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Changing the Terms

Translating in the Postcolonial Era

Edited by Sherry Simon and Paul St-Pierre

Publication Year: 2000

This volume explores the theoretical foundations of postcolonial translation in settings as diverse as Malaysia, Ireland, India and South America. Changing the Terms examines stimulating links that are currently being forged between linguistics, literature and cultural theory. In doing so, the authors probe complex sequences of intercultural contact, fusion and breach. The impact that history and politics have had on the role of translation in the evolution of literary and cultural relations is investigated in fascinating detail.

Published by: University of Ottawa Press

Series: Perspectives on Translation


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pp. 7-8

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pp. 9-30

When the novelist Amitav Ghosh gave a lecture in Montreal a few years ago, he began by describing, as writers often do, the early influences on his writing career. In the course of his talk, he conjured up two very different images of the cultural impact of translation, images that will serve as useful reference points for the issues in this book. ...


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CHAPTER 1. History, Translation, Postcolonialism

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pp. 33-53

Having some time at my disposal when in London, I had visited the British Museum, and made search among the books and maps of the library regarding Transylvania; it had struck me that some foreknowledge of the country could hardly fail to have some importance in dealing with a noble of that country. I find that the district he named ...

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CHAPTER 2. "Colonization," Resistance and the Uses of Postcolonial Translation Theory in Twentieth-Century China

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pp. 53-70

Discussions of postcolonial translations have come into vogue in recent years. Originally a term used extensively in literary theory, "postcoloniality" seems suddenly to have been given a prominent part to play in research on translation in Third World countries, particularly India. Undoubtedly, postcolonial theory should have some relevance to all countries that were ...

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CHAPTER 3. The Power of Translation: A Survey of Translation in Orissa

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pp. 71-86

Taking advantage of the recent importance accorded to narratives, I shall begin this paper with an anecdote. I sometimes write Oriya short stories for local journals. My regular audience, a close circle of friends, do not think that these stories are anything special. However, it so happened that one of them was translated into English and published in Katha Prize Stones. ...

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CHAPTER 4. Cultural Transmission Through Translation: An Indian Perspective

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pp. 87-100

This article is founded on the premise that Indian translators have, through their choice of texts and a well-defined translative project, contributed to changing the terms of cultural transmission and defining the space occupied by various literatures, both foreign and Indian, on the translation scene in India. In an effort to address the urgencies of the time, Indian translators ...

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CHAPTER 5. Legitimacy, Marronnage and the Power of Translation

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pp. 101-112

The aim of this essay is to examine the relationship between translation and the social practices resulting from colonialism and "postcolonialism,"2 as they are expressed in symbolic goods. This will be done not by analyzing the colonialist discourses present in translations carried out between the languages and cultures of former colonizers and colonized peoples, but rather ...

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CHAPTER 6. Balai Pustaka in the Dutch East Indies: Colonizing a Literature

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pp. 113-126

The study of the development of modern Indonesian literature is one context where overemphasis on the colonial influence has sometimes obscured other influences and assimilations. Balai Pustaka (Hall or Bureau of Books) was a Dutch colonial-government agency, active from around 1905 until World War II, whose purpose was to provide literature to the native population ...

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CHAPTER 7. The Third Space in Postcolonial Representation

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pp. 127-146

The drive toward global uniformity in cultures, lifestyles and mentalities also extends to the production of literature. In literature, translation as an activity that always takes place in a specific social, historical and political context involves—voluntarily or not—asymmetrical power relations. With regard to "Third World" literatures, these power relations go as far back as ...

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CHAPTER 8. Translations of Themselves: The Contours of Postcolonial Fiction

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pp. 147-164

Although it is generally acknowledged that postcolonial literary works written in the colonizers' language are a form of intercultural transfer (see Pym 1992) involving the transposition of aspects of the indigenous language, cultural patterns, beliefs and literary traditions, some critics go a step further and claim that postcolonial fictions are translations. For example, in his ...


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CHAPTER 9. A Gesture to Indicate a Presence: Translation, Dialect and Field Day Theatre Company's Quest for an Irish Identity

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pp. 167-186

Lt. George Yolland in Brian Friel's play Translations finds himself in something of a romantic quandary: he is enamoured of Maire, a Gaelic-speaking peasant girl, but he finds himself unable to express his affection, as he speaks only English. For the first half of the play, the would-be lovers expend a great deal of effort in failed communications—they try gesturing at each ...

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CHAPTER 10. The Impact of Spanish-American Literature in Translation on U.S. Latino Literature

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pp. 187-206

The presence, impact and influence of Spanish-American literature and culture in the United States are undeniable. Emily Hicks (1991) calls it "a cannibalizing pull" from America's "southern backyard." But today, this cannibalizing pull is coming from right within the U.S.—from the 27 million Puerto Ricans, Mexican Americans and Cuban Americans living there. ...

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CHAPTER 11. From Other Tongue to Mother Tongue in the Drama of Quebec and Canada

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pp. 207-226

This article aligns itself along the postcolonial trajectory because the phenomena discussed here originate in the power struggle that exists in translation in an officially bilingual country between two languages of unequal status, the legacy of European colonial wars. It is from this angle that sense can be made of many asymmetries noted in the comparison of dramatic ...

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CHAPTER 12, The Changing Face of Translation of Indian Literature

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pp. 227-244

While K.M. George's analogy between the brass lamp and literature provides an undoubtedly poetic conceptualization of Indian literature, it begs a central question. If each wick produces light of equal brightness, why is it that over the course of time, one wick in particular has tended to attract greater attention than all the others combined? Why has Indian writing in ...

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CHAPTER 13. Gateway of India: Representing the Nation in English Translation

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pp. 245-260

English translations of Indian literary texts published in India may not at first sight seem comparable to the Gateway of India, the monumental memento of the British Raj on Indian shores. The Gateway of India, as people familiar with India are aware, was built on the shores of Bombay—now translated, or rather back-translated, to Mumbai—to welcome British royalty. ...

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CHAPTER 14. Translating (into) the Language of the Colonizer

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pp. 261-288

The difficulties which immediately arise when terms such as colonialism or postcolonialism are used are by now well-known,2 and so too are the critical discourses that they nevertheless make possible and which account, at least in part, for their continued use. My aim here will not be to justify or to criticize the use of such terms; rather, I wish to examine the way in which ...

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CHAPTER 15. The Post-Missionary Condition: Toward Perceptual Reciprocity

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pp. 289-305

The postwar world has managed to build a postcolonial system. At the very least, this is a system of states that does not officially endorse the desire that groups with a temporary geomilitary advantage have to wear proudly all the chauvinisms that come naturally to them, with no awareness of the obvious laziness and cowardice involved in such an exhibition. It has taken a ...

E-ISBN-13: 9780776615608
E-ISBN-10: 0776615602
Print-ISBN-13: 9780776605241
Print-ISBN-10: 0776605240

Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2000

Series Title: Perspectives on Translation