The dynamics of literary translation : a case study from English to Persian
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This thesis aims to elucidate the translation process by devising a way of retrieving evidence of this process from its output. It further aims to assess the claims made by some scholars concerning the possible existence of Translation Universals. In order to isolate the interaction of texts and contexts, a corpus of American short stories was created, with their translations into Persian published after the 1979 Revolution. Three complementary methodologies gave a rounded picture: (1) Corpus-based Descriptive Translation Studies; (2) The pragmatic and rhetorically-based approach of Thinking Translation devised at St Andrews; and (3) The analytical framework mostly established by Halliday in his Systemic Functional Grammar. Approaching the process of translation in the specific order devised in this thesis provided four vantage points to analyse the data in a systematic way from linguistic, discourse, cultural and literary views before reaching what are at once the most personal and most characteristic aspects of a translator’s work. The research begins with a literature review of the field and an account of linguistic constraints and of all Translation Universals hypothesised so far, followed by an extensive analysis of data in two consecutive chapters. With reference to the choices made in this corpus, it is discussed in the Conclusions chapter that most of the Translation Universals so far claimed are not in fact universal. It is the role of the translator which has emerged as the determining factor in producing a translated text, and thus as the key to resolving the issues explored in this thesis. It seems there are no constraints beyond the translator’s reach, and there are no parameters which do not involve the translator, who introduces his or her own choices, or manipulates certain parameters. Only when they have done so, will the translation, as both process and product, be accomplished.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: 2024-10-13
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Print and electronic copy restricted until 13th October 2024
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