Show Less

Preserving Polyphonies

Translating the Writings of Claude Sarraute


Claire Ellender

To date, translation theory offers no satisfactory response to the multidimensional challenge of rerendering postmodern texts. As the existence of linguistic and cultural plurality in these writings is now widely acknowledged, many theorists recognise the impossibility of achieving complete equivalence in translation. If the fragmented, decentred, postmodern source text (ST) is to be rerendered in the target language (TL), a process of ‘rewriting’ is deemed necessary. Nevertheless, such an approach, if taken too far, may not always be the most appropriate.
Focusing on the French journalist and novelist Claude Sarraute, whose postmodern writings offer a suitable body of texts for study, this book seeks to determine effective means by which the translator can first read and analyse postmodern STs and subsequently preserve their intricacies in the TL. To provide an original response to this challenge grounded in both theoretical and practical evidence, the author refers to the work of the Bakhtin Circle; concepts from literary theory, stylistics and translation theory; and translations of a body of texts as variegated in character as those of Sarraute. Using the approach which she recommends, the author then explains how she rerenders in English a collection of Sarraute’s polyphonic writings.


Show Summary Details
Restricted access



Álvarez, Roman, & M. Carmen África Vidal (eds). 1996. Translation, Power, Subver- sion (Clevedon: Multilingual Matters). Auerbach, Erich. 1946. Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature, trans. by Willard R. Trask, 1968 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press). Baker, Mona (ed.). 1998. The Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies (London: Routledge). Bakhtin, Mikhail. 1929. Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics / 1961. Toward a Reworking of the Dostoevsky Book, ed. and trans. by Caryl Emerson (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press). ——. 1934–41. The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays by M.M. Bakhtin, ed. by Michael Holquist, trans. by Caryl Emerson, 1981 (Austin: University of Texas Press) (‘Epic and Novel’, 1941; ‘From the Prehistory of Novelistic Discourse’ 1940; ‘Forms of Time and of the Chronotope in the Novel’ 1937–8; ‘Discourse in the Novel’ 1934–5). ——. 1965. Rabelais and His World, trans. by Hélène Iswolsky, 1968/1984 (Bloom- ington, IN: Indiana University Press). ——. 1979. Speech Genres and Other Late Essays, ed. by Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist, trans. by Vern W. McGee, 1986 (Austin: University of Texas Press). Baldick, Chris (ed.). 1990. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Barthes, Roland. 1968. ‘The death of the author’ in Image, Music, Text, 1979, trans. by Stephen Heath (London: Fontana) pp. 142–8. ——. 1970. S/Z trans. by Richard Miller, preface by Richard Howard (London: Cape). ——. 1981. The Pursuit of Signs: Semiotics, Literature, Deconstruction (London: Routledge). Bassnett, Susan. 1980/1991 rev edn. Translation Studies (London: Routledge). ——. 1997. Translating Literature (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer). ——. 2003.‘Theory and practice:...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.