of colonialism.
Postcolonial Studies See: Postcolonialism deals with cultural identity in colonized societies: the dilemmas of developing a national identity after colonial rule; the ways in which writers articulate and celebrate that identity; the ways in which the knowledge of the colonized (subordinated) people has been generated and used to serve the colonizer's interests; the ways in which the colonizer's literature has justified colonialism via images of the colonised as a perpetually inferior people, society and culture.
Postcolonial Studies See: Founding works on postcolonialism Edward Said: Orientalism (1978) Edward W. Said, Culture and Imperialism (1993) Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, "Can the Subaltern Speak?" (1988) Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak: "The Postcolonial Critic" (1990) Homi Bhabha: The Location of Culture (1994) Declan Kiberd: "Inventing Ireland" (1995)
Charles Tennyson Turner ( ) Letty’s Globe When Letty had scarce pass'd her third glad year, And her young artless words began to flow, One day we gave the child a colour'd sphere Of the wide earth, that she might mark and know, By tint and outline, all its sea and land. She patted all the world; old empires peep'd Between her baby fingers; her soft hand Was welcome at all frontiers. How she leap'd, And laugh'd and prattled in her world-wide bliss; But when we turn'd her sweet unlearned eye On our own isle, she raised a joyous cry-- 'Oh! yes, I see it, Letty's home is there!' And while she hid all England with a kiss, Bright over Europe fell her golden hair.
Charles Tennyson Turner ( ) Letty’s Globe When Letty had scarce pass'd her third glad year, And her young artless words began to flow, One day we gave the child a colour'd sphere Of the wide earth, that she might mark and know, By tint and outline, all its sea and land. She patted all the world; old empires peep'd Between her baby fingers; her soft hand Was welcome at all frontiers. How she leap'd, And laugh'd and prattled in her world-wide bliss; But when we turn'd her sweet unlearned eye On our own isle, she raised a joyous cry - 'Oh! yes, I see it, Letty's home is there!' And while she hid all England with a kiss, Bright over Europe fell her golden hair.
Victorian Terrestrial Globes
Victorian Terrestrial Globe
Map of the British Empire, 1922
Map of the British Empire, 1886
William Butler Yeats ( ) Leda and the Swan A sudden blow: the great wings beating still Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill, He holds her helpless breast upon his breast. How can those terrified vague fingers push The feathered glory from her loosening thighs? And how can body, laid in that white rush, But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?
Yeats, cont. A shudder in the loins engenders there The broken wall, the burning roof and tower And Agamemnon dead. Being so caught up, So mastered by the brute blood of the air, Did she put on his knowledge with his power Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?
Leda and the Swan. The work is probably an old copy after a painting of this subject by Michelangelo which he made in 1530, in tempera, for the Duke of Ferrara, but which was sent instead to the King of France. National Gallery, London
Leda and the Swan. Engraving after Michelangelo’s lost painting by Cornelus Bos ( ) British Museum, London
Literatures in English Postcolonial Studies explores the various facets—textual, figural, spatial, historical, political and economic—of the colonial encounter, and the ways in which this encounter shaped the West and non-West alike investigations from many disciplines, as well as a theoretical perspective from which to view a variety of concerns
Literatures in English English literary texts representing other cultures – the living conscience and public depository of the cultural memories of the world, telling the story, incorporating the way of thinking, and mirroring the language of other cultures.
Some examples V. S. Naipaul: A Bend in the River (1979), narrated by an Indian Muslim in an unnamed African country after independence, observing the rapid changes in his homeland with an outsider's distance. Salman Rushdie: Midnight's Children (1981), key events in the history of India. Kazuo Ishiguro: A Pale View Hills (1982), narrated by a Japanese widow living in England. Tibor Fischer: Under the Frog (1992), the 1950s and 1956 in Hungary.
Some examples R. K. Narayan: The Guide (1958), a novel based in Malgudi, the fictional town in South India. The novel describes the transformation of the protagonist, Raju from a tour guide to a spiritual guide and become one of the greatest holy man of India. Derek Walcott: Omeros (1990), an epic poem set on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, drawing on Homer, Virgil, and Dante, presenting themes such as colonialism, historiography, homecoming, paternity.
Derek Walcott (1930)
Salman Rushdie (1947)
Kazuo Ishiguro (1954)
Translation Studies See: Translation studies is an interdiscipline containing elements of social science and the humanities, dealing with the systematic study of the theory, the description and the application of translation, interpreting or both these activities. Translation studies can be normative (prescribing rules for the application of these activities) or descriptive.
Translation Studies See: As an interdisciplinary discipline, translation studies borrows much from the different fields of study that support translation. These include comparative literature, computer science, history, linguistics, philology, philosophy, semiotics, terminology, and so forth. Note that occasionally in English writers will use the term translatology to refer to translation studies.
Translation Studies Basnett, Susan: “Literary Research and Translation.” In: da Sousa Correa, Della; Owens, W. R., eds.: The Handbook to Literary Research. London, New York: Routledge, 2010,
Translation Studies Globalisation Global mobility – mass movement of people, movement of capital, commodities, information, and images Intercultural communication
Translation Studies Translation as linguistic process An ancient form of textual practice The transposition of a text that has come into being in one context into a different one The process involves reshaping and rewriting the text Negotiation between the original, the source and its destination, the target
Translation Studies See: CULTURAL TRANSLATION is a new area of interest in the field of translation studies. Cultural translation is a concept used in cultural studies to denote the process of transformation, linguistic or otherwise, in a given culture. The concept uses linguistic translation as a tool or metaphor in analysing the nature of transformation in cultures. For example, ethnography is considered a translated narrative of an abstract living culture.
Translation Studies Cultural Translation Continually reminds the reader of difference. A text produced for one set of readers is rendered to a different set of readers with different expectations, aesthetic concepts, embedded in different cultural Context. The translator has to take into account not only the linguistic dimensions but the problem of diverse layers of meaning in the different cultural contexts
Translation Studies Question of equivalence No translation is identical with the original Literal, word to word translation – is it possible? Restructuring another author’s work – to what extent is it ethical?
Translation Studies How to translate regional and social dialects? Cockney English, Yorkshire accent, Hiberno-English, working-class language usage, Black American slang, 18th century sailors’ jargon, Loiner skinhead talk, etc.
Translation Studies Translating ancient texts into modern To archaize or to modernize To historicize or to contemporize Ancient texts brought to contemporary readers – to show how an ancient work would have been written had its author lived now
Virgil’s Aeneid (29-19 BC) translated by John Dryden (1697) Arms, and the man I sing, who, forc'd by fate, And haughty Juno's unrelenting hate, Expell'd and exil'd, left the Trojan shore. Long labors, both by sea and land, he bore, And in the doubtful war, before he won The Latian realm, and built the destin'd town; His banish'd gods restor'd to rites divine, And settled sure succession in his line, From whence the race of Alban fathers come, And the long glories of majestic Rome. [Opening lines of Book I]
Alexander Pope’s translation of Homer’s Iliad ( ) Achilles’ wrath, to Greece the direful spring Of woes unnumber’d, heavenly goddess, sing! That wrath which hurl’d to Pluto’s gloomy reign The souls of mighty chiefs untimely slain; Whose limbs unburied on the naked shore, Devouring dogs and hungry vultures tore. Since great Achilles and Atrides strove, Such was the sovereign doom, and such the will of Jove! [Opening lines of Book I]
Translation Studies Postcolonial translation - ethical issues Reassessment of translation strategies from postcolonial perspective Translators need to become more visible Translation foreignising and domesticating (Lawrence Venuti after Friedrich Schleiermacher) Domesticating – as if the translation had been written in the target language, appropriation, the original erased Foreignising – to retain the foreign traces
Translation Studies Writing and translating are twin processes, engaged in constant interaction Crossing linguistic and cultural/national boundaries through translation Translation as reconciliation
Michael Longley: Ceasefire In his poem titled Ceasefire Michael Longley (1939) draws on Homer's The Iliad. Longley makes an inter textual allusion to King Priam's request to Achilles for the release of the dead body of his son Hector killed in Battle during the Trojan Wars. (The Iliad, Book XXIV). Longley's sonnet was published in 1994, the year which saw important Republican and Loyalist para military ceasefires in the Ulster Troubles in Norhern Ireland.
Michael Longley: Ceasefire Ceasefire has often been read in the context of political events in Ireland known as 'The Peace Process'. Longley has translated this part of Homer’s epic poem into the 14 line English sonnet form.
Michael Longley: Ceasefire I Put in mind of his own father and moved to tears Achilles took him by the hand and pushed the old king Gently away, but Priam curled up at his feet and Wept with him until their sadness ﬁlled the building. II Taking Hector’s corpse into his own hands Achilles Made sure it was washed and, for the old king’s sake, Laid out in uniform, ready for Priam to carry Wrapped like a present home to Troy at daybreak. III When they had eaten together, it pleased them both To stare at each other’s beauty as lovers might, Achilles built like a god, Priam good-looking still And full of conversation, who earlier had sighed: IV ‘I get down on my knees and do what must be done And kiss Achilles’ hand, the killer of my son.’
Homer: Iliad, Book XXIV John Dryden’s translation, excerpts “Think of thy father, and this face behold! See him in me, as helpless and as old! Though not so wretched: there he yields to me, The first of men in sovereign misery! Thus forced to kneel, thus grovelling to embrace The scourge and ruin of my realm and race; Suppliant my children’s murderer to implore, And kiss those hands yet reeking with their gore!” […]
Homer: Iliad, Book XXIV John Dryden’s translation, excerpts “Move me no more, (Achilles thus replies, While kindling anger sparkled in his eyes,) Nor seek by tears my steady soul to bend: To yield thy Hector I myself intend: For know, from Jove my goddess-mother came, (Old Ocean’s daughter, silver-footed dame,) Nor comest thou but by heaven; nor comest alone, Some god impels with courage not thy own: No human hand the weighty gates unbarr’d, Nor could the boldest of our youth have dared To pass our outworks, or elude the guard. […]”
Homer: Iliad, Book XXIV John Dryden’s translation, excerpts When now the rage of hunger was repress’d, The wondering hero eyes his royal guest: No less the royal guest the hero eyes, His godlike aspect and majestic size; Here, youthful grace and noble fire engage; And there, the mild benevolence of age. Thus gazing long, the silence neither broke, (A solemn scene!) at length the father spoke: “Permit me now, beloved of Jove! to steep My careful temples in the dew of sleep: For, since the day that number’d with the dead My hapless son, the dust has been my bed;
Homer: Iliad, Book XXIV John Dryden’s translation, excerpts Then call the handmaids, with assistant toil To wash the body and anoint with oil, Apart from Priam: lest the unhappy sire, Provoked to passion, once more rouse to ire The stern Pelides; and nor sacred age, Nor Jove’s command, should check the rising rage. This done, the garments o’er the corse they spread; Achilles lifts it to the funeral bed: Then, while the body on the car they laid, He groans, and calls on loved Patroclus’ shade […]
Translation Studies Seamus Heaney Sweeney Astray. A version from the Irish (1983) 12th century Irish myth from the historical cycle Beowulf (1999) 8th century Old English epic poem Robert Henryson: The Testament of Cresseid (2004) 15th century Scottish epic poem Laments, a cycle of Polish Renaissance elegies by Jan Kochanowski, translated with Stanisław Barańczak (1995)
Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley and Ciaran Carson are pictured with Arts Council Chairman Rosemary Kelly and Chief Executive Roisin McDonough at MacNeice House in Belfast.
Michael Longley & Seamus Heaney portraits by Colin Davidson & Edward McGuire
Translation Studies See: Bhabha, Homi: The Location of Culture. London & New York: Routledge, 1994 Bassnett, Susan: Translation Studies. London & New York: Routledge, (1980) 2002 Steiner, George: After Babel. Oxford University Press, 1975 Venuti, Lawrence: The Translator's Invisibility: A History of Translation. London & New York: Routledge, 1995