(Re)constructing Bosnia: ideologies and agents in poetry translating (2005)

Author(s): Jones FR, Arsenijevic D

    Abstract: 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.

      • Book Title: Translation and the Construction of Identity: IATIS Yearbook 2005
      • Volume: 1
      • Pages: 68-95
      • Publisher: IATIS
      • Publication type: Book chapter
      • Bibliographic status: Published

        Dr Francis Jones
        Reader in Translation Studies