Sunday, May 31, 2009

Il traduttore come autore-The translator as Author

There has been a conference on the subject: "Il traduttore come autore / The Translator as Author" in Siena, Italy this weekend. The programm looks very interesting.
If anybody reading this blog has attended this conference, I would love to hear about it.

Samuel Beckett, of course

The most well known self-translator is of course Samuel Beckett. He wrote his plays and prose in English or French and translated almost every work in the other language. Often he is considered to be the only self-translator who has done self-translation to such an extent, but although it is truly not common amongst self-translators to translate every single work, he is not the only one. Self-translation is also a characteristic of the oeuvre of André Brink or Nancy Huston, to name just a few. As Beckett's oeuvre is availabe in two languages, critics of consider only the work in one language, considering this version to be the original no matter in which direction the translation has occured. But as the translation can also be considered as a comment on the earlier version, critics who will take into account both versions of the work, will gain a deeper understanding.
Sometimes Beckett worked with professional translators but most of the time he translated his works alone. He also participated in the translations of his works into German. Most of the research in the field of self-translation has been done on Samuel Beckett, so the further references are only a minor selection.

Interesting research on Samuel Beckett as a self-translator for further reading:
- Friedman, Allen Warren (eds.) (1987): Beckett Translating/Translating Beckett. University Park/London: The Pennsylvania State.
- Fitch, Brian (1988) : Beckett and Babel: An Investigation into the Status of the Bilingual Work. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
- Scheiner, Corinne (1999): Writing at the Crossroads: Samuel Beckett and the Case of the Bilingual, Self-Translating Author. In: Marius Buning and Ton Hoenselaars (eds.): English Literature and the “Other” Languages. Atlanta and Amsterdam: Rodopi Press, pp. 175-184.
- Scheiner, Corinne (2000): Bilingualism and biculturalism in self-translation: Samuel Beckett and Vladimir Nabokov as doubled Novelists. Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Chicago.
- Oustinoff, Michaël (2001): Bilinguisme d'écriture et auto-traduction: Julien Green, Samuel Beckett, Vladimir Nabokov. Paris: L'Harmattan.


Welcome on my blog. I'm very interested in the subject of self-translation, which means authors who translate their own literary works and looking forward to discuss this subject with other people. Also I will present self-translators and interesting articles on this subject. Any suggestions on authors and articles are welcome!
I apologize for any spelling and grammar mistakes in advance but my languages keep melting into each other with sometimes funny consequences. My first language is German, my second language French and my third language is English and I also have some basic knowledge of Spanish.