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Protest and Dissent

Conflicting Spaces in Translation and Culture

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Edited By Agnieszka Pantuchowicz and Anna Warso

Essays collected in this book discuss textual and discursive formulations of dominance and resistance. The authors analyze how they are narrated and re-narrated, framed and reframed in different social, political and language communities and realities, through different media and means, and translated into different contexts and languages. As the ways we name, rename, or label events, people and places have implications in the real world, the essays are also meant to investigate the ways in which we partake in negotiating its construction, its changing meanings and senses through the stories we tell and the practices we live by.

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Translating Vietnam

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Abstract: ‘Translating Vietnam’ refers to the soldiers-cum-writers’ wish to translate (meaning: explain) Vietnam to those who remained at home and to highlight difficulties for those translating works concerning the Vietnam Conflict. The article discusses the factors that transformed American servicemen into writers, the specificity of war stories in terms of language used to describe conflict and challenges faced by translators.

Keywords: Vietnam War, war stories, resistance in translation, Tim O’Brien, Philip Caputo

The Vietnam War (1961–1975)1, alternatively known as the Second Indochina War, and called the American War, the War of Liberation and the Anti-U.S. War of National salvation by the Vietnamese (Lawrence, 1), can be perceived as the essence of the interrelations between conflict, protest and dissent. The very names by which this military conflict is referred to point to its different conceptualizations depending on the party and perspective involved. As Paul A. Chilton stresses, “wars are not defined and identified by objective criteria” (3), thus the frame of reference plays a significant part in how a particular was is appraised. War is essentially a social construct, one that changes with time. When defining the notion of war, John A. Vasquez establishes that “war is a product of history – a product of the beliefs, formal and informal laws, and customs of a particular period… . war is a social invention, a fact created by an institution that takes certain actions and makes them a thing” (18). Although the conceptualizations of war depend...

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