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Title: The translation of French language Holocaust writing : a case study of Elie Wiesel’s La Nuit
Author: Jeffra-Adams, Zoë Clare Janine
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 2823
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2014
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This project sets out to frame and examine the theoretical and practical challenges involved in the process and effect of translating Holocaust testimony, which has been largely overlooked in Holocaust discourses. Research pertaining to the fields of Holocaust memorialisation, historiography, literary theory, and translation studies is drawn together, with a view to shedding light on what it means to write Holocaust testimony, what it means to read it, and how these often conflicting processes affect and are affected by translation. Using a canonical testimonial text by Elie Wiesel as a case study allows the exploration of these questions to be grounded in detailed and wide-ranging textual analysis, demonstrating the extent to which translation impacts Holocaust testimony. The Holocaust is an unparalleled event in the twentieth century and testimony to it is born of a unique desire to relate one’s experiences, coupled with a certainty that these experiences cannot be expressed. This dual set of challenges requires a distinctive approach to reading testimony, which is shaped through a range of textual and paratextual features. Furthermore, the reader’s perception of the author figure is argued here to have a discernible bearing on this reading process. Translation has the potential to unsettle this reading, by undermining the readers’ belief in the author figure and in the referential status of the text. The analysis of Wiesel’s La Nuit in translation demonstrates that translation not only has a marked effect on the content and nature of this piece of testimony, but that the way in which this effect is presented to the readership is a reflection of the text’s shifting target locale and strongly impacts the reading of testimonial texts.
Supervisor: Jones, David Houston; Mansell, Richard Sponsor: University of Exeter
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Holocaust ; Translation ; Elie Wiesel ; Testimony ; French