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Translating Emotion

Studies in Transformation and Renewal Between Languages


Edited By Kathleen Shields and Michael Clarke

This collection of essays can be situated in a development that has been underway in translation studies since the early 1990s, namely the increasing focus on translators themselves: translators as embodied agents, not as instruments or conduits. The volume deals with different kinds of emotion and different levels of the translation process. For example, one essay examines the broad socio-cultural context, and others focus on the social event enacted in translation, or on the translator’s own performative act. Some of the essays also problematize the linguistic challenges posed by the cultural distance of the emotions embodied in the texts to be translated.
The collection is broad in scope, spanning a variety of languages, cultures and periods, as well as different media and genres. The essays bring diverse questions to a topic rarely directly addressed and map out important areas of enquiry: the translator as an emotional cultural intermediary, the importance of emotion to cognitive meaning, the place of emotion in linguistic reception, and translation itself as a trope whereby emotion can be expressed.


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JOHN KINSELLA - East Meets West: Some Portuguese Translations of Eastern Poetry -55


JOHN KINSELLA East Meets West: Some Portuguese Translations of Eastern Poetry The temporal connections and cultural interactions between the Iberian peninsula and the Eastern and Southern regions of Asia are parts of a process that became especially prominent in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries as the European elites sought cotton from India and fine silks from China. Such enterprises were also informed by intellectual exchanges and theological dislocations of meaning that led to the distribution of new and intense proportions of significance. Out of the economic background f lowed a vital theological system of values from the west, as the Jesuit ini- tiatives of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries were concentrated increas- ingly in India, China and Japan. Central to such initiatives was St Francis Xavier’s journey to the East in 1542; he finally made his way to Japan in 1549 where he stayed until 1551. This provides an interesting example of cultural sensitivity and transition in a complex sequence of cultural exchanges and corresponding transmutations, since it was he who understood the cru- cial role played by language in the promulgation of missionary faith and its chain of significance in this very dif ferent world. He was convinced that cultural transformation of local belief systems could only be possible if the ideas of faith were incorporated into the supporting structures of the local languages. For this reason he exhorted his companions to learn local languages both as a pragmatic exercise in and for itself and in the acknowledgement of...

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