The Paratextual Elements in Translation

I have just learned that my proposal for an upcoming conference on paratexts and translation, to be held at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona from June 21-23, 2010 has been accepted. I will be presenting a paper closely related to my doctoral thesis. It focuses on the motivations behind the translations of controversial, polemical or revolutionary works. In it, I compare the motivations of translators and publishers, and discuss instances in which publishers, translators and other agents clearly do not have the same motivations for disseminating such translations.

For my doctoral dissertation, I interviewed two translators of polemical works, but I’ve been gradually contacting other translators to better explore the motivations behind the essays written in Canada by English- and French-speaking writers such as Mordecai Richler and Pierre Vallières. What I really hope to discover in these interviews is what motivated the English translations of French-language works advocating the independence of Quebec and the French translations of English-language works satirizing and criticizing French-speaking Quebec politicians, institutions and legislation.

I’ll post some updates as I contact additional translators. I’m looking forward to this conference, as the presentations should be exploring paratextual elements in various aspects of translation studies. The final program should be interesting. More on the conference later…