Intertextuality as Translation Problem: Explicitness, Recognisability and the Case of “Literatures of Smaller Nations”

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Abstract


The paper focuses on the issue of translation of intertextual markers in literature, with a special emphasis on Polish poetry in English renditions. The material and perspective are chosen with a view to exploring source-culture references in the literatures less known internationally, which, it is argued, is a sphere of particular cultural resistance to translation. The aim is to survey the importance of the level of explicitness of intertextual links for the task of a translator, but also to investigate recognisability - the other crucial factor - as well the interrelation of the two. First some assumptions about the conditions conducive to a successful rendering of intertextuality are formulated and tested. Then, based on several poetry excerpts, it is shown how, on the one hand, the level of explicitness influences the translators’ choices and, on the other, how explicitating or implicitating procedures in translation influence the interpretative potential of the texts. Some instances of overcoming the resistance thanks to creative efforts are indicated. One of the author’s tenets is that even a not readily decipherable marker can serve as a signal of intertextual relations.

About the authors

Marta Kaźmierczak

University of Warsaw

Email: mkazmierczak@uw.edu.pl
26/28 Krakowskie Przedmieście, Warsaw 00-927, Poland
Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Institute of Applied Linguistics of the University of Warsaw

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