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From binaries to borders: Literary and non-literary translation

Rogers, Margaret (2018) From binaries to borders: Literary and non-literary translation In: Moving Boundaries in Translation Studies. Routledge, London & New York:, pp. 151-167. ISBN 9781351348720

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The relative status of ‘literary’ and ‘non-literary’ translation is clearly implied in their customary designations: one is the default and one is what the default is not. Similar terminological patterns in other fields of interest can give rise to ideological and political debate – as in the racial epithets ‘white’ and ‘non-white’. But what lies beneath the words? Discussions about the scope and nature of translation within translation studies have already moved on from a binary division to encompass a growing number of ‘subfields’, so that “the traditional inclination of translation studies towards literary translation is now only one among many and varied preoccupations” (Brems et al. 2012: 3). Included in Brem’s et al.’s understanding of translation studies are various interpreting activities, although the spoken/written distinction becomes harder to sustain in the light of multimedia developments and some professional practices. Borders have become porous here too (see Shlesinger & Ordan 2012). Furthermore, while the propositional content of what are broadly known as non-literary texts has been said to differ from that of literary texts (see Harvey 1998: 277), as also their respective functions – “transactional or informational” aiming to “influence or inform” as opposed to “affective/aesthetic [. . .] aiming to provoke emotions and/or entertain” (Jones 2009: 152) – the linguistic and stylistic devices which are used to fulfil those functions are less easily categorised. In both cases, the translator is moving between cultures and languages, making decisions about optimal solutions for the setting, and deploying his/her interpretive and creative abilities.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Literature and Languages
Authors :
Editors :
Dam, Helle V.
Brøgger, Matilde Nisbeth
Zethsen, Karen Korning
Date : 3 September 2018
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 17 Oct 2018 15:22
Last Modified : 11 Feb 2019 14:32

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