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Monday, 25 July 2011 10:38

Retranslation through the Centuries: Jules Verne in English by Kieran O'Driscoll


New Trends in Translation Studies. Volume 5

O'Driscoll, Kieran. 2011. Retranslation through the Centuries: Jules Verne in English. Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Brussels, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien: Peter Lang, 286 pp. ISBN 978-3-0343-0236-4


Book synopsis:

Making a contribution to the still under-researched translation history of Verne's Extraordinary Journeys, this book examines the causes of a selection of renderings from French into English of the 1873 Jules Verne novel Le Tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours (Around the World in Eighty Days). This study integrates a number of methodologies in order to offer a comprehensive explanation of translation outcomes. It presents a diachronic investigation of the multiple interacting translation causes which have produced various retranslations of the same work.

A corpus of target texts, from 1873 to 2004, is analysed in order to discover the translation strategies employed and their likely causes using Pym's (1998) model of the four Aristotelian causes of social phenomena, as applied to translation. Translators' biographical details are studied to ascertain the agency of the translator. The book addresses the difficulties encountered in uncovering biographical information on certain translators, and the considerations involved in selecting a suitable corpus of retranslated texts. It provides some understanding of the reasons for which retranslations of a canonical novel are undertaken and contributes to arguments concerning translation universals.

About the author:

Kieran O'Driscoll was awarded his MA in 2006 and doctorate in 2010 by Dublin City University. His research interests centre on the multiple causes of literary retranslation outcomes, translation history and Verne literary studies, and he has published a number of articles on Verne's literature in translation. He is a published literary translator and is currently engaged in a major project for the North American Jules Verne Society, translating, with a team of US-based Verne scholars, a number of Verne's lesser known literary works into English.

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