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ponctue Ie recit dramatique. Cette structure aurait pu debaucher sur des recits paralleles, mais Tremblay, tres habilement, a plutot choisi de faire dialoguer entre elles ces Albertines. Des Ie debut de la piece, cela donne un moment d'une etonnante beaute lorsque la plus agee, ecoutant la plus jeune (celie des annees dures, avec Ie mari absent et les enfants aelever dans des conditions difficiles), dit ne pas se souvenir'que j'ai jamais parle beau, comme c;a ...' (p 22). La vie d'Albertine va de la misere a la serenite, son destin est fait de desespoirs et d'aspirations a la liberte (sinon au bonheur). Au-dela de cette Albertine multiple, c'est meme tout I'univers dramatique de Tremblay qui manifeste l'infinie tendresse et toute la beaute de personnages qui ne craignent pourtant pas de dire leurs malheurs et leur 'Iaideur.' Une sorte de purete, aussi - de I'ecriture et de I'ame: en ce sens, Albertine, en cinq temps, nous donne Ie plus beau texte dramatique de toute I'ceuvre de Tremblay, et I'un des plus grands du theatre quebecois. Translations KATHY MEZEI There is no precise equivalent for much of anything between English and French, and that is why translations almost inevitably faU short. I cannot imagine any of my fiction in French, for it seems to me inextricably bound to English syntax, to the sound, resonance, and ambiguities of English vocabulary . If I were to write in French, not only would I put things differently, but I would never set out to say the same things. Words have an association that the primary, dictionary definitions cannot provide, and that are all translations usually offer. (Mavis Gallant, Home Truths [Toronto 1981], pp xvii, xviii) I should confess that I don't read English very well. Until now, it was not a problem: what I didn't understand of Melville's language, Icould nonetheless have some access to through translations. (Victor-Levy Beaulieu, Monsieur Melville, translated by Ray Chamberlain, vol 3, p 45) Here we have two writers expressing opposite but common views of translation - translation as betrayal and translation as necessity. Since translation is now an important part of Canadian literary life engaging many writers in both languages, let us take yet another perspective as we look at this year's publications. It may be a self-evident axiom, but a translation should not read like translation (and how difficult it is to achieve this!); unless the author intends a prose crib, translations should read like good poems, novels, or plays in English. This year, unfortunately , some of the translations do hobble along, reminding us that they TRANSLATIONS 73 are substitutions. However, others, particularly those by D.G Jones, Larry Shouldice, Sheila Fischman, and David Lobdell, are accomplished literary creations. Mario by Claude Jasmin (Oberon, 175, $27ยท95, $14.95 paper) is translated by David Lobdell from La Sabliere (Lemeac, 1979). In 1984 this novel was made into a film, Mario, by Jean Beaudin for ONF. Yet another Quebec fiction narrated by an adolescent, it tells of a sixteen-year-old boy's loving solicitude for his retarded -('idiot savant') ten-year-old brother, Mario, during a summer at the cottage, followed by a denouement set in the fall. This child focalizer simultaneously filters adult incomprehensionand his own identity struggles through his narration. A moving though predictable tale, it is less subtle than Blais's or Hebert's ventures into the adolescent perspective, perhaps because it falls into the genre of adventure story rather than of fable or self-reflexive fiction. The translation provides us with a readable, fluid English text; e.g., 'Eh oui! on rit pas avec l'histoire' (p 32) flows naturally into 'History is no laughing matter, believe me' (p 24). Both source and target text are in the present tense, but the English does not falter because of this. There are, however, some subtle shifts, omissions of words or phrases, slight changes in phrasing. The 'trace des lignes incoherentes' drawn by Mario becomes the less graphic 'drawing lines on a sheet of paper' (p 5). The preface in the source text by Rene Daumal, a young surrealist, is...


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