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Literary Retranslation in Context


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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Literary Retranslation in Context: A Historical, Social and Cultural Perspective (Susanne M. Cadera)


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Literary Retranslation in Context: A Historical, Social and Cultural Perspective


This chapter aims to introduce the theoretical frame of this volume based on the approach to research into retranslations of canonical literary works carried out at the Comillas Pontifical University in Madrid. The chapter begins with a summary of the evolution of retranslation studies during the last decades in order to define the background. After this short introduction, I propose a new perspective in retranslation studies focused on a contextual and systemic methodology of analysis. Starting from the thesis that translations are bound to their historical, social and cultural context, comparative analysis of retranslations can help to reveal both the influence of the socio-historical context on different translations and the influence of these translations on the reception of the work.

Retranslation: Definition and background

It is commonly known that many canonical works are translated several times into the same language and within the same target culture from the moment of their first publication. In Translation Studies, the term retranslation has been generally accepted when the text is translated more than one time into the same language and culture (Gambier, 1994; Pym, 1998; Venuti, 2004; Zaro Vera and Ruiz Noguera, 2007). However, there have also been some different definitions of the term. Gambier (1994: 413) mentions the ambiguous use of the term retranslation when it is defined as a translation that has been translated...

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