PhD Thesis

Translations, Paratexts and Narratives of Nationalism, Independence Movements and the 1980/1995 Referenda in Canada, 1968-2000 with special focus on Mordecai Richler’s Oh Canada! Oh Quebec! and Pierre Vallières’ Nègres blancs d’Amérique

This thesis use narrative theory and the concept of narrative framing to study a catalogue of translated non-fiction works about Quebec nationalism, independence movements and the 1980/1995 referenda. Its aim is to analyze how works on these three subjects have been reframed by various agents to different ends, with the goal of illustrating what assumptions and expectations about English and French-speaking readers are revealed in the narratives about the published works, namely prefaces, postscripts, notes, appendices, press releases, book reviews and editorials.
Part 1 outlines the historical and theoretical frameworks that form the basis of this thesis. Baker’s Translation and Conflict (2006) is the work on which most of the theoretical framework is based, but other scholarship on narrative theory is also explored, as are competing theoretical frameworks, namely critical and political discourse analysis.
Part 2 presents and explores the delimited catalogue that forms the basis for this thesis. This delimited catalogue consists of all the works published in Canada between 1968 and 2000 on the topics of Quebec nationalism, independence movements and the referenda, as per the National Library and Archives catalogue.
Using the delimited catalogue, Part 3 begins to explore the questions that are central to this thesis: what do paratextual frames—peritexts such as prefaces, postscripts, appendices, and book covers, and epitexts such as press releases by literary institutions—say about the translated works, and how are expectations about the TL audience revealed through these frames?
Finally, two case studies are analyzed in detail in Part 4: Mordecai Richler’s Oh Canada! Oh Quebec! and Pierre Vallières’ Nègres blancs d’Amérique. The first case study centres around the use of selective appropriation, labels and positioning in the French-Canadian press and the translation by Daniel Poliquin published by Les Éditions Balzac. An interview with Daniel Polquin completes this analysis and helps provide more insight into the translator’s motivations for translating Richler, his goals for the translation, and the events that shaped the translation. In the second case study, labelling, positioning, and temporal/spatial framing are the framing strategies on which particular emphasis is placed. Once again, an interview—with translator, Joan Pinkham and her consultant, Malcolm Reid—complements the analysis to provide a better idea of the events that shaped the translation and the translator’s motivations for undertaking this project.