The article examines one of the problems of translating Philip Roth's novel Deception into Polish. In the novel, written entirely in dialogues, the speakers are not defined as regards their identity, including their gender. This device contributes to the novel's theme of deception and ventriloquism: all the voices in the novel, no matter how diverse, belong ultimately to the writer as their sole creator. The translator should leave the dialogues untagged, otherwise the meaningful indeterminacy of the text is lost. This, however, proves impossible in the Polish translation, since the Polish language is gendered, and the Polish translator has to disambiguate the text, deciding who makes what utterances in the dialogue. In doing so the translator has to follow clichéd preconceptions about gender or, on the contrary, subvert them. In both cases, what in the source text is left ambiguous and indeterminate becomes concretized and determinate in the process of translation.


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pp. 321-331
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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