1 1 A Translatological Analysis of Four Greek Translations of Works by Angela Carter Olga Sofianou Department of Translation and Intercultural Studies School of English Language and Literature Faculty of Philosophy Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Thessaloniki 2007
2 2 ABSTRACT Επραξηζηήξηα ( Thank you note) Instead of a prologue Contents INTRODUCTION 0.1 Problem identification The objectives of the thesis The structure of the study General The theoretical outline The methodological basis The issue of style as part of a hermeneutic approach toward translation The translation unit as a means of analysis within the frame of Descriptive Translation Studies The issue of the quality of translation In conclusion CHAPTER 1: THEORETICAL AND METHODOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK 1.1 The theoretical framework of this study Translation as a cross-cultural event Translation as a communicative act A hermeneutic approach Texts as products of historic, social and cultural factors interconnected, understood and communicated via intertextual chains Methodological tools The concept of equivalence Types of equivalence: an overview Interlingual and intertextual equivalence: a major distinction Equivalence as an empirical and a theoretical concept The use of the concept of equivalence in this study Textual equivalence Pragmatic equivalence In defence of the employment of equivalence as methodological tool... 57
3 Toury s theory of norms in relation to the notion of equivalence Kaindl s model of translation strategies Kaindl s categorization of translation strategies and its adaptation in this study The translation unit as a methodological tool Theories on the assessment of translation quality General Anecdotal, subjective and neo-hermeneutic approaches Response oriented and psycholinguistic approaches Text-based approaches The functional-pragmatic model Assessment of quality in this study: a combined approach A model for the evaluation of the translators competency level Epilogue CHAPTER 2: STYLE AND CONTENT IN ANGELA CARTER S WORKS 2.0 Introduction The situation of the sender: Angela Carter s position in the British canon and the Greek tradition Style in a translatological approach The emergence of post-modern feminism through Angela Carter s writings The connection between content and form in post-modern feminism Post-modern feminist traits in Angela Carter s works Stylistic features in the novels Heroes and Villains, The Infernal Desire Machines of Dr. Hoffmann, The Magic Toyshop, and The Passion of New Eve A presentation of sub-genres and themes encountered in the four novels; a postmodern collage The gothic mode Sub-genres in a mosaic of gothic horror The employment of symbols Religious allusions The position of the presentation of Carter's style in the framework of this study CHAPTER 3: TRANSLATOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF TRANSLATION UNITS 3.0 Introduction
4 Major points of analysis Methodological tools used in the analysis of translation units Translation strategies employed in relation to equivalence in the Greek translations of Carter s novels: presentation and analysis Translatological analysis of translation units in chapter 1 of the translation of Heroes and Villains Translation units of a single strategy Translation units of a mixed strategy Translatological analysis of translation units in chapter Translation units of a single strategy Translation units of a mixed strategy Translatological analysis of translation units in chapter Translation units of a single strategy Translation units of a mixed strategy Translatological analysis of translation units in chapter Translation units of a single strategy Translation units of a mixed strategy Translatological analysis of translation units in chapter Translation units of a single strategy Translation units of a mixed strategy Translatological analysis of translation units in chapter Translation units of a single strategy Translation units of a mixed strategy Translatological analysis of translation units in chapter Translation units of a single strategy Translation units of a mixed strategy Translatological analysis of translation units in chapter 1 of the translation of The Infernal Desire Machines of Dr. Hoffman Translation units of a single strategy Translation units of a mixed strategy Translatological analysis of translation units in chapter 1 of the translation of The Magic Toyshop Translation units of a single strategy Translation units of a mixed strategy
5 Translatological analysis of translation units in chapter 1 of the translation of The Passion of New Eve Translation units of a single strategy Translation units of a mixed strategy A case of untranslatability The rendition of proper names in Angela Carter s four novels Proper names translated in Heroes and Villains Proper names translated in The Infernal Desire Machines of Dr. Hoffman Proper names translated in The Magic Toyshop Proper names translated in The Passion of New Eve Suggestions concerning the translation of proper names in the four translated novels In conclusion Epilogue CHAPTER 4: EVALUATION 4.0 Introduction Quantitative data on the frequency of the types of translation strategies employed Chapter 1 of the translation of Heroes and Villains Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter 1 of the translation of The Infernal Desire Machines of Dr. Hoffman Chapter 1 of the translation of The Magic Toyshop Chapter 1 of the translation of The Passion of New Eve Strategy and equivalence as descriptive and evaluative means: implications on the quality of the Greek translations Evaluation of the quality of the target texts General Evaluation of the translation of Heroes and Villains
6 The translator s performance Style in the translation of Heroes and Villains Evaluation of the translation of The Infernal Desire Machines of Dr. Hoffman Evaluation of the translation of The Passion of New Eve Evaluation of the translation of The Magic Toyshop CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS 5.1 Conclusions Suggestions for translating Angela Carter s works into Greek Epilogue BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. Works cited Works consulted APPENDIX 1 Tables of Translation Units Table 1: Chapter 1 of Heroes and Villains Table 2: Chapter Table 3: Chapter Table 4: Chapter Table 5: Chapter Table 6: Chapter Table 7: Chapter Table 8: Chapter 1 of The Infernal Desire Machines of Dr. Hoffman Table 9: Chapter 1 of The Magic Toyshop Table 10: Chapter 1 of The Passion of New Eve
7 7 Επραξηζηήξηα Η εξγαζία απηή νινθιεξώζεθε κε ηε ζπκβνιή θαη βνήζεηα νξηζκέλωλ αλζξώπωλ. Θα ήζεια, θαηαξρήλ, λα επραξηζηήζω ηε ζπκβνπιεπηηθή κνπ επηηξνπή, ηα κέιε ηεο νπνίαο κε ζηήξημαλ νπζηαζηηθά θαζ όιε ηε δηάξθεηα ηεο νινθιήξωζήο ηεο. Ιδηαίηεξεο επραξηζηίεο νθείιω ζηνλ Δξ. Νηέηβηλη Κόλνιη ρωξίο ηε ζπκβνιή θαη θαζνδήγεζε ηνπ νπνίνπ δελ ζα κπνξνύζε λα νινθιεξωζεί απηή ε δηαηξηβή, ζηελ Δξ. Ειέλε Καζάπε γηα ηε ζπκβνιή ηεο θαη δηόηη θαηά ηα πξώηα έηε ηεο δηεμαγωγήο ηεο κειέηεο κνπ, κνπ δίδαμε ηα επηζηεκνληθά εξγαιεία πνπ ρξεζηκνπνίεζα, θαη ζηνλ Δξ. Νίθν Κόλην γηα ηε βνήζεηά ηνπ. Επηπιένλ νθείιω λα επραξηζηήζω ηελ Δξ. Ρνπζ Πάξθηλ-Γνπλειά γηα ηηο θαίξηεο θαη ρξήζηκεο ππνδείμεηο ηεο, όπωο θαη γηα ηε ζπκκεηνρή ηεο ζηε ζπκβνπιεπηηθή επηηξνπή κνπ θαηά ηα πξώηα έηε ηεο έξεπλαο. Επίζεο, ηα κέιε ηεο εμεηαζηηθήο επηηξνπήο πνπ δέρζεθαλ λα ζπκκεηέρνπλ ζηε δηαδηθαζία ηεο εμέηαζεο. Επραξηζηώ ηδηαηηέξωο ηνλ ωθξάηε Κακπνπξόπνπιν, εηδηθό ζύκβνπιν ηνπ ΕΚΕΒΙ γηα ηηο πιεξνθνξίεο ηνπ ζρεηηθά κε ζηαηηζηηθά δεδνκέλα θαη ηηο ρξήζηκεο ζπδεηήζεηο καο, ηελ Άλλα Μηρνπνύινπ, ηδηνθηήηξηα ηνπ ηδηωηηθνύ αξρείνπ «Δειθίο» γηα ην ρξόλν πνπ κνπ αθηέξωζε θαη γηα ηελ άδεηα λα ρξεζηκνπνηήζω ην αξρείν ηεο, θαη ηνλ Γνπίιιηακ Σδέεκο Λίιιπ θαη ηελ Κάξελ Όιζελ γηα ηηο δηνξζώζεηο θαη παξαηεξήζεηο ηνπο. Σέινο ζα ήζεια λα επραξηζηήζω ηελ νηθνγέλεηά κνπ θαη ηδηαίηεξα ην ζύδπγό κνπ γηα ηελ ακέξηζηε ζπκπαξάζηαζε θαη «αλ(η)νρή» ηνπο θαζ όιε ηε δηάξθεηα ηεο ζθιεξήο κνπ πξνζπάζεηαο.
8 8 ABSTRACT Translation Studies is considered to be a relatively new area of expertise. What critics seem to agree upon is the communicative nature of translation. In this light, this work s major aim has been to illustrate issues regarding the Greek translations of Angela Carter s translated novels. During the process of the re-creation of a text in a target language, the translator holds a major role as the mediator between the source and target language cultures. The result of his/her decision-making defines the identity of the translated text within the target language literature. With regard to literary translation, complex issues arise which need to be studied in their immediate and wider contexts. These issues will be examined from a translatological point of view by focusing on the manipulation of the source texts in the target language, in order to illuminate areas of interest in the translations under study in relation to the prominent aspects of the source texts they derived from.
9 9 Instead of a prologue. A critic who all day had railed Against a poem which had failed To please him, as the sun went down Stopped cursing and forgot to frown. A goose, which, sitting near, had heard In silence each censorious word, Now solemnly exclaimed: My friend, I heard you calmly to the end, Unwilling to disturb you, though I smarted at each bitter blow. Pray what have my remarks to do The critic cried, with such as you? With me indeed! That serves to show How little critics care to know About the objects of their curses; I grew the pen which wrote the verses! (Anonymous)
10 Introduction 10 INTRODUCTION 0.1 Problem Identification Translation is mainly seen as a means for communication among members belonging to different languages and cultures. As far as literary translation is concerned, one has to wonder what reason there should be for translating a text other than communicating it to a readership which would not have access to it otherwise (and is prepared to pay for obtaining access). Translated literature is seen as a carrier of messages originating from a source culture to be assimilated by a target culture (see Hatim & Mason, 1990 and 1997), but whether this assimilation will finally succeed by leading to canonization of the translated/target text (TT) in the target language (TL) is a different matter. Of course, there has always been the idea that sustained the art for art s sake notion, which nevertheless does not seem to prevail as far as literary translation is concerned. After all, the tenuous economic value of translation (Venuti, 1998:124) becomes a restrictive factor for such ventures. In the frame of translation seen as cross-cultural communication, the main focus of this study becomes how the (only) four translated novels by Angela Carter in Greek have been communicated to the Greek readership. From a translatological point of view, in order to determine the degree of success of these particular communicative acts, the TTs (target texts) should be studied considering both their macrocontextual and microcontextual levels (Wilss, 1994:134-5), since the reciprocal relationship between content and the translators choices are reflected on the micro- and macro-contexts of the TTs. Translating Carter s literary works presents a potential translator with an interesting task; complex stylistic devices and powerful symbolic representations are inextricably bound to her literary themes in the meld of post-modern feminism. The literary and stylistic elements of her works mean that an attempt to translate her works in any language would constitute a challenge. The striking originality of her literature (which nevertheless draws on the universal tradition), along with the complexity and density of the messages revealed on the textual surface of her novels 1, suggest that the degree of difficulty involved in an attempt to translate 1 The textual surface of a text contains text acts which according to Hatim and Mason express the illocutionary force of the text, in other words the intentions of the text revealed through linguistic elements (1990:78).
11 Introduction 11 her works into any language would be considerable, and constitute the springboard for studying the Greek translations of her works. The fact that her works have been somehow marginalized in her own country (with a break during the early nineties which succeeded her untimely death and resulted in expressed interest mainly within academic circles) 2 places her in a minor literary group within a major culture. Carter herself was beginning to see her culture as foreign before her visit to Japan (Peach, 1997:97), where she deliberately chose to linger on the ledges of an other culture for sometime in order to experience marginalization. She had also chosen to become foreign to her own culture before that, expressing this foreignness in her works mainly through stylistic choices which function as containers of her literary themes. Venuti s views in his book The Scandals of Translation (1998) could be seen to describe the function of works that verge on the margins of major national literatures: [ ] it is the stylistically innovative text that makes the most striking intervention into a linguistic conjuncture by exposing the contradictory conditions of the standard dialect, the literary canon, the dominant culture, the major culture.[ ]. Certain literary texts increase this radical heterogeneity by submitting the major language to constant variation, forcing it to become minor, delegitimizing it, deterritorializing it, alienating it. For Deleuze and Guattari such texts compose a minor literature, whose authors are foreigners in their own tongue (p.10). Since Carter s works are viewed as being a part of a minor subset of literature in the English-speaking countries 3, their translation into a language of a minor culture (Greek in this case) implies another difficulty: Lack of intertextual chains established between the SL and the TL due to a lack of parallel texts (translated or not) to the STs (source texts) in the Greek literature. 2 See Gamble (1997:1). 3 According to Bristow & Broughton, in Australia, Canada and the United States almost all her fiction remains at print which is a sign of her cultural significance certainly within the academia (1997:2).
12 Introduction 12 In other words, TL pre-texts 4 from which intertextual signals would be drawn in order for pre-texts to be re-used creatively in translations, are of limited number compared to the pre-texts existing when popular works with more ordinary, popular style are being translated (see Hatim & Mason, 1990:133). Intertextual signals are understood as being elements of texts which trigger the process of intertextual search, setting in motion the act of semiotic processing (ibid). Semiotic processing cannot but imply the involvement of decoding as well, which in TS (Translation Studies) is expressed through hermeneutics. Eagleton s review essay Translation and Transformation in 1977 drew attention to the notion of intertextuality in favor of a hermeneutic approach in translation, in terms of practice in cultural and critical theory (Ellis & Oakley-Brown, 1998:343): A translator being primarily a reader, first interprets and then renders SL messages into TL messages (see Steiner, 1975) by choosing and applying appropriate translation strategies in the form of decisions based on individual situations, which result in translation products suggesting various types of equivalence between the SL and TL messages (see Toury, 1995). Wilss maintains that, as far as literary translation is concerned, no general answers to problems in culturally determined TS (Translation Studies) are available or expectable (1999:135). Given the connection between interpretation and translation and the, by and large, communicative character of texts translated (or not), a translator should look for his/her solutions in pre-texts in the TL; they can be significant tools towards interpretation since intertextual signals are inspired from them and refer to them (Hatim & Mason, 1990:134). The issue of intertextuality becomes of primary importance as it concerns the employment of available intertexts and pre-texts in the interpretation of the STs by the TL reader/translator and the re-production of the SL messages in the TL as products of his/her decision-making. The translators ability to assimilate the STs will be apparent in the TTs. In order to cater for the needs of the TL readership, with translation seen by translation critics through the prism of cross-cultural communication 5, the rendition of sense needs to occupy a central part in the process. In Carter s works, sense is expressed through cultural and linguistic complexity. Due to the lack of a strong Greek parallel genre, the need for creating and establishing intertextual chains between Carter s works and the TL literature (native as well as translated) becomes apparent. Deep knowledge of Carter s literary background in terms of symbolic 4 Hatim & Mason (1990:134). 5 See Hatim and Mason 1990 & 1997, Snell-Hornby 1988, Toury 1995, Venuti 1998 etc.
13 Introduction 13 content and subtext becomes a prerequisite as translation strategies should be based on an integrated and hermeneutic approach toward translation seen as communication. 6 More specifically, on the basis of a hermeneutic approach, it will be necessary for texts first to be understood within their context and then to be assimilated by the reader/translator before an attempt to render them in the TL (Steiner, 1975). Integration, on the other hand, implies that strategies used to translate problems in previous texts (belonging to a spectrum of genres) can be employed to tackle similar translation problems in the text to be translated (Snell-Hornby, 1988); this idea complies with Hatim and Mason s suggestion that texts are not isolated from one another (1997). As far as the Greek translations of Carter s novels are concerned the problem identified concerns the quality of the Greek translations in relation to the translation strategies employed for the renditions, given the lack of pre-texts and a sufficient range of intertextual chains in the TL, which will need to be re-created by the translators. 0.2 The Objectives of the Thesis One of the reasons which have led to the examination of the translated works of Carter in Greek from a translation studies point of view was linked to their unpopularity with the Greek reading public. According to Venuti: Since the 1970s [ ] the drive to invest in best-sellers has become so prevalent as to focus the publishers attention on foreign texts that were commercially successful in their native cultures, allowing the editorial and translating process to be guided by the hope of a similar performance in a different language and culture (1998:124). This did not seem to be the case with Carter s translated works in Greek. According to data received by personal communication with the publishing house Hadjinicoli 7 which has published Carter s works in Greece, there was an acknowledgement that her novels have not been popular with the Greek reading public. In this case communication has failed in the 6 See Snell-Hornby (1988) and Steiner (1975) respectively. 7 Information received by personal communication confirmed that Carter s novels have not been successful commercially (on November 2000 and July 2007). Actual figures were not disclosed as it was considered to be unprofessional.
14 Introduction 14 sense that the Greek readership has declined to become the receiving end in the communication process. Possible reasons might be: a) Preferences of the Greek readership in terms of thematic content. From 2000 to 2004, the percentage of both Greek and translated novels in terms of content is presented in the following table (Ichneutis [Ιρλεπηήο], 2006:97). As the table shows, sci-fi, fantasy and terror which are sub-genres that Carter uses in her novels seem to be rather low in public preference. 8 The reasons which determine these preferences could be numerous but lie outside the interests of this study. Content Private life 52.9 % 64.9 % 46.6 % 41.2 % 40.4 % Historical 19.2 % 10.4 % 24.0 % 26.3 % 28.5 % novels Science, 12.8 % 10.0 % 14.1 % 17.3 % 17.9 % society, politics Detective, 11.1 % 6.4 % 6.7 % 9.6 % 9.3 % mystery, adventure Sci-fi, 2.9 % 7.3 % 5.4 % 5.0 % 2.1 % fantasy, terror Art 1.1 % 1.0 % 3.2 % 0.6 % 1.8 % b) Various publishing strategies (quality of publications, advertising etc.) c) In the case of translated novels, the quality of the translations. 8 A glaring exception has to be the Harry Potter series, available in translation for the Greek reading public by the publishing house Psychogios; its overwhelming universal success, along with the fact that it belongs to the genre of children s literature makes it an altogether different study case.
15 Introduction 15 The issue of the reception of Carter s translated novels by the Greek reading public, in parallel to the overall reception of the genres that are similar or belong to the ones she employs in her works, carries certain implications. Since the production of the latter is seriously limited, this means that, from a logical point of view, there have not been enough translations or national literary works to create enough intertextual chains. 9 In other words, the limited range of parallel texts 10 in the TL might imply that the translators who would have attempted to translate Carter s works might have been faced with extra difficulties as they would not be aided by already established means of expression concerning the style and the thematic content of such works, and which would have been already embedded in the norm 11 of the TL which in this case is Greek. Thus, the poor quality of the Greek translations of Carter s works might have been a reason for the low demand. Although this might seem to be a rather tenuous assumption since data from Ichneutis 12 suggests that works similar to these of Carter do not appeal to the Greek reading public as compared to other genres, it was considered to be a reason for looking into the quality of the Greek translations of the works by Carter. The objectives of the thesis include a description of the translation strategies employed by the Greek translators in order to proceed to the evaluation of the TL products (TTs) on the basis of whether the strategies employed resulted in equivalence and consequently achievement of communication. Success in terms of communication also illustrates the translators ability to use intertextual chains available in pre-texts and even create new ones in the TL. The need for a descriptive approach towards the TTs is reinforced by the fact that none of the translators has included a preface or note in the translated novels to explain the point of view which he/she undertook in order to proceed to the actual translation. Lack of 9 See Hatim and Mason (1990 and 1997). 10 See Toury (1995). 11 See Toury (1995). 12 It should be noted that data presented by Ichneutis (Ιρλεπηήο) concerning the period (when two of the novels under study were translated in Greek) refer to the overall production of translated or national literature, differentiating only among drama, poetry and prose (see Vols. 41/42 and 52/53, pp and respectively). Data concerning the period on the other hand, referred to divisions of prose subgenres; their presentation was considered to be of use, as the patterns of translated and literary production with regard to various sub-genres are indicative of the preferences of the Greek readership in respect of the recent years (information received by personal communication with S. Kambouropoulos in April 2005). Data on the period could not be obtained.
16 Introduction 16 think-aloud protocols, the back box of translation (Jääskeläinen, 1998:265) suggested the necessity to describe the strategies which lead the translators towards specific decisions as they appear in the TTs. Think-aloud protocols are the thought processes which take place when someone is translating a text. They can reveal valuable data concerning how translators resort to certain choices and the nature of translating but they cannot reach all of its aspects. Nevertheless, they can definitely reveal the status of the ST during the translation process and the function of the TT, information not accessible in the case of this study, since the TTs do not contain translators notes. 13 In this sense, complementary evidence collected from different sources is likely to provide the most reliable picture of the contents of the black box. In this thesis, it is considered that the description of the translation strategies employed by the translators is sufficient to provide information concerning their decision-making as it reveals the patterns of the strategies used and through them the tendencies of the translators. The question of how the Greek translators would tackle the translation of unpopular novels as part of a totality of a rather unpopular genre arose, together with the issue of whether the translators had actually taken into consideration the lack of such a genre. The patterns emerging from the description of the translation strategies used may hold implications concerning the following questions which sum up the objectives of this study: a) What are the most prominent strategies translators use which result in nonachievement of equivalence in the TTs and what implications do they hold for the quality of the translations? b) Can word-to-word translation and sense-for-sense translation ensure equivalence in the TTs? c) Have translators been found to disrespect the TL norms and if this has been he case what does it imply? d) Do they follow the hermeneutic motion of the STs in order to extract meaning from it and then render it in the TL? How is this illustrated by their decisions? 13 The status of the ST and the function of the TT define which strategies will be employed for the rendition (see Snell Hornby, 1988:118).
17 Introduction 17 e) Do they respect the symbolic value and function of certain ST elements (especially leitmotifs and intertextual signs/signals) as an integral part of Carter s works? f) Do they attempt compensation in cases which verge on untranslatability? g) How do they manage to deal with systemic discrepancies between the two linguistic systems in order to render cases of word-play where sense and stylistic effect is highly dependent on form? h) Are cases of untranslatability illustrated on the TL textual surface of incidental nature, and what is the reason for the inability of rendition in such cases? i) Do the translators use the available parallel texts or pre-texts as intertextual chains in order to avoid the stale effect of foreignized 14 language in the TL texts? j) What does domestication (as a result of respecting the TL norms) imply as illustrated in the suggested translations? k) Has Carter s style been rendered in the TL micro-contextually as well as macro-contextually? Answers to these questions are examined through the presentation of the translation units (namely the ST and TT corresponding items) presented in the appendix and analyzed in Chapter 3, within the theoretical framework set in Chapter 1 and the methodological means supported by this theoretical framework. 0.3 The Structure of the Study General 14 According to Venuti (1995) domestication as opposed to foreignization is a common translation strategy in the English speaking cultures/countries where it serves broader domestic agendas; on this basis, it is necessary to challenge its domination by adopting other translation strategies. Taking into consideration that in this study the TL culture (Greek) is minor to the SL one (British) implying also asymmetrical literary relations between the two cultures a translator is presented with the reverse case: domestication would mean moving away from the dominant culture. Here, adaptation to the TL norms is seen as the means to avoid the strangeness of the foreign which could affect the way meaning would be perceived by the TL readership. This by no means implies obstruction of the influx of SL cultural elements in the TT but rather focuses on the rendition of the SL s sense to the TL which can be accomplished also by adapting the ST to the TL norms (see Snell-Hornby, 1988).