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Title: Imaginative promptings: on 'translating' Paul et Virginie (Volume 1) ; Genie and Paul: a novel (Volume 2)
Author: Soobramanien, Natasha
ISNI:       0000 0004 2735 7413
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis comprises a novel, Genie and Paul, and a critical commentary which posits Genie and Paul as a ‘translation’ of J. J. H. Bernadin de Saint-Pierre’s, Paul et Virginie, an eighteenth-century French novel set in colonial Mauritius. Genie and Paul explores its British Mauritian protagonists’ complex sense of cultural identity, with reference to Paul et Virginie, a novel of great personal significance to me. In my critical commentary, I explore the ways in which my novel creatively engages with Paul et Virginie, and make a case for using the term ‘translation’ to define my rewriting of it, with reference to the growing body of postcolonial literary translation theory. I examine the significance of Paul et Virginie to the development of my identity as a writer, and argue that my ‘translation’ is an effective method of negotiating my complex relationship both to Mauritius, and to the European literary canon. I contextualise this discussion by looking at writers who share a similarly equivocal relationship with their cultural background, chiefly V.S. Naipaul and Pankaj Mishra. I consider how these writers’ backgrounds inflect their respective relationships with literary tradition, and examine the strategies they have employed to negotiate this. Whereas Naipaul has been initially reluctant to admit to literary influences, Mishra overtly acknowledges his in The Romantics, his autobiographical first novel. I show how this novel is a ‘translation’ of a key text in Mishra’s personal canon, Flaubert’s A Sentimental Education, and I use this discussion as a model for the analysis of my own ‘translation’ of Paul et Virginie.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available