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Tuesday, 18 September 2012 11:10

Textus, No 3 (2013) - Borders: Global Literature and Translation

Beyond Borders: Global Literature and Translation


Textus, No 3 (2013)


Tim Parks and Edoardo Zuccato (eds.)


The extraordinary progress in communications and technology that characterized the 20th century and made possible the process now known as globalization has had, like it or not, a profound effect on the world of literature, creating a new international context which has to a large extent replaced national cultures as the ultimate arbiter of literary taste.


This situation has radically altered the role and importance of literary translation. While in the past both writer and publisher sought success first and foremost at national level, foreign language translations following only when a significant national consensus decreed an author worthy of the honour, it is now understood that any significant achievement, whether literary or merely commercial, will be international in nature.


The writer is thus aware from the start of the need to prepare a translatable text that will appeal to an international audience while the translator finds himself involved in a large-scale international project which frequently aims to publish and promote a work simultaneously in many countries and languages.


Though phenomena of this kind can be noted everywhere, English literature finds itself in a unique position. English is the main medium of global literature, and authors can become global only if they write in English or are translated into it. English is the hub every writer must go through if he or she wants to go global.


This new situation raises many questions, for all authors, whether English or not: how does the rapid internationalization of the market for literature and the growing perception that the writer is addressing a global rather than a national community affect the content and style of what gets written and the conditions in which the translator works? Are novelists adapting their styles to make translation easier? Are they becoming more aware of what is culture specific in their work? How do conditions and perceptions vary from one culture to another? Would it be possible to hazard a morphology of the successful ‘global’ novel? And is there really a ‘global’ public or are we just speaking of a transnational, liberal, book-reading elite? What is the role of the cultural press in forming and informing this public?


It will be the purpose of this issue of Textus, the peer-reviewed journal of the Italian Association of English Studies, to examine these developments and their many repercussions, with particular reference to English-speaking countries and Italy, but also considering Europe and the world in general.


Subject areas:


1. The increasing integration of the national and international literary scenes.

2. Translation and publication of English-language writers in other languages.

3. Translation of foreign writers into English.

4. Writers who are not translated or rarely.

5. English and foreign translators.

6. Counter tendencies: poetry and minority language writing.

7. Margins? Postcolonial writers and global readers.

8. Literary journalism.

9. International literary prizes in Anglophone countries.


Please send a 300-word abstract to both editors:


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Deadline for contributions: 15 December 2012

Date of publication: December 2013


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