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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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Introduction (Susanne M. Cadera / Andrew Samuel Walsh)

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SUSANNE M. CADERA AND ANDREW SAMUEL WALSH

Introduction

The present text is the product of the research conducted by the RETRADES (Studies on Cultural and Textual Interaction: Retranslation) research project, which began in 2012 and was led by Prof. Susanne M. Cadera at the Department of Translation and Interpreting of Comillas Pontifical University in Madrid. The fundamental aim of this project was to answer the following question: What is the interrelation between literary texts and their translations with the socio-historical characteristics of the period in which they were produced? The central thesis to be explored was that each new translation must represent a socio-historical change and that, although the decision to retranslate a work may undoubtedly be due to a commercial decision on the part of the publisher, it must also be linked to external changes in the historical, cultural and social context of the target culture or to changes in the poetic and aesthetic considerations of the translations themselves. As tends to occur in any other discipline, translational activity and awareness change over time and the procedures inherent to a translation may influence the reception of the text and the perception of its author in the target culture. Consequently, the retranslation of a work may even change the image of an author and the understanding of his or her work that had been established by previous translations.

The conclusion reached by the research conducted during the first three years of...

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