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TRANSLATIONS )8) ment politisees, pourrait poindre, de maniere plus explicite encore, un theatre directement en prise sur la realite socio-politique, tout en payant son tribut a l'imaginaire mais sans se renvoyer sa propre image de medium et sans ronronner dans Ie cercle chaud des amours. Le glissement thematique s'opere deja du seul telescopage de deux titres de Germain: Mamours et conjugat et L'Eneide de Virgule au I'Apres-noui dTindtpendance. Translations JOHN J. O ' CONNOR If we were to judge the quantity and quality of Canadian literary translations from French to English for the past decade on the basis of work produced in its final year, we would certainly conclude, correctly, that the period has been exciting, prolific, and Significant. In '979 no fewer than sixteen works of fiction and eight plays have been translated into English. Of these twenty-four works, only four were originally published before '970, only two before '967. Indeed, three-quarters of this material first appeared in French in the past five years. Thus, an anglophone reader can receive a fairly comprehensive view of the trends and achievements of contemporary Quebec literature simply by sampling this single year's work in translation - all the more so because, in the past year, the works of several of the most prominent Quebecois writers have appeared in English. Still more encouraging is the very high calibre of most of the translations produced this year, for the best of Quebec's writers have been presented in English by the best of Canada's translators. Regrettably, the burgeoning number of texts translated into English, added to the imperative need that the reviewer of translations be a native speaker of the language of the translation, means that translations from English to French have now been eliminated from this section of 'Letters in Canada.' Readers of Quebec literature in translation can rejoice this year that Sheila Fischman has published translations of seven works of fiction. Nor will they be surprised to learn that her work achieves, once again, the uniformly high standard we have come to expect from one of our most active and accomplished translators. Fischman, who began her career as literary translator ten years ago with Roch Carrier's La Cuerre, Yes Sir!, continues to present his work to anglophones in The Hockey Sweater and Other Stories (Anansi, 160, $6.50 paper), her translation of Les Enfants du bonhomme dans la lune (1979). Held together by the single perspective of a young boy reaching puberty near the end of World War II, these twenty stories pursue Carrier's recurrent concern with religion, death, and 384 LETTERS IN CANADA "979 French/English and Canadian/American relations. In addition to the usual comic spirit and satiric overtones we expect in Carriers fiction, we find here a profound lament for the demise of certain traditional trades and crafts, especially that of blacksmiths, shoemakers, farmers, hunters, and diviners. In presenting Carrier's stories Fischman displays her usual sensitivity to the nuances of his work and the subtleties of his diction. She does a very creditable job of reflecting the colloquial speech of his characters, offering throughout a near-perfect echo of their language. In the entire text the translator omits only a half-dozen adjectives and other words. Apart from an occasional awkward or unidiomatic phrase, usually stemming from too literal a rendering ('marked out a path: 'tell him hello'), the only shortcoming of the translation is its omission of the words 'to me' in the opening sentence of the final story and the dropping of three other sentences: 'elles n'effleuraient meme pas Ie sol' (p 17); a sentence describing the grandfather's strength at the age of 90 (p 144); and the final sentence of'A Great Hunter' (p 99). Otherwise, The Hockey Sweater is a very careful and reliable piece of work. In addition to Carrier's stories Fischman has also translated a short introduction he wrote to Jacques Poulin's trilogy. Like Carrier, Poulin is very fortunate indeed to have Sheila Fischman as his translator in The Jimmy Trilogy (Anansi, 250, $8.95 paper), which includes three novels published separately by Poulin: Mon cheval pour un...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 383-399
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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