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Modernist Translation

An Eastern European Perspective: Models, Semantics, Functions


Tamara Brzostowska-Tereszkiewicz

The last two decades witnessed an upsurge in Anglo-American studies of Modernism and its translation practices. The book revisits the notion of Modernist translation in the context of Eastern European (Polish and Russian) literatures. The framework of this study is informed by the cultural turn in Translation Studies and the dynamic concept of Modernism as a configuration of mutually antagonistic and dialogic tendencies, currents, programs, attitudes, and artistic realizations. Along with the analysis of illusionist and anti-illusionist models of Modernist translation, the book readdresses the problems of carnivalization, parodicity, estrangement, conceptualism and topics of translation discourse.
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In recent years, the long underexplored interfaces between Translation Studies and the new historiographies of Modernism have provided unusually productive terrain for a number of far-reaching methodological and conceptual developments, including the notion of translation as a separate discourse within Modernism and Modernism studies as translation studies. However, notwithstanding the recently proclaimed ‘transnational turn’ in ‘New Modernist Studies’ (see Mao and Walkowitz 2008: 738–739) and the increasingly visible explorations of alternative, non-Western and non-Eurocentric literary traditions in Translation Studies (see, e.g. Doorslaer and Flynn 2013), there still remains a need to refocus and rebalance Western Eurocentric research on literary translation from the viewpoint of Eastern European Modernisms. While these cultural regions have plenty to contribute to the multidisciplinary assessment of Modernist translation, they remain, for a variety of historical-cultural and political reasons, largely underrepresented in the field of Translation Studies.

The aim of this monograph is to address this gap within the field of translation- oriented Modernism studies and to revise the notion of Modernist translation with regard to ‘Europe’s internal other,’ as Brian James Baer refers to Eastern European and Russian translation cultures (Baer 2011: 1). By introducing Eastern European literary cultures into the current discussion of translational Modernisms, this book is intended to contribute to the scholarly mapping of translation in the tradition of Maurice Friedberg’s Literary Translation in Russia. A Cultural History (1997), Leon Burnett and Emily Lygo’s collection The Art of Accommodation. Literary Translation in Russia (2013) and Brian James...

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