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The Literary Institution in Portugal since the Thirties

An Analysis under Special Consideration of the Publishing Market

Margarida Rendeiro

Despite the numerous studies of the politics, economy, culture, and society of the Estado Novo, the relations established between publishers, authors, and governmental institutions and their contribution to the making of the literary canon are still marginal subjects of analysis. Based on the systems theories developed by Bourdieu, Dubois and Even-Zohar, this study focuses on the cultural production produced during the Estado Novo (1933-1974) and after the Revolution (1974-2004), within their political, economic and social framework. The chapters on José Saramago and José Luís Peixoto show them as examples of literary consecration that confirm the systemic relations in the Portuguese literary field. This research makes use of a survey on habits of purchase of Portuguese fiction, interviews with publishers, original statistical analyses, and takes a new approach to the study of Portuguese literature.


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Appendix 4 Interview with Margaret Jull da Costa sent by E-mail in April 2005 363


363 Appendix 4: Interview with Margaret Jull da Costa, sent by E-mail in April 2005 1. Do you usually decide the authors you are going to translate or are you usually commissioned to do that? I am always commissioned to translate a book. 2. Are some writers more approachable for foreign markets than others? What are the criteria that could be used to distinguish those who are fit to be translated? I think British and American publishers do prefer foreign books that approximate to the British/American ‘norm’. Having said that though, I translate José Saramago and Javier Marías, neither of whom are exactly easy reads or in the usual mould of Brit- ish/American fiction. So there is a small place for writers who write in a very ‘foreign’ style, but only a small one. There is a cur- rent vogue in Britain for translated detective fiction, which has always been very much a British speciality, but has now spread all over Europe. 3. What is the translator’s target? To translate the book/novel as it is, keeping the ‘national feelings’ or adapt them to the atmosphere of the country into which the book will be published? I aim to translate a novel into English without losing any of its ‘national feeling’. I certainly don’t adapt language or plot or char- acters in any way. That isn’t my job. 4. Several translators of Saramago’s novels have won relevant literary prizes. As far as you understand the system, do you believe the...

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