National Identity in Literary Translation

by Łukasz Barciński (Volume editor)
©2020 Edited Collection 288 Pages


This book offers a wide selection of carefully selected studies examining some of the most compelling issues, which have been explored in the area of literary translation. The contributions were authored by an international group of scholars who focused on the recent developments in the field, encompassing the complex aspects of cultural transfer; translation of stylistic devices; and the importance of convention and ideology. However, the most distinctive feature of this book is that it offers a multifaceted view of the condition of the contemporary national identities and its linguistic transfer from different perspectives within various source language/target language pairs.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title Page
  • Copyright Page
  • About the editor
  • About the book
  • Citability of the eBook
  • Contents
  • List of Contributors
  • Introduction
  • Extreme Stylization as a Platform for Communicating Polish Identity - on the Example of Rendering Phraseology in the Swedish Translation of Witold Gombrowicz’s Trans-atlantyk
  • Chaosmic Identities – A Rhizomatic Approach to Literary Translation
  • Glossing ‘Otherness’ – Glossaries in Polish Translations of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children and The Satanic Verses
  • Language and National Identity in Chinese Translations of Mark Twain’s Literary Works
  • Taras Bulba in Ukrainian Garb: National Self-image in Translation
  • Newly Found Archives, or New Findings in Hryhoriy Kochur’s Correspondence with Eaghor Kostetzkyi
  • The Labor Camp Poetry Collection of Hryhoriy Kochur: Challenges for the Translator
  • The Diversity of Polish Poetry in Hryhoriy Kochur’s Translations
  • Reception Multiplicity of W. Shakespeare’s Play ‘King Lear’ in Ukrainian Literature:
  • Lost in Self-translation: The Case of Halide Edib and The Turkish Ordeal
  • Semiosphere of the Ukrainian Baroque: Translation Problems
  • American Horror Revisited: Ideology, Censorship and Propaganda of the People’s Republic of Poland and Polish Translations of Howard Phillips Lovecraft’s Prose
  • Interpreting Sociocultural Stereotypes: Ukrainian Translation of Fitzgerald’s Books
  • Flemish Identity in Translation. Georges Rodenbach and the Ambivalence of the ‘Mythe Nordique’
  • Translations of J. W. Goethe’s Faust in Ukraine and the Anglophone World: the Cultural Aspect
  • National Identity in Persian Translated Immigrant Literature
  • Problems of Cultural Transference in the Translation of Drama
  • Linguo-stylistic Devices and Means in Translations and Original Works by Hryhoriy Kochur: Contrastive Approach
  • Between the Self and the Other: Michael M. Naydan’s Novel Seven Signs of the Lion and Its Ukrainian Translation
  • The Image of Germany Transmitted by the Spanish Translations of Heinrich Heine’s Harzreise
  • Your Wife Does Not Speak Much…Nation and Its Fragments in Paweł Huelle’s Short Stories of Postwar Gdańsk
  • The Hutsul Speech in Paradjanov’s Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors and Its Rendering in the Russian and English Translations
  • Do Lances Sing in Robert Mann’s Translation of The Tale of Ihor’s Campaign
  • List of Figure
  • List of Tables

List of Contributors

Ewa Data-Bukowska

Jagiellonian University of Kraków

Łukasz Barciński

University of Rzeszów

Monika Browarczyk

Adam Mickiewicz University

Chu-ching Hsu

Chien Hsin University of Science and Technology

Oleksandr Kalnychenko

V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University

Nataliia Kalnychenko

V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University

Mariya Kochur

Hryhoriy Kochur Literary Museum

Lada Kolomiyets

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

Lesia Kondratiuk

National Defense University of Ukraine

Uliana Zhornokui

National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine

Mariia Kravtsova

Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

Nur Zeynep Kürük

Boğaziçi University

Halyna Kuzenko

Petro Mohyla Black Sea National University

Arkadiusz Luboń

University of Rzeszów

Svitlana Lyubymova

National Linguistic University, Kyiv

Jun Mita

Kitasato University

Yulia Naniak

Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

Fatemeh Parham

Allameh Tabataba’i University

Nataliia Pasenchuk

Kherson State University

Halyna Pekhnyk

Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

←9 | 10→

Valentyna Savchyn

Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

Andrea Schäpers

Universidad Pontificia Comillas

Maria Skakuj

Independent scholar and translator

Sergiy Sydorenko

National Aviation University

Ruslana Sytar

Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

←10 |


The volume National Identity in Literary Translation is a collection of twenty three theoretical and empirical studies, steering the reader through the intricacies of literary translation. Carefully selected chapters were written by an international group of scholars specializing in some of the most thought-provoking problems of the field. The contributions, intended for members of the academia, scholars, academics, theoreticians, practicing translators and other specialists in the field, pertain to the current trends and research conducted in different institutions investigating the niceties of literary translation. This volume predominantly focuses on the problems that face the discipline and the translators themselves in the context of the elusive concept of national identity which is considered from multifarious vantage points: intercultural translation, rendition of stylistic devices, conforming to literary and linguistic conventions, ideology and its impact on imagery, and the future of translation studies.

In the first chapter Ewa Data-Bukowska analyses the linguistic imagery in Trans-Atlantyk by Witold Gombrowicz as an expression of the Polish cultural and national identity deeply rooted in the 17th-century Sarmatian tradition – a tradition, which, according to the writer himself, is so hermetic that the novel is untranslatable into other languages. She examines to what extent the content of the original, pertaining to the Polish-Sarmatian model culture at the level of phraseology, has been preserved in the Swedish translation of the novel authored by Anders Bodegård.

Łukasz Barciński makes an attempt at a new approach to the discipline of Translation Studies by means of the philosophical concept introduced by the French philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari in their book A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia as they developed a new model of perception of the world based on a botanic analogy: the structure of rhizome (an offshoot with unlimited potential of growth) is juxtaposed with the opposite structure of a tree/root, previously dominant in culture. The study endeavors to transplant the rhizomatic model onto the soil of Translation Studies also from the perspective of national identity.

Monika Browarczyk analyses the Polish renditions ofMidnight’s Children (1981) and The Satanic Verses (1988) by Salman Rushdie, which exemplify two iconic narratives that initiated numerous academic debates in the fields of literature, postcolonial and translation studies. Both novels de-construct and re-construct the notions of ‘nation’ and ‘nation building’ as well as ‘other/s’ and ←11 | 12→‘otherness’. The study focuses on the process of production of glossaries included in the Polish translations of these two novels by Rushdie.

Chu-ching Hsu explores how language and national identity are expressed textually in translations and how Taiwanese translators deal with the dialect and colloquial speech in the source and convey it into the target language made in different periods. Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and its Chinese translations rendered by different translators and published in Taiwan from 1950 to 2016 were chosen as the corpora for analysis.

In their chapter Oleksandr Kalnychenko and Nataliia Kalnychenko deal with the national self-image in Ukrainian translations of a romanticized historical novella Taras Bulba of the Ukrainian-born writer Nikolai Gogol, in which the author is stylistically oriented to the language coloring of Ukrainian folk epics and which exists in two versions, Ukrainophile 1835 version and Russified version of 1842. The analysis of eleven translations of the second version made at different times at different parts of Ukraine by the translators of different ideological stance has shown that the national self-image is always taken into account by a translator.

Mariya Kochur’s study presents the newly found archives including Hryhoriy Kochur’s correspondence with Eaghor Kostetzkyi, that partially reflects the overall picture of relations between Ukrainian writers and translators with the representatives of the Ukrainian culture working abroad. Based on the letters dated 1967–1972, the study focuses mainly on the support, exchange of creative ideas, new translations and books.

Lada Kolomiyets’s study presents an international project dealing with the English translation of the entire labor camp poetry collection by Hryhoriy Kochur, The Inta Notebook. Although printed only in 1989, the first and the only book of Kochur’s own verses, written from 1945 to 1953, nevertheless, did not become obsolete in terms of its poetic and stylistic diversity by the time of its late publication.

Lesia Kondratiuk and Uliana Zhornokui focus on the theoretical publications of Hryhoriy Porfyrovych Kochur, which are of considerable interest not only for historians of translation studies, because the thoroughness of the issues and their relevance testify to the fact that the development of the history of Ukrainian artistic translation at that time goes far beyond Europe.

Mariia Kravtsova analyses William Shakespeare’s tragedy King Lear and its Ukrainian translations by P. Kulish, P. Myrnyi, M. Rylskyi, V. Barka and O. Hriaznov. The notion of ingratitude and peculiarities of its reproduction in the Ukrainian translations are presented in the study as it constitutes the key motif of the tragedy along with the another important motif of infertility.

←12 |

Nur Zeynep Kürük analyses the historical process of the Turkish translation of The Turkish Ordeal by Halide Edib, which was rendered by the author herself, however, with the omission of a considerable part of the content. Her severe criticism of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is considered to be the most important reason for her non-translation, but Halide Edib’s nationalist emphasis on the minority issues and her rather ‘forthright’ personal opinions were also lost or toned down in her self-translation.

Another part of the volume, authored by Halyna Kuzenko, deals with the semiosphere of the Ukrainian baroque, its role in national literature development. One of the main features of the Ukrainian Baroque semiosphere is the synthesis of different types and genres of creativity. More developed and detailed genre and thematic classification of poetry of the Ukrainian Baroque includes four groups: poetry of the spiritual, etiquette, social-political and individual life.

Arkadiusz Luboń’s contribution focuses on a variety of textual changes introduced in H. P. Lovecraft’s horror fiction translated into Polish at the time of the People’s Republic of Poland. Polish culture in the period 1952–1989 remained under the strong influence of governmental propaganda and censorship institutions that verified all the texts printed in Poland, including both original works and translations. Therefore, the image of United States described in Lovecraft’s short stories published in popular Polish magazines (mainly Przekrój and Ty i ja) was adjusted to officially approved and promulgated vision of American state and society.

Svitlana Lyubymova analyses the interpretation of the sociocultural stereotype of a ‘flapper’ in a newly published Ukrainian version of Fitzgerald’s book The Вeautiful and Damned and the original text of the story Offshore Pirate. The adequate interpretation of the stereotype is based on empirical determination of its meaning on pragmatic background of the utterance with consideration of historical and cultural context.

Jun Mita examines a Belgian symbolist writer, Georges Rodenbach (1855–1898), who wrote many literary works on the culture of Flanders, which were a big success in France owing to their northern exoticism, the so-called ‘mythe nordique’ (‘northern myth’). The analysis of his last novel, le Carillonneur (1897) considers what Rodenbach emphasizes as Flemish identity in his text.

Yulia Naniak in her study aims at providing a short summary of the cultural aspect of the history of Ukrainian, British and American translations of J. W. Goethe’s tragedy Faust. The process of introduction of this work into target cultures was different because of cultural, religious and socio-political background in these countries. The impact of the translated works on the target cultures was also different depending on the time of its creation and they had influence on Translation Studies methodology development.

←13 |

Fatemeh Parhamexamines a case of Iranian immigrant literature, Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America, translated from English into Persian, to see how identity concerns were reflected in the translation as compared with the original book. To this end, references to identity were marked based on Smith’s ethnic model of national identity and were examined for any change in the Persian translation.

Nataliia Pasenchuk considers problematic aspects of cross-cultural communication in the context of specific cultural features peculiar to a certain nation. The study illustrates the importance of a knowledge of the communicated culture. Special attention is devoted to the translation of drama as an activity demanding specific strategies. The analysis of problems in translation is based on the examples taken from the Ukrainian and Russian translations of the English drama.

Halyna Pekhnyk in her chapter makes an attempt at a contrastive approach to evaluate the lexical, stylistic and syntactic levels of original works by Hryhoriy Kochur and his translated works, aimed at tracing the poetic and translation techniques characteristic of his manner as a poet and translator of poetry, identifying whether and how the original poet’s personality was reflected in his work as a translator. Specific sets of vocabulary and images characteristic of either original poetry, or translated one, or both are detected.

Valentyna Savchyn explores the interplay between the Self and the Other through a case study centered on The Seven Signs of Lion, a 2016 novel by Michael Naydan, and its Ukrainian translation. The central issue under scrutiny is the image of Ukraine portrayed by the American author and mirrored by the Ukrainian translator. The latter actually deals with the image of the Self and has to maintain a balance between fidelity to the author and the expectations of the reader who already has a high degree of cultural competence.

Andrea Schäpers analyses Heinrich Heine’s Harzreise, where he expresses his annoyance about the political and social conditions in the Germany of the Restoration period through verbal attacks and his characteristic linguistic creativity. It is interesting to review the Spanish translations of this work to observe the treatment that translators give to the cultural markers and the connotative load they transmit and in what way they can portray the image of Germany that Heine intended to convey.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2020 (March)
Literature Nation Equivalence Transfer Culture Style
Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2019. 288 pp., 1 fig. b/w, 4 tables.

Biographical notes

Łukasz Barciński (Volume editor)

Łukasz Barciński is an assistant professor at the Institute of English Studies of the University of Rzeszów, Section of the Theory of Translation, Poland. He is also a translator of specialist and literary texts. The scope of his research includes postmodern, postcolonial, and experimental literature; performance studies; and poststructuralism.


Title: National Identity in Literary Translation
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290 pages