Translation plays important role in our era. No body can ignore the vital role of it in technology, science, culture, folklore and tradition, humanity and so on. By translation we will acquire necessary information, different experiences, different skills of different people who live around the world with different races, culture, languages. As we know translation is a bridge between nations that to develop themselves more and more every day. In fact, translators are intelligence person who know more information and knowledge without no end. Translators play essential role in developing of science, culture, art, technology, policy of any society. By translation people will inform of the sorrow and happiness of the other people and share with them.
Despite the enormous amount of mass literature that is translated, little has been written in this area. Robyns (1990) looked at the omissions made in detective novels translated into French, using the belles infidèles image; Paizis (1998) finds similar omissions in romances translated into French and Greek; Sohár (1996 & 1997) examines pseudo translations of science fiction into Hungarian; while Gouvanic (1997) finds French translations of science fiction novels more faithful to the originals. This paper will contrast the translation of mass fiction, to which I give the name of “factory” translation, and whose characteristics I detail at length, with that of literary, philosophical and erudite works, to which I give the name of “aristocratic” translation.
Translation studies have traditionally been an integral part of high culture, dominated by aristocratic and gentlemanly coteries which have access to foreign languages and literature. One can think of the Royalist aristocrats in the 17th century, many of the names Tytler mentions in his Essay on the Principles of Translation, and the many gentlemanly discussions around translations of Homer.
Many literary translations have been aimed at the learned few, the aristocratic, gentlemanly or academic coterie. This can clearly be seen, for example, in the ideas of the German Romantics. More specifically, Lawrence Venuti comments that the kind of translation that Schleiermacher recommends “aims to preserve the linguistic and cultural difference of the foreign text, but only as it is perceived in the translation by a limited readership, an educated elite” (Venuti 1991:130). So, paradoxically, a translation, which should or could make a work available to all the literate members of a new language group, may be directed to a specific clique or coterie, thereby excluding the great majority of readers.
Both Para-text and images are part of that “fringe of the printed text” which, as Lejeune observes, “in reality controls one’s whole reading of the text.” Given that “the typographical and other morphological features of a book are as important to the link between author, meaning and reader as the words which they convey,” the Para- text is clearly of crucial importance for translation, whose consumption depends on a particular contract of trust between reader, writer and publisher. Some work has been done within the discipline on this but translation studies might usefully take more account of Para text as well as cover design in examining how texts move between languages and cultures.
pseudo translations in the literature might be considered as a interesting method for the author of the book, although not strictly pseudotranslations in Toury’s sense in that they are in no way explicitly stated to be translations, nor do they seem aimed at bringing something new into the target culture. However, to consider translation, with Susan Bassnett, as “not so much as a category in its own right, but rather as a set of textual practices with which the writer and reader collude” may permit us to read these texts as a variant on the pseudotranslation in that in some ways they behave and are consumed as translations.
Perhaps the prime example of a pseudotranslation in the sense intended here is Louis de Bernières 1994 novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (CCM), which, with its setting “abroad,” its overtones of magical realism and its author’s apparently “foreign” name, is quite easily mistaken for a translation. This attribution of translated status to CCM is partly about theme and content (the foreign setting) but it is also about what Genette has called the “publisher’s pretext,” the presentational material “that is the direct and principal… responsibility of the publisher.” Of primary importance in this case is the name of the author. Genette notes that the author’s name can be an important indicator of nationality but does not pause long enough to note that it can also act as a red herring; for this reason the author’s name is crucial in the presentation of pseudotranslations. As Nicci Gerrard suggests in a 1994 interview, de Bernières has “remained an oddly retiring figure in the literary landscape.
A 2004 review by Amanda Craig of de Bernières’ Birds Without Wings, the prequel to CCM, acknowledges that “it might be argued that this is a form of tourism, allowing the reader to patronize quaint foreign ways” but concludes that “de Bernières deserves praise for his imaginative sympathy.” It is this acknowledgement of the possibility of empathetic understanding by an outsider of another culture which underpins the success of the pseudotranslations discussed here, to the point where “while recognizing that the narratives are fiction, the setting and the local information are accorded the status of objective truth.”
Ortega, in his essay on translation “Misterio y Esplendor de la Traducción”, sees translation as a way of escaping from the crowd. It is a mysterious and impossible task in which one can attempt to bring other languages and great authors to affect one’s own thought and language, and thus to rise above the cultural leveling of modern society.
It is into this publishing climate, with these pseudotranslations in a preeminent market position, that Camilleri, Lucarelli and Carlotto are being translated. A most striking feature of these translations is the way in which they come to share in the presentational features of their English-language predecessors. We can identify broad tendencies in the presentation of source and target texts which illustrate this convergence.
I think that the tradition of the foreignizing translation, with translators emphasizing the reproduction of the aesthetic qualities of the original in the translation is, to a great extent, the product of this strong elitist strain in modernism.
Leaving aside “highbrow” translation to examine what happens when a translation from high culture is adapted to mass culture; two concepts may be of use. The first is kitsch as described by Umberto Eco and the second is the midcult as described by Dwight MacDonald.
The kitsch is the imposition of a fixed effect to be enjoyed by the consumer, who does not have to attempt to understand the more complex patterns of the operations of the artistic work. Yet, by enjoying this effect, the reader or viewer supposes that he/she is experiencing a privileged aesthetic experience. In other words, it is an escape from the responsibilities of art. The emotional reaction of the reader/viewer is all-important, and any kind of reflection on the causes of this reaction is missing (Eco:74-77).
Dwight Macdonald contrasts masscult, inferior literature which has no pretension of being erudite, with the midcult, which trivializes works of art and, like the kitsch, deliberately attempts to produce certain effects. He lists the characteristics of the midcult (Eco:84): (1) it borrows avant-garde processes and adapts them to make a message which can be enjoyed and understood by all; (2) it uses these processes when they have been known, used and are worn out; (3) it constructs a message as a provocation of effects; (4) it sells them as art; (5) it tranquilizes consumers, convincing them that they have encountered culture, so that they won’t feel other worries.
Macdonald gives examples of the Midcult: the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, which destroys the King James version, so as to make the text clear; book clubs such as the Book of the Month Club; and Our Town by Thornton Wilder, which uses Brechtian techniques of alienation for consolation and hypnosis. Thus we can see the complexities of the work of art reduced: mass culture makes the classics into products to be consumed rather than works to be contemplated (Arendt in Eco 1993: 41).
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Gideon Toury, Descriptive Translation Studies and beyond (Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 1995), 40-41.
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