Normalisation and readers' expectations : a study of literary translation with reference to Lispector's A Hora da Estrela.
The topic of this thesis is the process of'normalisation' by which a translator
accommodatesa sourcet ext to the norms of the target languagea nd culture. The
researchi nvestigatest his phenomenonin two ways: first, through text analysis
identifying features in the target text which potentially contribute to easy readability,
and, subsequentlyt,h rough readersr espondingt o the translation and the sourcet ext.
Computer tools were used to compare the source text and the target text, resulting in
a list of eleven identifiable main features which were found to contribute to a
normalising effect. One of the features, 'patterns of repetition', was examined in detail.
The translation had less repetition in part because of systemic differences but also due
to the translator's choice, whether conscious or unconscious, to use variant terms. A
section of the thesis investigates negativity which is of considerable literary relevance
in the case of A Hora da Estrela, and evidence is supplied that negativity is reduced in
the translation. Other featuresi n the sourcet ext which are mostly associatedw ith
spoken aspects of language were found to have shifted to a written style, contributing
to a normalising shift from spoken to written register. Such features suggest that the
translation hasb een 'domesticatedt' o suit the English-speakingr eader.
The second way in which normalisation was investigated was via readers' responses.
A number of studies were carried out, using non-specialists and'semi-specialised
readers' (students of literature). Critical reactions to the various translations of the
novel suggested that normalisation was perceived when the source and the target
were compared, but not by readers of the target version alone.