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Type: Thesis
Title: The perils of translation: the representation of Australian cultural identity in the French translations of crime fiction novels by Richard Flanagan and Philip McLaren.
Author: Reed, Sarah Margaret Anne
Issue Date: 2015
School/Discipline: School of Humanities
Abstract: The recognition by translation theorists that literary translation has the ability to perform a culture for a target readership has led to intense debate surrounding the difficulties posed by the translation of cultural specificity. This is now referred to as “the cultural turn in Translation Studies”. Theorists supporting a “foreignisation” strategy in translation argue that this facilitates understanding of the source culture by highlighting cultural difference. The staging of difference thus paradoxically serves to draw cultures closer together. Theorists supporting a “domestication” strategy, however, suggest that the goal should be to create equivalence – adapting the source text to provide understanding for the target culture by neutralising, naturalising or even eliminating cultural difference. In order to explore the ramifications of the strategies adopted by translators, this project will undertake a comparative textual analysis of four crime fiction novels by two Australian authors, Richard Flanagan and Philip McLaren, in which both authors have consciously set out to construct a distinctive sense of Australian cultural identity. The micro-textual analysis of the original texts and their translations aims to identify the ways in which peculiarly Australian features of these novels are conveyed to the French target readership. This will allow conclusions to be drawn on the influence that translation practices can have on the intercultural transcreation that takes place in the transportation of texts between cultures. The emergence of two other phenomena during the same period as the “cultural turn” in Translation Studies provides further scaffolding for this case study. First, there has been a renewed focus in the last thirty years or so on representations of Australian identity in the nation’s cultural productions and this has increased the visibility of that identity on the world stage. Secondly, there has been a growing acceptance by scholars that crime fiction narratives serve as a vehicle for authors to portray a sense of “self-identification”, while also offering a means for informing readers from other cultures about a particular cultural identity in a specific place and at a specific time. The longstanding respect that has been given to the genre of crime fiction by French readers and the notable increase in the production of this genre in Australia in the last thirty years have led to large numbers of “home-grown” narratives being selected for translation and publication in France. If reading crime fiction texts can become a way of viewing representations of Australian cultural identity, then the substantial case study proposed here will highlight the potential perils inherent in the process of “translating” that identity into the realms of the Francophone world.
Advisor: West-Sooby, John Norton
Fornasiero, Frances Jean
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Humanities, 2015
Keywords: translation; cultural identity; Australian crime fiction; national allegory; Richard Flanagan; Philip McLaren; comparative literary analysis
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