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National Identity in Translation

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Edited By Lucyna Harmon and Dorota Osuchowska

Language as an essential and constitutive part of national identity is what obviously gets lost in translation, being substituted by the language of another nation. For this reason, one could perceive national identity and translation as contradictory and proclaim a total untranslatability of the former. However, such a simplified conclusion would clearly deny the actual translation practice, where countless successful attempts to preserve the element of national identity can be testified. The authors of the book focus on the possibilities of various approaches to national identity as a research subject within Translation Studies. The authors hope that the variety of topics presented in this book will inspire further research.

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Translation Prizes and National Identity: A Case Study of the Ramon Llull Prize for Literary Translation

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Abstract: In recent times, increasing media attention has been paid to literary prizes and, by extension, to literary translation prizes. Yet, despite growing popular attention, comparatively little scholarly research has focused on this area. In the first instance, the origin and growth of literary translation awards is outlined, with reference to the importance that such prizes can hold for historically minoritised languages and their literatures. Following a historical overview of the Catalan cultural context, together with information about the history and development of the Ramon Llull Prize for Literary Translation, this exploratory study analyses multilingual online sources to determine whether the Prize’s recognition of particular works and languages means that a specific portrayal of Catalan identity is being advanced.

Keywords: translation prizes, national identity, Ramon Llull Prize for Literary Translation, Institut Ramon Llull, Catalan language

1 Introduction

Literary prizes have existed, in some form or other, since the era of the ancient Greeks (Wright 2009:139). Yet it is only recently that significant levels of media and popular attention have focused on literary awards, and by extension, on prizes that also recognise translated literature. Despite the fact that only a handful of these awards for literary translation bring fame and fortune, they nonetheless enhance the latent prestige and cultural capital of authors and translators, leading to a wider readership (Wynne 2016:591–593). In the English-speaking world, the most prestigious prize for translated literature is the Man Booker International Prize, which recognises...

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