• How to Make Love to a Negro: But What if I get Tired? Transculturation and its (Partial) Negation In and Through Translation

    Author(s):
    Lee Skallerup Bessette (see profile)
    Date:
    2005
    Group(s):
    GS Life Writing, LLC Canadian, LLC Francophone, Postcolonial Literature, TC Translation Studies
    Subject(s):
    French Canadian literature, French Creole, Postcolonial literature, Translation, Translation studies
    Item Type:
    Article
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6B93G
    Abstract:
    Dany Laferrière’s first novel, Comment faire l’amour avec un Nègre was a literary sensation when it was first released in Quebec in the mid-80s. The author/narrator plays with reader’s expectations, presenting both a stereotypical image of the black man (sex-obsessed, white-hating) and one that contradicts and upsets their expectations. Influenced by English, American, Eastern, European and South American cultures, traditions and literature, the narrator/author plays with them all, creating an effective satire of contemporary culture. But some of this transculturality is lost in the translation. An off-handed comment made by Laferrière to David Homel, the translator, works to negate the transcultural influences of the novel, “Don’t worry about the translation. The book’s already in English. Just the words are in French.” The translator, as a result, refuses to see the other possible influences in the novel, and refuses to translate certain non-anglo aspect. This paper will show how the translation of Comment faire amour avec un Nègre negates the idea of transculturalism and in fact acts, to a certain degree, to assimilate the text. This is not to say that the translation is a complete “failure”, but it does illustration the possible limitations of the process of translation.
    Notes:
    Not really well-proofed before publication.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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