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Title: Translation, interpretation and otherness : Polynesia in French travel literature
Author: Ewart, Rebecca Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 5372 7086
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis seeks to explore French travel literature on Polynesia as a form of translation. It analyses how travel writers interpret and textualize their experiences of the foreign culture in order to create a version of Polyneslan otherness. Following on from Lawrence Venuti's theory of foreignization and domestication, it is assumed that all translations necessarily manipulate the source culture into forms that are determined by the receiving culture, and that fidelity to an original is, therefore, impossible. Ethical potential is considered to lie in a translation that goes against the norms of translation present In the receiving culture in respect of Polynesia. The thesis identifies the emergence of over-determined narratives relating to Polynesia in late eighteenth and mid-nineteenth-century French travel literature. It shows how this body of work engaged with pre-existing narratives surrounding New-World cultures and dreams of a utopian south em continent, and considers the emergence of a dominant version of Polynesia closely linked to notions of an earthly paradise. In relation to the tradition of translation established in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the thesis studies the translation strategies employed by Pierre Loti in 'Le Mariage de Loti' (1880) and Victor Segalen in 'Les Immemoriaux' (1907). It demonstrates their seminal status as works that set trends for translating Polynesia, in terms of both reinforcing translation norms and subverting them. Finally, the thesis investigates the afterlives of Loti and Segalen's texts, as they appear in operatic adaptations ('Lakme' (1883) and 'L'ile du reve' (189B)), translations Into English, twentieth-century travel literature (Loti), and in indigenous Polynesian writing (Segalen).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available