A narratologically inspired approach to translation: the translator’s presence in eighteenth-century tragedy

Activité: Types de discours ou de présentationPrésentation orale


Drawing on a narratological typology of discourse representation, Theo Hermans (2007) has developed a theoretical model that views translation as a form of interlingual quotation that can be modelled on a continuum ranging from more mimetic (showing) to more diegetic (telling) modes of discourse representation, with corresponding variations in the translator’s discursive presence in the text (from more covert to more overt) and of his/her control over what is rendered and how it is rendered. This model, which can be used as an analytical tool, enables us to describe the ways in which and the degree to which the translator mediates the original, and to throw into relief his/her critical attitude towards the original.
The aim of this paper is to demonstrate the validity and interest of this model when applied to drama (Hermans’s model has mostly been applied to narrative fiction), and more specifically to an eighteenth-century French translation of Shakespeare’s plays: Pierre-Antoine de La Place’s Théâtre Anglois (1745-1749), which, despite being explicitly labelled a translation by the translator in the preface, has often been regarded by scholars as an adaptation, precisely because it alternates between more mimetic and more diegetic modes of rendering, often called “synopses” or “summaries”. By bringing historical and generic perspectives to bear upon our findings, it becomes possible to articulate the translator’s mediating strategies with respect to not only his own critical evaluation of the original but also his conception of the target text readers’ expectations about the original, about the genre of the translated text and about the role of the translator.
Période8 mai 2021
Titre de l'événementBreaking Down The Walls of Babel: Dialogues in Translation
Type d'événementUne conférence
LieuWarwick, Royaume-Uni