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Literary Retranslation in Context

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Edited By Susanne M. Cadera and Andrew Samuel Walsh

The present study examines the interrelation between literary texts, their successive retranslations and the corresponding historical, social and cultural backgrounds that inform these versions. In the case of each text, the authors analyse both the external factors (sociohistorical circumstances, publishing context, authors, translators, etc.) and the internal ones (text analysis, translation procedures or strategies) that influence this interrelation. The book also considers how the decision to retranslate a literary work may be due not only to the commercial criteria established by publishers, but also to external developments in the historical, cultural or social environment of the target culture, or to an evolution in the poetic and aesthetic considerations of the translations themselves, since translational activities and approaches change and evolve over time. Consequently, the procedures inherent in translation may influence the reception and perception of the original text in the target culture. Finally, the book explores how the retranslations of a work of literature may even change the image of an author and the perception of his or her work that has been established by previous translations.

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Part I: Retranslation and Ideology

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part i Retranslation and Ideology Andrew Samuel Walsh 1 Lorca’s Poet in New York as a Paradigm of Poetic Retranslation Abstract The present chapter seeks to analyse the socio-historic evolution of the English language translations of Federico García Lorca’s Poet in New York. Therefore, we propose a dia- chronic analysis of the five complete English language translations that have currently been published of Lorca’s text which range from the first bilingual edition of 1940 to the most recent retranslation which was published in 2008. These English versions of such a totemic text have exerted a considerable influence on the poetic vision of the city of New York itself to the extent that it is possible to speak of a genuinely ‘American’ poet called Lorca due to the extraordinarily fertile reception of this poetry in the English- speaking world. Through an analysis of the English language versions of these poems published in five different translations during a period ranging from the book’s very first edition in bilingual format in 1940 to the latest complete version which dates from 2008, we will analyse how social and cultural evolution in language has informed the changing nature of the translation of these poems during this elapse of time. Essentially, this chap- ter will provide an overview of the salient characteristics of the retranslations of Poet in New York in terms of racially and sexually sensitive language and an analysis of the solu- tions proposed by the translators analysed. Introduction The textual history of...

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