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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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5 The Six Lives of Celestine: Octave Mirbeau and the Spanish Translations of Le Journal d’une femme de chambre (Chapters I and II) (José Luis Aja Sánchez / Nadia Rodríguez)

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JOSÉ LUIS AJA SÁNCHEZ AND NADIA RODRÍGUEZ

5 The Six Lives of Celestine: Octave Mirbeau and the Spanish Translations of Le Journal d’une femme de chambre (Chapters I and II)

ABSTRACT

The six translations of Le Journal d’une femme de chambre published in Spain – the first one in 1901 and the last one in 1993 – offer readers different visions of an original text dictated by the evolution of the sociological and cultural context that informed it. This chapter tries to rediscover the identity of the translators and to reflect on their role as historical subjects in order to reconstruct their link with the aesthetic and ideological canon of the target culture. The reception of Le Journal d’une femme de chambre, which was clearly conditioned by the demands of the Spanish publishing market, has posed the need to design a methodological tool to carry out the study of the translations from a historical point of view. The chapter gathers and describes the different translations of the novel published in Spain in order to make a contrastive study of the different versions and establish future research possibilities that could allow us to examine in greater depth the reception of Le Journal d’une femme de chambre in Spain.

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