literature, fiction, translation, translation (Perugia)

Voices of texts: literature, fiction, interpretation, translation

international colloquium organized by

European Francois Mauriac Association

Perugia (Italy), April 13-17, 2023

Every written and published text, regardless of its form, genre, subject, is a written transfer of the author’s stylistic and cultural characteristics, which are responsible for the reader’s penetration and understanding. Therefore, the written text translates the characters, thoughts, doubts of the personality trying to understand himself, to understand himself, to reflect on various problems of social and/or community life. Therefore, each text speaks to the reader by adopting language, style, and themes that reflect the author’s personality and sensibility, while at the same time provoking and encouraging the reader to engage with the work.

From this arise various practices of literary writing and reading and/or critical analysis that attempt to decipher and perceive the voice the author has assigned to his text. Narrative fiction allows the author to place themes in a precise structure to develop his idea; commentary allows the reader to share the author’s writing path, penetrate his secret world and get to know him; translation allows you to hear the voice of the text in the language of the Other.

But what is translation?

Although the process of translation is often thought of as a simple transition from the source language to the target language, translation is a much more complex phenomenon. Textual hermeneutics, reading, writing-rewriting processes and intercultural dynamics, as well as the process of literary reception, among others, are important factors that allow us to understand all the dimensions involved in the act of translation.

According to Roman Jacobson, there are three types of translation: intralingual translation, interlingual translation, and intersemiotic translation. It is possible to approach the study of different versions of the same work within the framework of intralingual translation. style exercises (1957), by Raymond Queneau, is an extreme example. The textual variations of the novel, the author’s intervention in updating the text, or the adaptation of the story to the theater would also be a study related to the concept of intralingual translation.

According to Jacobson, interlingual translation would be the rewriting of a text in another language, that is, what is traditionally considered a translation. Textual hermeneutics can be mentioned among the factors affecting this process. Is there a “correct” reading of a literary text? What would happen? The reading of the text is characterized by its subjectivity, since there is no unambiguous reading (Barthes). Therefore, we can define translation as an exercise in a lot of reading and at the same time a lot of writing. This subjectivity of translation justifies the existence of several translations of the same text that can be analyzed from different translatological points of view (strategies, equivalence or finality of the text in the target language, etc.).

Intersemiotic translation is the interpretation of linguistic signs through non-linguistic sign systems. The same is true of film adaptations. The presence of a character like Madame Bovary in modern culture allows us to make connections between Gustave Flaubert’s novel (1856) and versions by Jean Renoir (1933), Vincente Minnelli (1949) or Claude Chabrol (1991).

Translation, finally, can be understood and studied as part of the reception process, a field of study that cannot be approached without understanding the dynamics of cultural systems (Jauss), as well as the mechanisms of encoding and decoding of a literary text (Lotman). The reception of translations and literary works is largely determined by historical events such as censorship (applied for political, ideological, religious, or simply aesthetic reasons), the dynamics of editorial production, or readership. This analytical framework opens many areas of research, for example, the comparative study of the same literary work and its editions over time, as well as reflections on the reception of the author (or his translations) at a given moment in time. Finally, there remains an argument of particular interest closely related to this research method: the reinterpretation, continuity and transformation of myths of Greco-Latin origin in modern times (Sartre, Camus, Yourcenar).

In conclusion, translation as a transcultural practice is an opportunity to connect two different worlds: how can the voice of a text adapt to a different cultural system and above all be understood and appreciated? As the first translator of this unique voice that is a literary text, the translator must construct a creative parallelism to promote fruitful dialogue between two different cultural systems. And what are the choices he makes to modulate, to adapt, to find equivalents, to stay true to the source text? How and in what way does the translated text become an enrichment for the cultural system in which it is embedded?

We believe that translation has a fundamental and increasingly indispensable function for the survival of different cultures, their spread, understanding between peoples, and without translation ancient and modern cultures would be impossible to survive, they would explode.

The problem of this symposium can be expressed around four axes:

Axis 1: Translation and literary practice

· Language as a factor of enrichment and development of the native language and culture of the recipient of a foreign literary work.

· Translation of a literary work as a transcultural process of adapting to the strangeness of Ozge.

· Reinterpretation and multiculturalism.

Axis 2: Intersemiotic translation of a literary work.

· Fiction: Adapting a literary work to film. (For example, Madame Bovary and its various versions)

· Turning a literary work into a musical work. (eg opera).

· Transforming a literary or religious work into a pictorial work. (For example, the period of frescoes with scenes from the Bible in the Basilica of Assisi).

A comic translation of a literary work (eg I Promessi sposi by Alessandro Manzoni or Tartarin by Tarascon or Les Misérables or Notre-Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo)

Axis 3: Pedagogical translation and professional translation

· Translation for pedagogical purposes in language teaching.

· Social and cultural functions of interlingual transposition in foreign language learning.

Texts as didactic material

General and special translation

Axis 4: Interpretation of the text

• Theory of text reception.

• Intertextuality.

• Reading and writing process.

• Text and system.

Send a summary to the organizers Until February 15, 2023.

Bibliographic references

Barthes, R., “The Death of the Author” [1968]in Civil Trials IV, Paris, Editions du Seuil, 1987.

Barthes, R. The taste of the textParis, Editions du Seuil, 1973.

Berman, A. Berman, Antoine, “Retranslation as a Space of Translation,” finally Translate again. palimpsests, nº 4, 1999, Paris, Sorbonne Nouvelle publications, p. 1-7.

Chartier, R. Edit and translateParis, Editions du Seuil/Gallimard, 2021.

Eco. U., The reader in the fable, translated by Myriem Bouzaher. Paris, paperback, 1989.

Genette, G., Palimpsestes. Secondary literature. Paris, Threshold, 1982.

Jakobson, R. “On Linguistic Aspects of Translation”, in Venuti, L. (ed.), Reader in Translation Studies. London and New York, Routledge, 2000.

Jauss, HR, For aesthetic acceptance, trans. By Claude Maillard. Paris, Gallimard, 1978.

Lotman, I. The structure of the literary text, trans. By Anne Fournier. Paris, Galimard.

Ricoeur, P. About translationParis, Beautiful Letters, 2016.

Serso, M. Film adaptation of literary texts. Theories and readings. Liege, Cephal, 1999.

Todorov, T., “Two principles of narrative” Understanding Literature and Other Essays. Paris, Threshold, 1987.

Language of communication: French
Call duration: 20 minutes

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