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(Re)constructing Bosnia: ideologies and agents in poetry translating

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Francis Jones


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This case-study of “translator partiality” shows how poetry-translation players (source poets, translators, publishers, etc.) participate in a conflict between source-culture discourses. In post-1992 Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH), ideologies of civil-society tolerance have been pitted against extreme nationalist ideologies based on denial of the cultural Other. A web survey of verse translations from Bosnian into English plus metatexts (reviews, readings, etc.) shows that poetry translation players consistently support anti-war and civil-society ideologies, despite a slight risk of stereotyping the Balkans as folklore or barbaric mayhem. However, they tend to favour the poetic establishment, at the expense of the female/young/queer “margins” which we see as crucial to BH’s development. In wider terms, this case study supports a model of literary translation based on source+receptor alliances; we explore under what conditions translation into a global language globalizes source-culture agendas; and show how ethical and power factors interact in literary translation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Jones FR, Arsenijevic D

Editor(s): House J; Martín Ruano MR; Baumgarten N

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Translation and the Construction of Identity: IATIS Yearbook 2005

Year: 2005

Volume: 1

Pages: 68-95

Publisher: IATIS

Place Published: Seoul

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 8995745401